Thai property laws seem very complicated for most of foreigners.
Actually, it’s quite straightforward and clear.
What can a foreigner own ? A foreigner can own buildings, structures, villas and condominiums under his/her personal name but cannot own a land even the land on which the construction is set.
You have different methods to purchase a property.
Thai Company Limited
You can set up a Thai Company with the help of a lawyer. You have to be a group of minimum 3 people to set up a company. For 1 foreigner, you need 2 Thai citizen associates.
As a foreigner, you need to know that you are allowed to own 49% of the shares in the company but you will be named the Director of the company. The 51% left are owned by the 2 Thai shareholders.
You are the one who controls the company and it will give you the right to buy a land in Thailand but the land will be under the name of the company.
As you are the managing director, you can control the voting of the other shareholder, which means there is no risk for you to loose the ownership.
To set up a company, is one of the most common methods to purchase a land.
Anyway, we highly recommend you to deal with a good lawyer.
Long term leasehold
It’s a contract that allows you to use the land while the owner retains ownership and must be registered to the Land Department.
All properties can be leased, including land, apartments, townhouses and villas.
A lease can be registered by a foreigner in their personal name, it ensures the security of the possession of the land.
The maximum period stipulated for a lease in Thailand is 30 years renewable two times, which gives a total period of 90 years.
This rental contract can be terminated prior the expiration of the lease due to breach of contract by the lessee.
A leasehold contract may contains many different clauses so we recommend you to check carefully the terms of the lease before signing it.
Foreigners can be owner of condominiums in one condition. Prior to buying a condominium unit, you need to check the ratio of foreign ownership. The general rule is that only 49% of the sellable area of the condominium can be owned by foreigners. When the 49% quota has been reached, it still possible for a foreigner to buy an other unit. However, the purchase must be made on a leasehold or through a Thai Company.
Regardless of the method you choose, your property will be firmly registered to the Land Office.
Century 21 Zazen Properties works in close collaboration with different trustable and reliable law offices. We would be pleased to help you in your project.