Having a house in Thailand is a dream come true for a number of foreigners interested to settle in the kingdom. A villa or house near the white sand beaches of Phuket, or at the gorgeous and picturesque natural landscapes in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Being a foreigner in Thailand has some perks and at the same time some difficult obstacles. Owning a property in Thailand can be very exciting but when you think of the legal process that you will go through you might think twice, do not worry because there is always a brighter side on every aspect in property acquisition in Thailand.

Legally, a foreigner cannot own a Villa or a House under his or her name but there are several options that you can choose from. The first thing to remember if you are planning to purchase a property in Thailand, is that under Thai law, foreigners are not allowed to own land directly in their name. However, foreign nationals can legitimately secure property with the help of legal support to control the ownership of the land. Many investors have found this way useful in recent years, as a means to purchase, own, build and develop a property in Thailand. Our law firm has a lot of experience when it comes to helping a foreigner buy a house in Thailand.

 

Table of Contents:

  1. Land Ownership Options for Foreigners in Thailand
  2. Long-Term Leasehold Agreements
  3. Thai Limited Company (Setting up Your Thai Company)
  4. Marriage with a Thai Citizen
  5. Sabai Property Law Firm is here to help!

 

1. Land Ownership Options for Foreigners in Thailand

Thailand has a lot of legal restrictions when it comes to property acquisition matters for foreigners that’s why majority of them look for alternative ways to a direct purchase of the property. Our law firm has established its reputation with providing the best options for foreign clients who are interested in owning a villa or a house in Thailand. The best options based on our experience are the following:

  • Long-Term Leasehold Agreements
  • Buying the Land under a Thai Limited Company
  • Marriage with a Thai Citizen

2. Long-Term Leasehold Agreements

Long-term leasing is one of the best options for foreigners to own a property in Thailand. Provided that in nature, Long-term leasing is legally acknowledged in Thai Law and a hassle-free process for foreigners as well. Normally an initial leasehold is made for a period of 30 years, further to expiration there is the option to renew it for an added two times for a 90-year lease term with the land owner, but these may not be enforceable under Thai law. Therefore, the foreigner cannot take possession of the property upon expiration of the lease agreement. 

  • Long-term leasehold agreements are one of our forte at Thailand Property Law Firm, by establishing a beneficial agreement between the Lessee (property owner) and the Lessor (foreigner), it is considered a good investment provided that there is still no ratified law that allows a Foreigner to legally own a property under his/her name in Thailand. 
Benefits of the Long-Term Leasehold Agreement
  • Secure the property under your name.
  • Secure the land price ahead of time.
  • If given the chance that foreigners can legally own properties in Thailand, you can also secure the property for yourself.

3. Thai Limited Company (Setting up Your Thai Company)

Another well-known option is to set up your own company and buy the Villa or the House under the company’s name. although there are also provisions that you will need a Thai Partner for the company and not providing you 100% of the shares (Not unless the business is under the Treaty of Amity but only applicable for U.S. Citizens). If you decide this is the best option for you, be aware that as a foreigner, you cannot hold half or more than half of the company’s shares. Therefore, the company has to be at least 51% owned by Thai citizen. They can then choose to sign over their company rights to you. 

  • If a company is incorporated with a foreigner’s name as a Director since the formation of the company, with a minimum of two Thai nationals as shareholders, and also the transaction for the land purchase by the company shareholders can be proven by a qualified accountant, then the company purchase is considered valid.
Benefits of buying the Villa or House through a Thai Limited Company
  • The company will legally own the villa or house; therefore, you basically own it as well.
  • There is much security on purchasing through a Thai Limited Company
  • If laws change that a foreigner can own a property in Thailand, you can easily transfer the title under your name and not the company.

4. Marriage with a Thai Citizen

Marriage with a Thai Citizen is also considered an option in buying a villa or house in Thailand. For those foreigners who have Thai spouses, this is the best option for them. A foreigner can legally purchase land in Thailand if he or she is married to a Thai national. 

  • Although the title will not be directly registered under the foreigner’s name it will be under his/her Thai spouse, some foreigners don’t actually consider this option as well because of the fact that they have not yet established a great amount of trust with their Thai spouse, given that the property will be under the Thai Spouse’s name it will be a disadvantage for the foreigner as well.
Pro’s and Con’s of buying a Villa or House through Thai Spouses
  • The Foreigner needs to state that they have no rights on the land; essentially waiving their right to claim the property.
  • The land, though purchased by a foreigner, cannot be directly registered in their name but will be in the name of the Thai spouse.
  • A married couple may be also asked to sign a declaration at the Land Department stating that funds used are the separate property of the Thai spouse. Issues may still arise during a divorce case.
  • Proving the land is marital property can prove difficult, hence a reliable lawyer and a skillfully drafted prenuptial agreement may help to minimize risk to a Thai spouse.  

5. Sabai Property Law Firm is here to help!

Thailand is a wonderful country to visit and to invest with but there are a number of restrictions for foreigners when it comes to owning a property in the kingdom. Thai people are known for being patriots, they value their own culture as well as value one another. The government always thinks of the well-being of the citizens of the country that’s why there are imposed restrictions for foreigners when it comes to property acquisition. 

What we can do for you:
  • We will help you with choosing the best method in purchasing the property
  • Sales and Purchase Agreement drafting/reviewing 
  • Due Diligence report for the property
  • Acquisitions and divestitures of individual properties and portfolios
  • Project and credit facility financings
  • Ground leases and bond financings
  • Commercial real estate arbitrations
  • Expropriations and assessment appeals
  • Lease negotiations and rent arbitrations
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Facility management agreements

One way or another, we can provide the best option for you to get the property that you are looking forward to owning to, may it be a villa or house, a condominium unit or a land – Sabai Property Law Firm is here to help you with all your needs. Although there are specific provisions, our law firm will help you acquire the property that you want in Thailand.

If you are looking forward to acquire a property here in Thailand, may it be a villa or house or leasing a land, we can provide you all the necessary and significant information that you will need.