The right of habitation normally comes into play during a divorce and this will affect the property as these rights are granted by the Civil and Commercial Code in Thailand. If during a divorce your ex-wife is granted a right of habitation on a property then you need to consider the implications of this right and how it will affect you.
In terms of Section 1402 of the Civil and Commercial Code in Thailand the person with a right of habitation does not need to pay for rent. This can be for the lifetime of the person or for a period of time. If no timeline has been set then with reasonable notice the right can be terminated however most times there is always a time limit set for the right.
The right of habitation cannot be inherited and it is not transferable to another person in terms of Section 1404 of the Act. You do however have to note that the right can be extended if it is not limited. As an example you ex-wife was given an unlimited right of habitation for 20 years on a property so she can now also invite all her family to come and live there.
The right when granted should be limited as described by Section 1405 where it has to be expressly stated what the limitations are for the right. The right over the property is only for her or for her and whoever else she wants to live there. Normally most would limited it to their ex-wife and children. Another limitation would be on the ‘fruits’ on the property.
This can also be limited as the person with a right to habitation can use what the land produces. An example is that you ex-wife starts a farm on the land and makes an income from the land without the need to compensate you.
Note that you do not need to maintain the land or property when the person has a right of habitation and the person cannot claim compensation from you for any improvements they have made to the property while living there.
When getting divorced always ensure that you obtain proper legal advice so as to avoid further conflict about property later. If you have any property in Thailand consider all the options which your lawyer provides before you decide what to do. Call us today for more information and advice or walk into our offices in Bangkok or Phuket for more information about property rights and divorce in Thailand.
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