When you are buying property in Thailand you need to have a due diligence report done on the property not only to check the title deeds but also to ensure that there are no servitude’s registered against the title deed. The servitude is a burden on the land for the benefit of another property. A good example of a servitude is the power utility which runs a power cable over the land. The servitude for the power cable would be registered against the title deed.
It is important to ensure that you check for servitude’s as the servitude may also affect the value of the land you are buying. A high voltage power cable running over your property is not a very appealing prospect and you would need to know that it is there or has a right to be there. The servitude may be registered but the servitude may as yet not been executed over the land.
Servitudes in Thailand
This is important to know before you buy or invest in any property in Thailand. Note also that the servitude can also affect what you can do with the land as it can affect the size and height of the building you may be planning. The servitude has thus created a height restriction on the property or even change the zoning status of the property.
There are a number of problems which Thai law has made provision for:
- Section 1390 of the Civil and Commercial Code dictates that you are prohibited from making any changes to the property which may affect the right or ability of the servitude on the property. As an example you bought a property with a gas pipeline running over it. In order to make it less unsightly you decide to cover the pipeline with sand but the utility now cannot service the pipeline.
- Section 1391 states that changes can be made however if you derive a benefit from these changes you also have to carry part of the cost. As an example the utility decides to build a conduit over the pipeline to make it less unsightly they can ask you to contribute to the changes being made as you benefit from this change.
- Section 1392 allows you to have the servitude changed if you will pay for these changes and it is accepted by the other party. As an example you have a servitude for a road across the front of your property from the land next door who benefits from the servitude. You now wish to develop the property and move the road to the rear of the property.
- Section 1399 is very important as you might have a servitude registered against the property but it has not used it as yet. If a servitude is not used within 10 years of its registration the servitude comes to an end.
Servitudes are a burden on the property and it is always best to speak to a property lawyer about this. Always have the property checked before you purchase the property. Have not only the title deed checked but also check to see if there is not a usufruct or a servitude registered against the property. Speak to us today for more information on your property investment in Thailand.