If you are building a house in Thailand while married to a Thai you can ask your lawyer in Thailand to draft and file a superficies against the property. This would mean that since you cannot own the land in Thailand as a foreigner you can however own what is on top of the land. This tends to be a much better option if you are married to a Thai than the usufruct. Speak to one of your lawyers about your best options in Thailand, your marriage and property.
The superficies needs to be registered against the property title deed at the land office and normally this is done for 30 years. You can also add the option for renewal in the superficies agreement or an option to purchase the property if you don’t own it in your name already. If you are going to build on the land and you have registered the superficies you can also ask for compensation for improvement of the land by means of the building you built once the superficies expires.
Note that there are 3 options with the registration of the superficies:
- – For a period of 30 years
- – For a period not exceeding the life of the owner of the land
The superficies in Thailand can be transferred if you wish to sell the right to someone else. You can also place a superficies in your will and testament as the right is inheritable unlike a usufruct which is not. The superficies in a real property right and is covered by the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand under Sections 1410 – 1416 in the Act.
Superficies uses in Thailand
Normally expats will lease and empty stretch of land and build on it. The superficies is for ownership of what is on the land while the land itself if still in the hands and name of the land owner. As you are not going to own the land this property right allows you to develop the land without ownership of the land itself.
The registration fees of the superficies is 1.1% which included the 0.1% stamp duty over the price you are paying for the superficies to the owner of the land. If there is no cost then the Land Department will base the fees on the value of the lease of the land.
Property in Thailand is a complex affair and it is always best to speak to a property lawyer in Thailand before you lease property or a family lawyer before you get married in Thailand. Most property agreements in Thailand tend to be settled before marriage as a protection of your property rights in the event of a divorce. This is only one option available to you in Thailand. There are a number of options with regard to property in Thailand but you need to speak to one of our lawyers about your property options. Call us toll-free or walk into our offices in Bangkok for more information and advice while in Thailand.