Building Restrictions in Thailand

Building restrictions in Thailand can be tough and why you need a property lawyer in Thailand! If you are considering buying a condo in Phuket, then consider the rules for property development as you don’t want to buy a condo and have legal problems later. Building regulations in Thailand has been even more enforced of late with all the latest developments. Always get a due diligence done on the property before you transfer money or put down a deposit for the property in Thailand. Below are restrictions on the property and other problems you might encounter. Buying property in Phuket or a Pattaya condo investment always requires proper investigation. Kindly note that land ownership in Thailand is another problem even though this is changing. 

Building Restrictions in Thailand

A good example to show how property zoning works. This is an example of height restrictions and building limitations in Phuket. The area is called Irawadee Ket Ho. The area has two zones being the Green Zone and the Yellow Zone. The Green Zone is an agricultural zone. In this zone, you can build a house or hotels however you are not allowed to build condominium units in this area. There is however also a height restriction in this zone.

If you are considering buying property or buying property in Phuket then read further.  Foreigners generally cannot own land in Thailand however you can own the structure on the land. Your Thai wife might own the land or you might lease land. You will however need to have the building permit on your name if you decide to build.


Height Restrictions

Your hotel or house may not be higher than 15 meters in height. The Yellow Zone is a residential zone and you can build condominiums in this zone however there is a height restriction of 23 meters in this Yellow Zone. Note that these have to fall under the main height restriction on condominiums in Phuket and that is that no building may be higher than 80 meters above sea level.

You will note that all height restrictions are above ground but the main restriction is above sea level. When buying a condo in Phuket then you have to consider if your unit and the building is in compliance with these rules and regulations. The Kathu District Office does have an engineer to come out and check the property which is going to be built or already built. These are all part of construction law in Thailand.

The only problem that you might encounter is when the top of the house of the top of the building is higher than 80 meters above sea level. As an example, a wall builds 80 meters on a hill would be breaking the rules and property regulations. Also, check the height of your building in Phuket. The Patong Municipality monitors construction in Phuket. You can contact our property lawyer in Thailand to speak about the building regulations Thailand.

Height Restriction Examples

It gets even more complicated depending on how far you are from the beach. The laws changed in or during 1997 and were issued by the Ministry of Science on building heights. They made the following rules with regards to height and distance from the beach (high tide mark):

  • – Area 1: 50 meters inland, the maximum height is 6 meters;
  • – Also Area 2: 50 meters inland to 200 meters the maximum height 12 meters;
  • – Area 3: 200 meters to 400 meters the maximum height is 16 meters;
  • – Anywhere else, the maximum height is 23 meters.

This ensures that the beach still has a view as you are not allowed to build tall buildings close to the beach. Speak to our property lawyer in Phuket for more information and assistance with the property zone restrictions.

If you are going to buy off-plan then consider using a reputable property developer in Thailand. You can see where have listed a topic on the property developers in Thailand as well as how to complete the international money transfer when buying property. With building restrictions in Thailand, you will also need to understand how to convert land measurements in Thailand as well as restrictions with the servitudes in Thailand. Buying property needs you to check the building restrictions with a due diligence in Thailand.

Building your own Home in Thailand

If you are going to build your own home in Thailand then you will also need to know what the building regulations are. You will need a construction permit for Thailand. Most small builders will be able to assist you with this. some place the property in the name of their Thai wife. Others take the safer option and place the land in their wife’s name. While the building is in their name with superficies. This has to be registered against the title deed of the property. You will also need to look at land ownership in Thailand is you are looking at land.

Firstly you are going to need a building permit. These are part of the building regulations in Thailand. You are going to need to apply for this or your builder will do this for you in his own name. It takes about 3 weeks or 20 days to obtain the building permit for a house. If you are going to build a commercial building then it takes 33 days to obtain it. These are standard times, but if there are changes made then it will extend the time. 

You will need a building permit to build, demolish or to alter any building in Thailand. Depending on where in Thailand you live the times and rules might differ. You will need to supply a plan for your building. For homes this will differ. Some will require proper architectural blueprints while others might take the drawings of a draftsman.  These need to be submitted to the local municipality for approval. This will allow them to ensure that it complies with the Building Control Act. Normally as an owner builder the building licence will be in your name. See also the Certificate of Utilization on here when building a house.

In Conclusion

Note that building in the rural areas of Thailand does come with its own issues. Many expats have spend money on having to raise the land as the land use to be rice planting fields. This does come with some cost however there are always people available who does this for a living. Some homes have been raised by 2 meters out of a paddy field to reach the road. There is also going to be the quality of building materials as well as the labour cost. The structural engineering cost in Thailand however is low compared to the West. 

The building permit will normally be issues in 20 days for a house or 33 days for a commercial building. These days do not include the days used to make the amendments or changes to the plan during the process which you had to make.

You require a building permit in Thailand for construction of a new building, altering an existing building, demolition or relocation or usage change of a building. Entrances and exists would be the same as well as changing the parking.

The building permit in Thailand is a licence issued by the Local Municipality which authorises the construction according to the plan submitted. This allows the officials to enforce the requirements of the Building Control Act. If you are building your house as a foreigner then the permit should be in your name.


If you have any questions then speak to us online about construction regulations in Thailand.

The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.