Property in Thailand

Buying property in Thailand whether it’s a condo, a house/villa or a piece of land is fast becoming popular among foreign investors who would like to have a holiday home in Thailand or simply as a form of investment. 

The form of ownership can be either freehold or leasehold depending on the type of property to be purchased. Our law firm is experienced in assisting foreigners with their property purchase. Always take legal advice from our property lawyer in Thailand. There are a number of Thailand real estate lawyers but you will find better service with us. We understand real estate law in Thailand well and have many satisfied clients over the years. 

Buying Property in Thailand

If you are going to buy real estate in Thailand then you need to ensure that you understand the real estate laws as well as the procedures when buying. There are also property transfer costs as well as checking that the real estate is not encumbered by a mortgage bond, usufruct, servitude, superficies or that the zoning is incorrect. Most people will complete a due diligence before they purchase real estate.

Land ownership in Thailand is an issue since foreigners cannot own land in their own names. This without a large investment and only able to buy a small piece of land. Many opt for placing the land in the name of their Thai wife. This comes with its own dangers and you need to consult an attorney. This at a legal firm in Thailand for sage legal advice.

There are many options such as a usufruct which has become common with foreigners who try to protect their property rights in the event of a divorce in Thailand. A Bangkok law firm will be able to assist you in these circumstances. Always consider a Thailand law firm be it an expatriate or locally staffed Thailand law firm for assistance.

Buying a Condo

Buying a Condo

Buying a condo in Thailand is what most expats and foreigners buy in the country. There is a process for this property purchase.

Property Transfer

Speak to our property lawyer in Thailand first before you decide to buy real estate in Thailand as the Title Deeds  system is very complex.

If you are buying a condo then consider that land ownership in Thailand is very difficult. This is why most foreigners in Thailand settle and buy a condominium. Many do buy them in Pattaya, Chiang Mai as well as in Bangkok. Those who buy a house in Thailand in the name of their Thai wife tend to buy a villa or house in the rural areas of Thailand. The real estate law in Thailand is complex when we speak about foreign ownership. We are one of the best known expat real estate lawyers in Bangkok. Also ensure that you have completed a due diligence in Thailand before you buy. You can also see the property transfer process listed above. 

Property Transfer Taxes

Understand who pays which taxes in Thailand when buying property. You will need to understand what the real estate law in Thailand is.

Money Transfer for Property

When buying a condo in Thailand the transfer of the money has to conform to the 1991 Condominium Act. Ensure you understand property law.

Before you start the property transfer you are best advised to ensure that you have completed a due diligence in Thailand on the property. You will see here what the property taxes are on the transfer and how the money must be transferred from abroad. Always take advice from our real estate lawyer in Thailand as rules do change when you buy a condo in Thailand. See what the costs are for your transfer and who pays which taxes on transfer. There are a number of real estate lawyers in Bangkok and we are the most well-known law firm with expatriates. Understand land ownership in Thailand before you sign any documents. 

The title deed system has many options but a Chanote title for foreigners is what you will be looking for. Can foreigners buy property in Thailand? Yes.

Always perform your due diligence on any real estate before you buy. We offer due diligence services Pattaya as well as in the whole of Thailand. 

Land ownership in Thailand and the title deed system is complex. There are a number of title deeds and this is why a due diligence is warranted. Our real estate lawyer Thailand will be able to assist you with this. Most foreigners are aware of this title deed system and only buy a Chanote title deed for foreigners. This is similar to the title deed in your home country. There can also be title deed fraud and the due diligence will minimise this issue. Buying a house in Thailand is also difficult as foreigner may not really own land in Thailand unless they have made a huge government approved investment. The land after this is rather small. 

Building & Investing

Rental Agreements

Rental agreements are mostly verbal with a deposit for 1 month. Long term rentals have to be registered against the title deed of the property. 

Property Investment

If you want to buy a condo in Thailand for investment purposes then consult our real estate lawyer as to cost. See more details for investment above.

If you are going to invest in property, then take advice from a Bangkok property lawyer and talk to us now. Most large long term investments in Thailand tends to be in Bangkok. This mainly as the owners place the units onto the market as rental units. There is a small niche market for the high-end properties with large corporations and Embassies taking up these rental agreements. Most tend to buy mid-tier units also for the rental market or as a holiday home. Complete your due diligence before owning a condo in Thailand.

Property Developers

If you are buying a condo in Thailand then seek a reputable property developer. Thailand has many incomplete property developments. 

Building Restrictions

Property along the coast normally have height restrictions. If you enjoy your ocean view, you need to check that the area has height restrictions. 

If you are married to a Thai then the property rights are defined by the Civil and Commercial Code. There is also the Condominium Act in Thailand.

It is also very important to view property before you buy it. Some  discover too late that the condo is to closely zoned to an industrial estate. 

Foreigners buying property in Thailand is not uncommon however you need to do a due diligence. This can be done here with our real estate lawyers in Bangkok. In you are buying coastal property you will need to know if there are height restrictions. Pattaya had a case where a tall building was built between the residents and the beach view. Also check the property zoning to ensure you are not close to an industrial estate zone, that might be empty land now. Property developers are another issue and you are best advised to deal with credible property developers only. This especially if you are buying into a new development that is being sold off plan. 

Property Issues

Right of Habitation

Understand the right of habitation and how it affects you in Thailand. Read more online before you sign a sales agreement. 

Superficies

Many expats use a superficies in Thailand. The land is in the name of their Thai wife, while the building is in their names. 

Servitudes

Your due diligence by a property lawyer will reveal if there is a servitude across your property. This affects mainly those who use a superficies.

Usufructs

Talk to us about a usufruct. Many use this to ensure they can stay in a property bought in the name of their Thai wife. See what it entails. 

Most of the property issues can be avoided if a due diligence was done by a competent property lawyer. Many expats opt for a superficies, where their Thai wife owns the land and they own the building. Others prefer a usufruct, where their wife owns the property and they have a right to live in the property under a usufruct. You will need to decide this for yourself. Servitudes are rights registered over a property where the power cable run across your land as an example. 

Property in Thailand FAQ

CAN FOREIGNERS BUY A CONDOMINIUM UNIT IN THAILAND?

Yes you can buy a condominium unit in Thailand. Foreigners however are not allowed to own more than 49% of the units in the building. You will need to check if the unit can be registered in your name.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A FOREIGNER TO BUY A HOUSE IN THAILAND?

Foreigners are normally not allowed to own a house in Thailand. You cannot own land in Thailand however you can own the house on the land. The land may in the name of your Thai wife while the house is registered in your name. This is called registering a superficies.

HOW CAN I BUY A HOUSE IN THAILAND?

You cannot own a house in Thailand as foreigners cannot own land. You can however own the building or house on the land without owning the land itself.

CAN I BUY PROPERTY THROUGH A THAI COMPANY?

Yes you can however there are tax implications. If your are the director in the company who holds the property and you live in it, then you will be asked about your tax status while living in a company house as a benefit. This is a grey legal area in Thailand.

IS BUYING A CONDO IN THAILAND A GOOD INVESTMENT?

You will have to take proper investment advice when buying property in Thailand as an investment. The property market however changes and certain condo units have good returns while others have not. Good investments tend to be close to the mass transit system build by reputable developers.

CAN FOREIGNERS BUY LAND IN THAILAND?

No. You can only hold a leasehold agreement or usufruct over the land.