Bangkok is home to many non-Thai expats who reside in the Kingdom of Thailand on a permanent basis. For people living an expat lifestyle in Thailand, the issue of home ownership is of great importance as the government of Thailand places many restrictions on property rights for foreigners. Navigating the Thai property regulations can be difficult. After reading this hopefully the reader will come away with a slightly deeper knowledge of the legal issues surrounding Thai Real Estate.
Obtaining Real Estate or Property in Thailand
In order to stay in Thailand for the long term many people opt to buy Thai Real Estate. Owning a home in Thailand can be a bit of a risky enterprise since Thailand has many laws that preclude foreign ownership of land. However, there are some ways in which a non-Thai can own or control Thai property.
Condos in Thailand are a popular choice for many expats. The Law of Thailand permits a foreign national ownership of a Condo in Thailand so long as it meets the definition of “condo” as set forth in the Condominium Act of Thailand.
Thai Real Estate Lease
A long term lease of Thai Real Estate is another attractive option to many prospective foreign Property owners in Thailand. However, there is some misunderstanding regarding Thai leases. Certain people are of the opinion that a lease in Thailand can be drafted to automatically renew and can be drafted for a longer duration than 30 years, however this belief is not based upon the actual law.
A usufruct of Thai property is another possibility. This instrument is similar to a life estate future interest as seen in some common law jurisdictions as a Thai usufruct entitles the holder to lifetime use of the land. There are many formalities that must be kept in mind when drafting a usufruct which is why it is advisable to have a lawyer prepare a usufruct.
Thai Company Formation for Property Ownership
Another method of “owning” property in Thailand is having a Thai company own the property and have a disproportionate number of voting shares allotted to the non-Thai property “owner,” this method allows a non-Thai to keep control of the property while still adhering to Thai law.
For interesting insights regarding Thai Real Estate and Property Legal issues please see: http://hubpages.com/hub/Buying-Property-or-Real-Estate-in-Thailand
Jurisprudence in Thailand is complicated, multi-faceted, and at times down right byzantine. All legal structures set up for the purpose of land ownership should be handled by a licensed legal professional with a license in the jurisdiction in which the property is situated, this is necessary to make certain that the structure is executed in compliance with local law.