Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most common property and real estate questions that are asked in Thailand when it comes to buying or selling property in Thailand. If your question is not listed here then speak to us online for further advice and guidance. Call us now, speak to us online or walk into any of our offices in Thailand for attention.
Can a foreigner legally own a land in Thailand?
Normally, a foreigner cannot own land in Thailand; however, there are other alternatives exist for a foreigner to acquire land or property.
Am I allowed to own any structure on land?
Legally, any building is considered as being a part of land over which such building is constructed. However, a building may be considered as a separation part when it is a tenant of land who builds a building under a leasing agreement. Therefore, a foreigner may own any building on his rented land.
If your spouse is Thai, and you are planning to build a house on his/her land, you are recommended to sign a lease agreement with your spouse indicating that you are a tenant. This way, you shall have a joint ownership over such construction, not a land, together with your spouse.
How do I obtain construction permission?
Construction permission may be obtained at the Local Administration organization (Aor Bor Tor), or the Municipal Office, where your land is located. Structure Plans submitted shall be certified by an architect or an engineer. A building must have the specifications indicating in the permission.
My land was secretly transferred what are my rights?
Any unregistered action, with the Land Department, regarding a land is not recognized under Thai Property Law. You are a sole owner of the land.
What are the Thai laws regarding a land lease?
A land lease for duration of 3 years and more must be registered with the Land Department, and some fees must be paid. The maximum duration is 30 years, which may be renewable for another 30 years. In case the parties agree for a lease of 60 years (30 years with an option to renew for another 30 years), a deposit payment against the rent payable during the 2 nd part of contract shall be made at the same time a payment of 1 st half's deposit. The land title deed should be in possession of tenant to ensure his rights under an agreement. This sort of leasing agreement may become problematic in case a land passed on to a tenant's heirs.
What is a condominium under Thai law?
The Condominium Act (The Commonly-Owned Housing Act of 2522) defines a condominium as a building featuring privately-owned property and common property. The owners of condominium unit own the land through a juristic person of condominium.
Can a foreigner legally own a condominium unit in Thailand?
Any foreigner who has legally entered into Thailand may have a freehold ownership over a condominium unit, constructed on a land of less than 5 rai, of certain projects in municipal jurisdictions of the Kingdom, such as Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. However, condominium units owned by a foreigner shall not exceed 49% of the total space of the condominium project. Other restrictions are applicable. A non-Thai owner of a freehold condominium unit may transfer a property to other foreigners. If you wish to buy a condominium in Thailand, there are certain points of which you should be aware before choosing your new property:
- How much will monthly maintenance fees and charges be?
- How much are sinking funds? (For a use of common parts of condominium).
- Some condo units have never been finished, so consider carefully before buying.
- Verify that the total of foreign-owned units is no more than 49%.
Can I buy a property in Thailand at my absence?
Yes. A person wishing to buy a land, including a foreigner, may purchase a land without being present at the time of registration of ownership at the Land Department. This shall be done by appointing, by a power of attorney, a lawyer to act on your behalf.
Nevertheless, if you are married to a Thai, you, a foreign spouse of a Thai, is required to declare in a written agreement that a fund, of a purchase of land, is purely of your Thai spouse as her personal affair before marriage. This procedure may be done by signing such declaration abroad, and demand for a certification at the Consulate of Thailand in your country.
What are measurements using for land in Thailand?
In Thailand, Land is measured in Rai, Ngan and Wah.
- 1 Rai = 4 Ngan (or 1600 Sq.m.)
- 1 Ngan = 100 Wah (or 400 Sq.m.)
- 1 Wah = 4 Sq.m.
- 1 Acer = 2.5 Rai
- 1 Hectare = 6.25 Rai
Land prices are usually expressed in Baht per Rai or Baht per Wah. Condominium prices are usually expressed in Baht per sqm (square meter).
Can I legally rent out a property in Thailand?
Yes. A foreign-owned property may be rented out. Some banks may allow you to open an account to collect the rents. You, as a non-resident, must be aware that personal income tax shall be deducted from your income earning in Thailand.