Thai Property: Easements, Servitudes, or Right of Ways

Due diligence is important to confirm all of the material facts in the purchase of the property. The most important is an actual physical inspection of the property through an independent surveyor. The legal documents relating to land or property in Thailand may be wrong.

It is important to ensure that the title deed accurately reflects the actual boundaries of the property. The buyer has to ascertain if the land is connected to a public road and if the boundaries of the land are clear. In addition, it is important to review the local zoning ordinances and review what will be built in the nearby land parcels. Property that is landlocked without proper access to a road will have greatly diminished value without an easement, servitude, or a right of way.

What is an Easement, Servitude, or Right of Way?

Section 1349 of the Civil and Commercial Code governs the Thai legal right to a “right of way.” Under this section, the owner of a piece of landlocked property with no access to a public road may pass over a surrounding land to reach a public road. The place and manner of the pass over must cause as little damage as possible and the person creating the passage must compensate the landowner for any damage that occurred. The compensations can be made through annual payments.

See also the Servitudes in Thailand Law here.

The legal right to a “right of way” is a blunt instrument that may generate more problems with neighbors than it solves. Most people do not like using the law to force a passage through their neighbor’s land. There can be issues as to whether the passage minimizes the damage and the amount of compensation. In addition, there may be general animosity created by forcing a path through the neighbor’s property.

Most neighbors seek an agreed servitude as a flexible and legally enforceable method of solving the issue. Servitudes are covered in Section 1387 of the Civil and Commercial Code. A servitude is a non-possessory interest in land which is part of the property. Servitudes are generally agreements or covenants between landowners which provides rights to one party and duty to another party. Servitudes can cover many subjects including building restrictions, development rights, or injunctions for certain uses.

One of the most common forms of servitude is an easement. An easement is the right to enter onto the property of another with possessing it. An easement allows landlocked property owners a right of way to a public road. Easements need to be registered with the local government land office and compensation must be stated in the agreement. If there is no compensation stated, a fee of 50 baht per plot of land will be assumed by the government land office.

Servitudes, easements, and legal right of ways may diminish the property value of the burdened property owner. It is important to review the property records to determine whether there are restrictions or duties that are imposed with the purchase of the property. The cost of these restrictions must be incorporated into the purchase price of the property. Seek the assistance of a knowledgeable Thai property attorney prior to purchasing property in Thailand. Our firm can guide you through the legal process. Please contact us for more information.

 

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Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.