Buying a House or Villa in Thailand
Buying a House or Villa in Thailand? Thailand remains among the most attractive locations for real estate investments in Asia for foreign investors. It’s no surprise therefore that so many major property developers have been putting up projects from small, medium to high end type of properties all over the island. House and Villas is among those properties popular among foreign and local buyers looking for a form of investment and vacation home at the same time.
Buying a condo in Thailand by a foreign buyer can be a little difficult owing to the fact that foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. In short, the foreigner can only own the building on the land. But, of course, there several legal avenues are made available by the Thai government so that a foreigner may be able to own both land and structure upon it.
These are as follows:
Set Up a Thai Company to purchase the property – A majority Thai owned company can own a landed property freehold so this can be an option for a foreigner who is looking forward to owning both house and lot. The only issue here is the maintenance of the Thai company and of course, the issue about company control. However, these seem to be minimal concerns as they can in fact be taken care of with the help of a lawyer who can advise you on how to structure your Thai company best.
Enter in to a long term leasehold agreement with the land lord – You can rent the land for 30 years with the option to renew it for another 30 years subject to agreement between you and the land lord.
Habitation rights i.e. Usufruct & Superficies – Any of these rights can be registered at the Land Office through the initiative of the land owner conferring rights to the foreign beneficiary to use and develop the land. Both rights are time bound (lifetime of the rights and death of the beneficiary) but the difference lies in the fact that Superficies is transferable via Thai lease while the usufruct is not. It ends upon the end of the contract or the demise of the usufructuary.
Buying land through your Thai Spouse – a landed property in Thailand can be bought through your Thai wife. A declaration stating that funds used for the property purchase is a personal gift to the Thai spouse shall be made by the foreign spouse at the Land Office. The foreign husband consequently will have no legal claims to the land in the event of divorce as the property will not be classified as a conjugal property despite being bought during marriage. It is suggested that an agreement be drawn by the Thai spouse and the foreigner or a usufruct or superficies rights be registered to protect the foreign spouse’s interests on the property.
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