Can a foreigner own a property in Thailand
Can a foreigner own a property in Thailand?
Thailand has set in place certain restrictions when it comes to any non-Thai national owning a property or area of land. In a simple answer, no a foreigner cannot own a property in Thailand.
However, having said that there are ways that a foreigner can purchase a property here in Thailand. There is the option to lease land on a 30 years lease. Alternatively, a foreigner can set up a Limited Company. Please note this article only relates to houses as condominiums are under a different guideline. Condominiums can be owned by a foreigner providing at least fifty-one per cent of the building is owned by Thai nationals.
In Thailand, the law stipulates that a foreigner can lease land for a period not extending 30 years. Leasing land is not a common practice unless the foreigner is married to a Thai lady. What then happens is the Thai lady can purchase the land as she is a Thai citizen. Then she can form a Lease Agreement with her foreign husband. Yes, this can cause problems, later on, should the marriage dissolve, but it is an option. Aside from marriage, there are lease options available and cannot be dismissed if you are serious about building your own home.
It cannot be stressed enough, that any foreigner who wishes to enter into a Lease Agreement, even if it is with his wife, must get the document thoroughly checked by a competent lawyer. There doesn’t want to be any hidden surprises awaiting you at the time when it matters most.
Purchasing land as a Foreigner using a Limited Company.
As stated earlier, a foreigner can set up a Thai Limited Company. It is not as daunting as it seems to do this and is an option many foreigners opt for. Again there are certain restrictions imposed on the legality of the Company. As a foreigner, you are not permitted to hold half or more than fifty-one per cent of the company’s shares. In similar to condominiums, the company has to have a fifty-one per cent Thai ownership. So what generally happens in the company is formed and paperwork completed, then the Thai nationals who are registered in your company sign their company rights over to the foreigner. As much as this is a widespread practice, please be aware that Thailand Immigration offices are aware of this and will be putting you on the watch list. This doesn’t mean anything in general terms as long as you accurately maintain your company as set out by the Thailand authorities.
Land titles have many different factors affecting which title is assigned to the plot of land you are interested in. Factors such as location or if it is available for a foreigner to lease. The land title that can be leased are called Nor Sor Saam, Nor Sor Saam Gor and Chanot.
What does it cost to buy a property in Thailand?
Before you consider buying a property make sure you get a competent lawyer, who is suitably qualified to deal with property contracts. These can be at times very complex so you must ensure you have taken every step to ensure what agreement you are entering into is legal and above board.
In most cases you pay a deposit, this is generally around ten per cent of the property value. This effectively takes the property off the market until your sale is complete. The contract must be signed in full by all parties involved at the Land Department Office. You will be required to bring with you your Passport or ID Card, House Registration Document (called Tabien Baan), Marriage Certificate (if applicable) and if you are acting on behalf of someone else you will need to bring your Power of Attorney.
Property tax is levied on the property and will vary between three and eight per cent. There is no Capital Gains Tax in Thailand, however, should you decide to sell your property within five years from the date of purchase you will have to pay income-tax. This again will vary from one to three per cent depending on how long you have owned your property.
This article is accurate at the time of publishing, please make certain to check with a Lawyer for any changes that may have been made to the Law since this article was published.