Foreigners are allowed to have freehold ownership of condominiums and condominium units. However, they are not allowed to purchase land although they can own buildings and structures. One common method employed to purchase land is by first setting up a Thai limited company and then buying a piece of real estate in its name.
For many, this option is not only costly and time-consuming but it also involves a complicated process of getting around a maze of legal structures. Leasing real estate in Bangkok and Phuket is the most practical way for a foreigner to have one’s own piece of Thailand.
The maximum lease term is 30 years with an option to renew for another 30 years at the end of the first term. During the period covered a foreigner can have a home constructed in his name on the property under lease. On the other hand, a foreign company may lease a piece of land for 50 years and have commercial and industrial structures built on it. Although leasing Thailand real estate has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks. For one thing, the land remains to be technically the property of the lessor. Even if an extension has been previously agreed on, a lessor can choose not to honor it. Another ugly possibility is that an unscrupulous lessor can draw up and register a leasehold agreement that binds the lessor for his entire life without him knowing it. Lastly, upon the death of the lessee, the leasehold agreement ceases to be valid. These are just three of the several potential problems a foreign lessee needs to be wary of. Because there is a lot of money at stake, those considering this option are strongly advised to seek professional legal assistance before entering into any real estate transaction.
Siam Legal International is a highly reputable firm that is known for providing excellent legal services to foreigners in Pattaya and Phuket and in other important cities in Thailand. Our Thai lawyers are well-versed in Thai real property law and are backed by years of experience helping foreign individuals and companies obtain risk-free leases on real estate properties throughout Thailand.