Usufruct in Thailand

Usufruct in Thailand. For foreigners drawn to Thailand’s vibrant lifestyle and investment opportunities, property ownership can be a complex issue. Land ownership by foreigners is restricted by Thai law. However, a concept called “usufruct” offers a compelling alternative to unlock property benefits.

What is a Usufruct?

In Thai, known as “Sidhi-kep-kin,” a usufruct grants the right to use and enjoy property owned by another person for a predetermined period. The usufructuary (the person receiving the right) can live in the property, rent it out, or even collect profits generated from it.

Key Points About Usufructs in Thailand

  • Temporary Right: Unlike ownership, a usufruct is not permanent. It’s established for a specific timeframe, often lasting for the lifetime of the usufructuary.
  • Obligations for the Usufructuary: While enjoying the property, the usufructuary is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. They must ensure the property is returned to the owner in a similar condition when the usufruct expires.
  • Restrictions on Usufructuary Rights: Usufructuaries cannot sell the property or the usufruct right itself. They also cannot alter the property’s structure significantly.

Benefits of Using a Usufruct

  • Access to Property Enjoyment: Foreigners can experience the benefits of property ownership, such as living in a desirable location or generating rental income.
  • Estate Planning Tool: A usufruct can be used for estate planning purposes, granting a surviving spouse continued use of a property after the owner’s passing.
  • Alternative to Ownership: For those hesitant about full property ownership or its complexities, a usufruct provides a viable option.

Things to Consider

  • Limited Control: The usufructuary doesn’t have complete control over the property like an owner. Significant renovations or alterations would require the owner’s consent.
  • Termination of Usufruct: The usufruct can terminate upon expiry of the set timeframe or the usufructuary’s death.
  • Legal Expertise Recommended: Consulting a Thai lawyer specializing in property law is crucial to ensure the usufruct agreement is drafted accurately and protects both parties involved.


While not a substitute for ownership, usufructs offer a valuable option for foreigners seeking to enjoy Thai property. By understanding the rights and limitations associated with usufructs, foreigners can leverage this concept to participate in Thailand’s property market and experience the benefits of owning a piece of the country.

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