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© Robin Ian Grant 2009

LEGAL SERVICES and INFORMATION




Legal & other services

Tel: (English) ++66 (0)806 707 036)






We offer the following services:


1 COMPANY FORMATION for land / house ownership or other objectives

2  Preparation of a THAI WILL in THAI and ENGLISH

3  Preparation of a LEASE agreement in ENGLISH and Thai

4  Preparation of a SALES CONTRACT in ENGLISH and THAI

5  Preparation of a LOAN AGREEMENT in ENGLISH and THAI
for use with company set up to provide extra security for Farrangs

VISA ASSISTANCE including Business "O" Retirement, work etc

VISA ASSISTANCE, USA, EUROPE for THAI wife or Girlfriend

NB ImportantALL the above are facilitated through our fully Qualified and registered Accountant and fully Qualified Lawyers
We are able to offer these services cheaper and much faster than the competition
especially, with regards to our Company set up sevice.

 
HOW TO OWN  LAND IN THAILAND

Acquiring property in Thailand is not as complicated as you have heard.  Foreigners are allowed to acquire a property in Thailand under certain circumstances.  Whether you plan a purchase of your holiday home on the coast, a retirement home outside your country, or a business establishment in a growing country , this report will guide you step-by-step of how you, as a foreigner, acquire a property in this beautiful country.  It provides answers to your questions concerning Thai Property Law, including steps to acquire land or condominium, property financing, tax aspects, Ten Common Problems of Buying Property, Frequently Asked Questions,
Land measurements in Thailand

In Thailand, Land is measured in Rai, Ngan and Wah.
1 Rai = 4 Ngan (or 1600 Sq.m.)
1Ngan = 100 Wah (or 400 Sq.m.)
1 Wah = 4 Sq.m.
1 Acre = 2.5 Rai
1 Hectare = 6.25 Rai

Land prices are usually expressed in Baht per Rai or Baht per Wah.  Condominium prices are usually expressed in Baht per Sq.m.


Process to Acquire Land

A.  How can a foreigner acquire a land in Thailand?

Though Thai Property Laws prohibit a foreigner from owning land in Thailand, there are four alternatives for a foreigner to acquire land, they are as follows:

1.  In a name of company :
A foreigner may own a land in a name of Thai company (at least 51% of shares are Thai and 49% are foreign). There are now modifications to this law, Call us for information

2.  Investment (BOI) : A foreigner who invests 40 million Baht for no less than 5 years, for some other purpose other than ownership or real estate itself, is entitled to buy up to one rai (1,600 square meters) of land for residential purposes.  Permission from the Ministry of Interior must be obtained.

3.  Married to a Thai :
In 1999, Thai property law, concerning a Thai whose spouse is foreign, was amended.  Such couple may now legally own a land in Thailand.  Nevertheless, the land must be registered under the name of the Thai spouse.  Further the foreign spouse must sign a declaration stating that the funds used to buy the land are given free of any entitlement by the foreigner.

4.  Lease : Leasing is one option for a foreigner to acquire land.  The maximum duration of a lease under Thai property law is 30 years, with a possibility to renew again  for a further 30 years if agreed.  This is the least complicated option for a foreigner to have a right of usage of land.  Any land lease over 3 years in duration must be by law registered at the Land Department.

5.  Structure Ownership :
A company or the Thai spouse of a foreigner may grant a Right of Superficies in favor of the foreigner, giving him the right to personally own all constructions situated on the land.  By using this right, a foreign individual can be registered as the owner of a house without owning the land.  The Right of Superficies can be conceded for a period of 30 years and can be renewed for another 30 years (but not automatically).

Before buying land, it is essential to conduct a  "Title Search".  Since there are different levels of land title deeds, it is recommended to verify with the Land Department the type of title deed of a land that you are interested and verify its legality.  This step provides more information about the land,  whether it is under any obligation etc. Due to a real estate boom in Thailand some counterfeit title deeds have been detected.  It is strongly recommended to conduct a "title search" to avoid any form of fraud.

B.  Categories of land title deed

Land title deeds in Thailand are divided into 4 categories as follows:

1.  Freehold Title Deed (Chanote or Nor Sor 4) :
This type of title grants the holder of this document the full rights over the land.  Thus, if you are planning to buy land in Thailand, this type of title deed is the best option.

2.  Nor Sor 3 Gor :
A land awaiting a full title deed is granted the document Nor Sor 3 Kor.  The land is measured by the Land Department; therefore, it has its exact boundaries.  The owner knows exactly what he owns.  This type of land may be sold, transferred, or mortgaged, as land with freehold title deed (Channote).  The owner of the land may file a petition to the Land Department demanding to change it to a full title deed (Chanote), and the Land Department may do so if there is no opposition made against the petition.

3.  Nor Sor 3 :
The difference between this type of land title deed and the previous one is that a land with Nor Sor 3 has not yet been measured by the Land Department; hence the land has no exact boundaries.  However, Nor Sor 3 may later be switched to a Nor Sor 3 Gor, then a freehold title deed (Chanote) in the future.

4.  Possessory Right :
This type of title deed is least recommended.  A land with a possessory right has never been substantiated by Department, but is only recognized by tax payments at the Local Administrative Office.

Although Thai Law stipulates that a foreigner may not own land in Thailand, there is an alternative step of owning a land in Thailand.  This involves registering a Thai Limited Company.  A Thai Limited Company means that 51% or more of the company must be owned by Thai Shareholders (the remaining shares maybe held by non-Thais.  This "Thai" company may then legally purchase land in Thailand.

We recommend  foreign investors to form a "Thai
Limited Company"  the Articles of Association of this form of Company can be varied to allow greater protection for foreign minority shareholders where majority Thai Ownership is required under the applicable Law.  The Articles of Association can be changed to authorize the foreigner to be the sole director of the company, and the only person of the company who can commit or bind the company in any contractual dealing (buying or selling land), effectively giving the minority shareholders control over the company.

By following the above procedures the foreigner can control the company, the company owns the land and there is no need for funds to be
recorded from overseas.


Common Problems of Buying Land in Thailand :

1) The Real Estate Industry is Unregulated :
Thailand has no regulations governing the real estate industry.  You have limited protection concerning real estate transactions.  You could be charged unreasonably high fees and commissions.  In the West, most agents provide full disclosure of fees and commissions.

2) "You don't need a lawyer, this is a standard contract" :
For your safeguard, have a specialized lawyer review the contract for you.  If you sign a document in Thai, it becomes a legally binding contract after you sign it.

3) Thailand issues four types of land titles : There are 4 types of land title deed available in Thailand: Freehold land title (Chanote), Nor Sor Sam Kor, Nor Sor Sam, and Sor Kor Nueng (rights of the owner decrease with each new option listed).  The best way is to buy land using the first option stated here, known as "Chanote."

4)Avoid making a deposit :
Never make any deposit without an agreement and a receipt, stating that such payment will be used as part payment of the price. 

5) Thai translations into English :
The possibility exists when the owner/developer provides two contracts: Thai and English, that the contents of the two contracts are different.

6) Condo Development over 49% foreign ownership :
Thai law allows foreigners to own 49% of the total space of all units in that condominium project.  Verify with a developer that your ownership in the project will not be over 49% total space of all the units of the project.

8) Not dealing with the owner, or owner's authorized agent, directly :
Always verify the originality of land title.  Fake land titles have been reported.  Also, there are those who try to sell land without having the legal right to do so.

9) Buying an incomplete condominium project :
A buyer should be aware that there are a number of projects, which have never been completed for different reasons.  Choose carefully a project and a developer.  Due Diligence is very important in your buying process.

10) Responsible party for fees and expenses at registration time :
Verify who is responsible for fees payable at the time of registration.  All fees are negotiable.  A skilled legal negotiator will help you to reduce your fee's.



 
 

 

 
 
NB This text is for reference only, you will find in practice the purchase process is quite simple when completed by your lawyer. Legal fee's are very reasonable  here in Thailand.

 
 

 
 
 
 

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