Real Estate


Foreigners own 100 million rai

Some 100 million rai of Thai land is owned by foreigners, mostly through their Thai spouses or nominees, Auditor-General Sriracha Charoenpanit revealed yesterday. He said if this situation was unsolved, it could lead to later generations of Thais having no land to live on. Sriracha told a seminar yesterday on concealed juristic acts that threats to national security came from: firstly, drug problems ruining people, and secondly, the lack of land for future generations, as foreigners now owned a third of Thai land - about 100 million rai.

Report says land grab rife in tourist spots.

About 90% of beach land in Phuket is controlled by foreigners through Thai nominees, a leading research body has found. A similar situation exists in other prime tourism destinations in provinces such as Chiang Mai and Rayong.

Housing and condo developments in Thailand

There are two types of property developments in Thailand:

  1. the official government licensed condominium and housing projects and
  2. the private property housing and apartment developments.

The official government licensed condo and larger housing developments seem somewhat safer because there is government control and these developments must have obtained various licenses and approvals. In addition the sale contracts must comply with minimum contract standards (sample regulation and sample news article) and consumer protection laws. The standard sale contracts must comply with ministerial regulations and are approved as part of the licensing procedure of the project. It offers some protection and guarantee for the freehold purchasers in these developments.

Foreigners warned on land

Source Bangkokpost January 29 2007

Foreign investors holding property through shell companies using Thai nominees have been warned to restructure their holdings or face prosecution. ''Foreigners using shell companies to buy housing across the country are violating two laws. One, the Land Act that forbids foreigners from holding land and two, the Foreign Business Act by using nominee structures. I recommend that they restructure,'' Commerce Minister Krirk-krai Jirapaet told foreign journalists at a dinner talk on Friday. Under Thai law, he pointed out, foreigners can only own land if they have businesses promoted by the Board of Investment, under the Industrial Estate Act or with written permission from the Interior Ministry.

How long has the developer been developing properties in Thailand? Recent investigations showed that almost all developers in Samui advertising property in magazines and on websites were not licensed and evade the law by setting up local companies with Thai nationals acting as nominees. Is the whole project supported by a Thai Bank? Who is financing the whole project?

Controversial land plan reborn

Published (BangkokPost): 19/01/2009 at 11:18 AM

Fifteen years ago, then the Democrat-led government was forced to dissolve the House after it was humiliated by the Opposition in the parliament over abuses of power in the sor por kor 4-01 land scheme. Today, it wants to resurrect the same programme.

The spectre of the sor por kor 4-01 land reform scandal which toppled the Democrat-led government back in 1984 is returning to haunt the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. This time around however the government appears determined to revive the controversial land reform programme and to recoup its bad name in association with the land reform scheme.

Buying real estate in Thailand

Thailand condominium acquisition and conveyance costs, tax and fees

When ownership of a condominium apartment in Thailand is transferred taxes and fees are collected at the time of transfer by the land offices where the transfer of ownership takes place. Transfer of ownership of a condominium unit in Thailand is subject to the following government fees and taxes:

Thailand real estate laws basics

THAI LAND LAWS restrict foreigners from owning land in Thailand and Thai laws in general limits foreign property ownership in Thailand. Buying real estate in Thailand follows a different legal process than buying realty in a country offering outright property ownership for foreigners. Property laws in Thailand are straightforward (foreigners cannot own land) but sales structures aimed at foreigners are often complex and confusing. Real estate in Thailand can legally be divided into the following objects:

  • Apartments registered under the Condominium Act of Thailand
  • Apartments NOT registered unde the Condominium Act
  • Land
  • House
  • Land and house

Real estate rights

Property rights under Thai law to obtain ownership or an interest in these real estate properties can be devided into:

Buying residential real estate in Thailand under a lease agreement

The importance of supplemental contracts

As foreigners are not permitted to own land in Thailand the standard contract under which property is sold to foreigners is a lease agreement. Residential leasehold housing and apartment projects in the tourist areas of Thailand often include service and maintenance agreements as an integral part of the lease agreement . These contracts could put an ongoing extra financial burden on the lessee for the duration of the lease that is often difficult to control or to get rit of. Lease contract structures aimed at foreign tourists often include contracts such as:

Thai off-plan condo purchase and escrow

Payment terms and risks when buying pre-construction

When an existing condo unit is sold by the owner the purchase price could be paid by cashier's check at the time of completion of transfer of ownership at the land office. A small deposit from the buyer could be asked by the seller at the time of signing the condo sale and purchase agreement. In the case of the sale of an off the plan condominium in Thailand a substantial part of the purchase price is often paid by the buyer to the developer prior to transfer of ownership and prior to completion of the condo or sometimes even before the work has started. The standard payment schedule in off-plan condo projects is: