Foreign Ownership of Real Estate Property
Definition of “Foreigner”
“Foreigner” or “Alien” refers to non-Thai individual and foreign juristic person (more than 49% of shares owned by foreigner)
“Real Estate” consists of land and the buildings on it as well as Condominium Unit.
The possession of real estate in Thailand can be either in the form of freehold or leasehold.
acquisition - Freehold
In accordance with the Land Code and other related rules and regulations, the foreigner can acquire real estate property by: - Investment The Land Code permits foreigner who invests in Thailand for the total amount of not less than THB 40 Million to be eligible to apply for acquisition of land for residential purpose with the size area of not more than 1 Rai, provided that prior permission from the Minister must also be obtained. The investment shall be under the conditions and requirements as follows:
- The type of business which the foreigner invests must be economically and socially benefits the country or invest in the business which is declared under the laws related to the investment promotion by the Board of Investment.
- The period of maintaining the investment must not be less than three years.
- The land that the foreigner may acquire shall be within the locality of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the City of Pattaya, Municipality, or the zone designated to be the residential area under the law related to city planning.
For the foreigner married to a Thai national who wishes to purchase real estate in Thailand, the foreigner and his/her Thai spouse are required to provide written consents to the officer that the money
used for purchasing real estate is the personal asset of the Thai spouse which is not the marriage or join property. Consequently, the purchased real estate will be considered as the personal property of the Thai spouse.
A foreigner may acquire the land ownership by inheritance as statutory heir or by will upon a permission of the Minister. However, the total plots of land shall not exceed 1 Rai per family.
In accordance with Condominium Act B.E 2522 any foreigner can buy and own a condominium within the foreign ownership quota which is 49% of the total size area of the condominium building.
The foreigner will be able to acquire a condominium unit by inheritance when the foreign ownership of such condominium does not exceed the foreign quota. However, if such condominium already has foreign ownership exceeding the quota, the foreigner who acquires the condominium will not be able to own the unit and must sell the unit within 1 year after the date of acquisition by inheritance, otherwise, the foreigner shall be forced to dispose or sell by auction and will be entitled to earn benefit from the selling after the deduction of all debts (if any).
Real Estate Property
Short-term lease refers to the lease for a period of not more than 3 years. There is no requirement to register the lease with the Land Department. However, written lease agreement is important in order to be legally enforceable.
Long-term lease granted for a lease period of over 3 years. This type of lease must be done in written and register with the Land Department in order for it to be enforceable, otherwise, the lease shall have legal binding between the parties for 3- year period only. The long-term lease can also refer to the lease of land for commercial and industrial purposes pursuant to the Commercial and Industrial Leasing Act B.E. 2542 which allows the maximum lease term for up to 30 years but not over 50 years with possibility to renew for another 30 years but not over 50 years for the type of commercial and industrial granted by laws.