1.REAL ESTATE OWNERSHIP BY FOREIGNERS
Foreigners may not own land in Thailand.
Foreigners can own condominiums in the proportion of not more than 49% of the total building area.
Foreigners who are married to Thai nationals can buy land, however this must be the name of a Thai spouse only.
There are 3 types of real estate that foreigners can own which are:
- Non-floor building (Buy only room)
- All types of land and buildings that have been registered for long-term leases of more than 30 years
By owning the 3 types of property mentioned above for foreigners, can be classified as follows:
Foreigners may own an apartment unit in a building registered and licensed under the Thailand Condominium, which among others puts a limit on foreign ownership in a condo building and not more than 49% of all units in a condo project can be foreign owned. In accordance with one of the following criteria:
- Foreigners who are licensed to have residence in Thailand under the law on immigration or;
- Foreigners who are allowed to enter to Thailand under the law on investment promotion (Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520, Section 25 and Section 29) or;
- Foreign juristic persons (Having more than 49% foreign shareholders) who are registered as a juristic person under Thai law or;
- Foreign juristic persons Which has received investment promotion certificate (BOI) under the law on investment promotion.
- Foreigners who are buying must request a certificate of proportion of foreigners from Condominium juristic persons for registration of ownership transfer at the Department of Lands.
- Foreigner must transfer the funds to pay for the unit from overseas, coming into Thailand as foreign currency. Foreign purchasers need to obtain a “Foreign Exchange Transaction Form” certificate for each payment from the beneficiary bank, and all these certificates must be shown to the Land Department in order to register the condominium.
- Foreigners have Permanent Resident status in Thailand do not need to transfer funds from overseas.
Home and Land
Under Thai land laws only Thai nationals are allowed to own land or have a confirmed right of possession of land. Foreigners may not own land unless there is a treaty or exemption allowing the foreigner to own land in Thailand or in the following cases:
- Married to Thai nationals able to use spouse's name when buying a house / land, However, the money used to buy a house / land must be the Personal property of Thai nationals. (Foreigners cannot truly own land because the name of the ownership is the name of a Thai spouse.)
- Entering long-term lease agreements that The lease Agreement can be for a period of more than 30 years but not more than 50 years, which the tenant and the lessor may agree to extend the lease for a further not more than 50 years. (Although this method is not actually the owner, but still has the right to possess, maintain and use the property)
- Establishing a Thai company - Establish a company in which foreigners hold no more than 49% of the total shares and another 51% are held by Thai nationals or juristic persons. (In this way, foreigners, as directors, can control the votes of other shareholders and can also control ownership of land as well.)
- A foreigner who qualifies under section 96 bis of the Land Code Act may own up to 1600 square meters (or 1 rai) of land for residential purposes in specified areas. Foreign land ownership under section 96 bis among other requires an investment of not less than 40 million Baht in by the BOI approved Thai bonds and assets which must be beneficial to Thai economy and requires approval by the Minister of Interior. If granted foreign land ownership under this exemption is limited to the life of the person granted the right to own the land (not transferable, not inheritable). Permission for foreign land ownership under section 96 bis Land Code Act is rarely applied for or granted.
- Accepting land transfers through various types of laws as provided by the government in order to promote foreign investment.