Purchasing Property in Thailand
Are you wanting to buy a villa or condo in Thailand but are unsure of the process?
Great, your in the right place to learn the basics!
If after reading the below information you have any further questions about buying property in Thailand please drop by our Bangkok offices in Nana BTS station (map) or Thonglor and our friendly staff will be delighted to help.
Foreigners can not legally own land in Thailand (besides condominiums), but they can lease it if the seller agrees. The longest term of lease now is 30 years. There are 3 distinct ways foreigners may control property in Thailand, we recommend an initial consultation with us to decide which option best fits your needs.
- Company owned
Of these leasing is the most common legal method for foreigners to acquire property in Thailand.
Overview of Process
- Legal planning and research.
- Title deeds checking
- Property deposit payment
- Contract review
- Contract signing
Before you sign a deposit agreement or contract, you should sit down with a lawyer like AAA Legal to discuss the legal process and any local laws and regulations that may apply.. You need to be aware of the correct legal process in Thailand for the foreigner to acquire property. Don’t forget that you are spending some of your life savings to acquire this property therefore it would be sensible to plan everything in advance. AAA Legal Services offers free legal consultation to potential property buyers. You should get the legal facts of the property and contract laws in Thailand before you deposit any money.
Research Best Method of Ownership
In Thailand, foreigners may only own a condominium in his/her own name. If the foreigner wishes to acquire land and build a house, he/she should obtain a long term lease on the land, typically 90 years (registered 30 years initially and two renewals of 30 years each). You should apply for the construction permit to build the house in your own name which will mean you own the house and has a secured long term lease on the land. The lease is written with the option to reassign to another person (if you want to sell), plus the ability to sublease and with a purchase option (should the law change in the future to allow freehold ownership by the foreigner). A lease is the most common legal method for foreigners to acquire property in Thailand.
Title Deeds Checking
We check the title deed to make sure the person selling the property is the same as the listed owner on the Title deed. The title deeds search will trace the land to its first possession and will also verify the right to access to your property; provide the residential zoning, environmental and planning codes in the area and show any registered mortgage or liens on the land. At this point it is also a good idea to make sure that you can build on the land.
Property Deposit Payment
When are happy with the property, you will be asked to make a deposit to show your good faith to continue the process. In return, the seller will reserve the property for you and start the process by drafting the contracts for purchase. Unless you write specifically a “get-out” clause in the deposit agreement, for example “subject to clear title” or “subject to agreement on the contract terms,” the money deposited is non-refundable.
Review of contracts
Now you are ready to acquire the property upon verification of a clear title. The seller will have the contracts prepared for you. Since the seller will write the contracts, it is highly recommended that you have a lawyer or solicitor review the terms and conditions. First, you want protection for yourself should there be a delay in the property being built. A proper remedy should be stated in the contract. Second, the seller will state a penalty if you are late with your payment. Finally, your payment schedule should be reasonable and practical. Normally, a first payment is 25 percent. Typically payments are made on a progressive basis: 25 percent when the roof is on, 25 percent when the door and windows are secure; and 25 percent when the fixtures and fittings are completed.
It’s time to dot the i’s and sign on the dotted line. Pickup your key’s and kick back in your new home in Thailand!