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Ownership of Real Estate of Foreigners

Word “foreigner” according to law will call alien which “alien” means ordinary person who does not have Thai nationality. And It means the juristic person which a law considers to be alien, for example a juristic person which alien is a shareholder more than 49%. Thus, owning real estate will has both person owning and juristic and can own following specify condition. Although how the real estate in Thailand is very popular for foreigner, Thailand did not allow foreigner to own freely. There is a legislation to restrict the right to own. Owning real estate in Thailand that we see currently can divide into land owning, condominium owning and real estate leasing.

“Land owning” first, actually nowadays foreigner cannot buy or be an owner except some exception by adding a land code of laws section 96-2 since 19 January 2002 “they specified alien to can purchase a land for living in Thailand not more than 1,600 square meter” the conditions are as following:

  1. Have to bring money to invest in Thailand not more than 40 million baht and maintain an investment not less than 5 years

  2. Have to get a permission from the minister of Ministry of Interior

  3. Have to bring money to invest in any kind of business, for example buying Thai bond, bank of Thailand bond and an investment in property fund.

  4. The acquisition of a right in a land by receiving heritage. Alien can receive heritage as statutory heir and a land which get heritage when combine with an exist land

  5. Purchasing via Thai spouse money that person who have Thai nationality brings to buy all of land is personal property of Thai person only not marriage property that they find together.

  6. An owning of alien juristic person which is limited company or public company which register already. There is a share which is register share include limited partnership, ordinary partnership , association ,  co-operative which have member and foundation The owning by alien is more than 49% of registration fund or shareholder is alien more than a half.

In part of owning condominium of foreigner that condominium is real estate as a top popular because law in Thailand let opens opportunities to foreigner can have ownership but have specify of limited holding ownership that means “Foreigner can own condominium in each place not over 49 % of the total area in that condominium” such as Condominium has 100 rooms, each room has 100 square meters. Total has 1,000 square meters. 

Foreigner can have ownership in condominium is 4,900 square meters that doesn’t consider the price of condominium but demanding condominium of foreigner especially in town and tourist town have so high exceeds the existing supply in market cause foreigner agrees to pay and buy in long-term leasing.

Next in part of leasing real estates of foreigner, Normally foreigner can lease real estate in Thailand that leasing is popular in foreigner group that needs resident in Thailand because is a convenient method that have not any regulation. Leasing of real estate has 2 types are    1. Leasing of real estate of foreigner by short-term leasing registering , Short-term leasing is leasing of real estate not over 3 years that this type is leasing that do not register leasing to officer that only have lease agreement between only “Lessee” and “Lessor”  2. Leasing of real estate of foreigner by long-term leasing registering is leasing over 3 years onwards. By long-term leasing besides lease agreement that have to register leasing at land office where that land is located as well and according law specifies duration of leasing is can lease not over 30 years and when lease agreement ends will can renew agreement not over 30 years since the day have renewed agreement.

Permitting of foreigner come to own on real estate is a method that the government used for method to promote investment . In Thailand in past that owning real estate of foreigner is very difficult because has matters of law that specifies to protect to buy up to speculate of foreigner. After that have changed matters of law that foreigner can own condominium and can lease real estate in long-term to promote and persuade foreigner to invest in our country that nowadays has foreigners come to Thailand to preempt real estates a lot. In owning a real estates ,we need have knowledge about owning a real estate of foreigner as well.


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