Although buying a villa or house in your home country may also include the purchasing on the land where the house sits, there are restrictions to foreign ownership of land in Thailand. Currently, foreigners are not permitted to own land, but there are exceptions to this rule and historic ‘work arounds’ that provide some form of legal tenure, if not quite ‘ownership’ of land in Thailand.
A lawyer can help you understand and follow those exceptions in order to legitimise your purchase of land. For example, there are a few exceptions that are well-known and allow such a purchase to be completed:
- In the instance of a foreigner buying real estate in Thailand, the ownership of a house can be registered and transferred separately from the land where the house is built
- The transfer procedure must follow the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code
- The transfer has to be evidenced in writing
- The transfer must also be registered with the Land Department’s branch or provincial office.
The sale and transfer of ownership of an existing building, that is separate from the land, requires the current owner and buyer of the house to strictly adhere to the standard procedure detailed at the Land Office. If this is not done, the building will still be legally owned by the developer or a third party who owns the land.
Steps for buying a house in Thailand
Step 1: Finding a house
As foreign ‘ownership’ of real estate in Thailand has become increasingly popular, there are a few things to consider when buying a house or villa…
- Always make use of registered lawyers and reputable real estate agents in Thailand as they will provide reputable advice and protect your interests when acquiring real estate.
- Be aware that many of the issues that may arise when buying a house in Thailand can be avoided early on in the property search. Make sure to look into relevant regulations and pertinent laws.
You can check Samui widest range of properties for sale HERE.
Step 2: Setting up your Thai company
Once you have decided upon a house or villa to purchase, make sure to consult a lawyer before signing any documents. Remember that foreigners may not own a house in their own name; however, a Thai registered company in the foreigner’s name may own the house.
Thailand has different types of business entities, with the most commonly used being a Thai Limited Company. For American citizens, the Thailand Amity Treaty is also one way to legally own property. As there are many types of company structures that comply with Thai laws, it is best to consult your real estate agency and a qualified lawyer to find a company that best fits your situation.