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What are the rules for investing in property in Thailand

If you are interested in buying property in Thailand (or any foreign country) it is a good idea to check out the property laws regarding foreign investment in the country.

Buying real estate in Thailand can be hugely profitable, since the economic downfall, which has devastated most other countries, seems to have affected Thailand very, very marginally.

This page contains 5 helpful hints to bear in mind when considering purchasing property in this fantastic country.

  1. Foreigners cannot own land

No matter what you are told by a developer, estate agent or anybody else: no foreigner can own land in the Kingdom of Thailand. It is theoretically possible to own a building, but the land below it is not yours, making it even more possible for somebody to take the building from you! There are ways around this, but all hold some various element of risk.

  1. You may own a condominium

It is possible for foreigners to own condominiums, assuming the condominium block is majority owned by Thai people. In easy to understand terms; if a condominium block holds 100 apartments then 51 or more of them must be owned by Thais. This is easily worked around and usually is done so by the developers themselves. That said it is very important to get all of your legal documentation checked over by a trusted legal adviser prior to finalising any deal.

  1. Using a company

It is possible to use a Thai company to ‘own’ the property (land) on paper. Usually this is done by setting up a company, having the foreigner’s name down as a 49% shareholder with several other Thai people owning the remaining 51%. This means that the foreigner is always the majority shareholder.

This process, though, is wide open to abuse by the remaining partners, who – by being Thai nationals – are in a far better legal position than the one foreign shareholder. Aside from this, the whole process itself is not strictly legal. Have a good think before going down this route.

  1. Long-term leasehold………..

Probably the safest way to go about purchasing a property is by leasing the land on a long-term, renewable lease. This is usually done by ‘purchasing’ the land on a 30 year lease, with a clause in the contract that the leaseholder can renew the leasehold agreement. This process is used in many European countries in exactly the same way.

Whichever way you decide to proceed with your purchase of property in Thailand it is important that you have proper legal representation.

With all this in mind if you do go about your purchase in a sensible, cautious manner you could have a dream home and a great investment for a quite small amount of money.

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