Advice for foreigners when buying real                                       Home  

If you are a foreigner or you have a foreign friend, you may wonder if a foreigner can legally purchase real estate in Thailand. Buying a property in Thailand is nothing overly complicated; however, before you start, you need to fully understand the laws and regulations governing foreign land ownership in Thailand. To be concise, pursuant to Thai laws and regulations, foreign land ownership is prohibited, except those who invest at least 40 million Baht in the country is entitled to buy up to 1 rai of land for residential purpose with prior approval from Minister of Interior.

However, these legal conditions do not include condominium ownership. Foreigners eligible to own condominiums are those holding a residence permit under Thai Immigration Law;
or 
A natural or a juristic entity with permission to enter the country, pursuant to Law on Investment Promotion;
or 
A natural or a juristic entity, considered as a foreign company under Thai law, and remitting a foreign currency into Thailand. According to the condominium act, foreigners or a foreign legal entity can acquire up to, but not exceeding 49% of a condominium block.

Therefore, if you are eligible according to one of these conditions, you are fully entitled to own a condominium. One thing to remember, though, is that the money used to acquire the said property has to be transferred from a foreign bank to a Thai bank. Said deposit must have an official receipt and a certificate from the bank for the purpose of money laundering prevention. Moreover, under Thai law, foreigners are allowed to buy or own a property through different methods:

Thai spouse. You can buy it using your Thai spouses name. However, the ownership of said property will be of the Thai spouse.

Leasing. The maximum duration of a lease is 30 years, renewable for two additional terms if contractually agreed.

Corporate ownership with Thai partners. A maximum 49& of the shares may be owned by foreign shareholders. Said property will be purchased by the company, with you being a director. Please note here that the company is the legal owner of that property.

With several options to fit your need, acquiring real in Thailand is not difficult at all for foreigners. We often heard a foreigner with a Thai wife or girlfriend is tricked into buying a house or a piece of land, with the wifes or girlfriends name as the owner. If the transaction is paid by cash, and the relationship has ended without them being legally married, the foreign national will have no right regarding the ownership. One way of preventing this to happen can be through a long-term leasing agreement, for example, a 30-year lease agreement for the use of the house, making it possible for the right of long-term usufruct of that property, although without full ownership. With this long-term lease agreement, the property cannot be sold.