Can a foreigner buy a house in Thailand?

Can foreigners legally buy houses in Thailand?  How does it work and what exactly are the rules?

Asked on 30th January 2017 in Thailand.
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Foreigners looking to buy a house within Thailand can follow a very simple investment process, which involves the choice of two options. The most favorable and the recommended way for foreigners to own houses in Thailand, is to go down the route of opting for a long term lease, which is automatically renewable.  Another popular method is to setup or buy an existing Thai company, to secure ownership of the house under a freehold structure.

Both structures have benefits and negatives. While the leasehold structure doesn’t obviously secure title ownership, long term leaseholds are incredibly common with foreigners buying property in Thailand and are also very secure. Long term leaseholds are commonly used when purchasing property in a modern residential development in Thailand. Whilst the  terms of such agreement will vary from one development or property to another, typically an initial leasehold will be taken out for a period of 30 years and can have an automatic renewal clause if structured correctly.

The second option which involves setting up a Thai Limited Liability Company  means  that the majority shareholder under Thai law would need to be a Thai national. An agreement would then be put in place that would result in the Thai entity handing over complete power of attorney to the foreign partner, which would then provide them with a significant degree of security in the venture, and in turn in the ownership of the property.

As with any real estate investment anywhere in the world, we recommend to seek good legal counsel to fully understand your options and ensure that you are legally protected.

Answered on 31st January 2017.
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