Under Thailand law, any person can register any type of building in their own name, therefore a foreigner can own a structure (for example a house) built on the land and may register such ownership at the Amphur Land Office. Assurance of possession of land and house is certain by being the owner of the house. If arranged in this manner, then the house will be separate from the land, and will not be a component part under Civil Law.
Ownership of land by foreigners is on the other hand a different story, and is highly limited in the Kingdom of Thailand. It isn’t impossible for a foreigner to own freehold land, provided they abide by strict rules and fall within firm conditions, such as:
• Become a Thai Resident/Citizen
• Bring the money into the Kingdom for investment to the amount as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation, which shall be not less than Baht forty million.
• Apply for acquisition of land under other laws such as the Promotion of Investment Act, B.E. 2520 (1977), the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), the Petroleum Act, B.E. 2514 (1971).
• 30 Year lease with options
• Usufruct Interest (Sidhi-kep-kin) – gives you temporary ownership rights to things on or arising from the land.
• Limited Liability Company
In Thailand Land ownership, possession and use of land are under various types of tenure. The followings are examples which are frequently referred.
Title Deed or Chanodt (Nor Sor 4) is the ultimate certification of land ownership. Holders of the title deed have full rights to transfer or sell the properties.
Title deed must be registered at the Land Department in the province in which the land is located. A parcel of land may be held by several individuals. A person whose name appears on a title deed has the right to that land.
Nor Sor 3 is a governmental letter certifying utilization of a certain land plot by certain people, and that the plot of land has been surveyed and its official map created.
Nor Sor 3 A is similar to the Nor Sor 3 certification. The only difference is the map survey of the land plot which is based on an aerial photograph of the land.
A Title Deed is the only form of evidence that an individual actually owns the property or peace of land he is trying to sell. Title deeds are given only for areas of Thailand which have been surveyed. ‘Chanodt tee din’ are title deeds with land accurately surveyed and GPS plotted in relation to a national survey grid and marked by unique “numbered” marker post set in the ground. If you have a Chanodt tee din title deed, it gives you incontestable possession of the land. It is worth noting only approximately 15% of land is under this title.
When scouting around expect to find many land documents in the form of Nor Sor 3 or Nor Sor 3 Gor which are in the strictest interpretation of the law, certificates of land utilization. They are to all practical purposes equivalent to land title deeds because they allow the land to be sold, leased or mortgaged in the same way as land held under a Chanodt Title. The newer Nor Sor 3 Gor is in general a much more accurately surveyed title as each plot is crossed referenced to a master survey of the area and a corresponding aerial photograph. In conclusion Paradise City Property recommends that any foreigner wanting to buy land should consider only those held under a Chanodt or Nor Sor 3 Gor.
If you are offered any of the three following title deeds please be sure too have a lawyer advise you since they are not clear on size, position and in some cases ownership.
The ‘Sor Bor Kor’ is also a true title deed, accurately surveyed and pegged (like a Chanodt). They can be mortgaged and developed. But the big but is that they cannot be lease, sold or transferred.
Special attention needs to be given to the ‘Sor Kor Nung’, ‘Tor Bor Tor Hoc’ and ‘Tor Bor Tor Ha’. They are squatter’s rights registered at the district office for a small fee. Unlike the Chanodt and the Nor Sam Kor, they cannot be legally sold, nor can you build on the land.
Leases exceeding 3 years are required to be registered with the Land Department. Leases are limited to 30 years and a 30 year lease must be registered with the Land department. Most foreigners who ‘own’ a house, as opposed to condos, will have a leasehold agreement for the land of typically 30 years. A 30 year lease, depending on the terms and conditions within, should offer the right to sell, inherite and/ or transfer the property. The law allows a maximum of 30 years and a maximum of 3 leases (not exceeding 30 years) to be registered at one time.
Buying a condominium is perhaps the simplest and easiest option to own property in Thailand. Living in a condominium is quite comfortable in Thailand and in fact they are as a rule very luxurious. A condominium block in general has its own swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre and restaurant.
Condominium ownership is much more straightforward, you simply buy it in your own name. There is a law that stipulates that in the event that the livable space in a condominium block was to be more than 49% foreign owned you would have to revert back to the leasehold scenario. Once the opportunity in the percentage of foreign ownership becomes available you can have the condo/title transferred into your name
The above information is in no way meant to deter you from purchasing a property in Thailand much the opposite; it is a statement of fact. If you follow the rules and take due diligence it’s actually quite easy. At Paradise City Property we are here to assist you with your perspective purchase and will be there to help you every step of the way this is part of the personal service you are guaranteed when purchasing a property from Paradise City Property.
Of course buying property in Thailand will brings along legal papers much the same way as anywhere else in the world.
The taxes in Thailand are not comparable to the west. But currently Land Tax and Structures Usage Tax are claimed. The Land Tax levied on land is so miniscule that in practice the body charged to collect it, rarely bother to do so, and if they do, they usually wait several years until the amount is accumulated. The Structures Usage Tax relates to buildings and is collected by the municipal office or district office. It is only applied to properties used for commercial purposes.
On all purchase/ sale of property in Thailand there is a stamp Duty of 0.5%, a transfer fee of 0.01%, a business tax of 0.11% levied against and owner who has been in registered possession of the property less than 5 years, and Income Tax. There is no Capital Gains Tax in Thailand, unlike many countries, and Income Tax (usually between 1.0 and 3.0%) on property is the comparable replacement.
The information above is based on the educated opinion of Paradise City Property, we cannot however be held responsible for any losses incurred by using the above information. We would however like to point out that as mentioned before if you use due diligence and professional services your property purchase would be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.
Information provided by Paradise City Group