Thai Property Law is determined by the Thai Civil & Commercial Code. Typically there are a lot of different types of contracts which facilitate the transfer, sale and dealing with property and therefore a competent property lawyer needs to be conversant with these various types of contract and instruments affecting the ownership and use of property.
At Diamond Russell Lawyers we are very conversant with such matters as our senior legal counsel, Phuangphet Hall obtained an honours distinction in Property Law and our associate legal administrator Russell Hall is a former licenced Australian real estate agent with sound knowledge of property matters and relevant contracts and agreements dealing with property.
In Thailand, there are specific restrictions with regards to foreigners owning property (i.e. real estate/land) because only a Thai national citizen or a Thai corporation can own Thai land. There is the exception to that of condominium ownership which is basically a right to legal possession of a residence within a construction built upon land which is owned by a Thai national or a Thai owned company with predominant Thai shareholding. However, there are ways in which a foreigner can enjoy virtual ownership of joint property with a Thai partner (usually a spouse) by registering a usufruct agreement which gives the foreign spouse the legal right to occupy the land for the duration of the foreigner’s lifetime.
Although it is technically possible for a foreigner to form a company which could then own land, this is not actually a permissible purpose for a foreign interest company in Thailand and in circumstances where it could be proven that a company had been established for the purpose of purchasing/owning a single property (such as a family dwelling) then that company could face deregistration and forced sale of the property asset owned by the company.
Each situation is different, as are the objectives of various clients. If you are a foreigner wishing to invest in Thai property (whether for family purposes or just for investment), you would be well advised to first seek proficient legal advice to ensure that you use a lawful method before parting with your valuable cash resources. Diamond Russell Lawyers are at your service and ready to support you in your Thai property ownership objectives. Please call us to discuss your interest and/or situation at your convenience.
If you have any need for assistance in any property matter from acquisition to selling, leasing, financing, use, disputes or settlement, please feel welcome to contact us to discuss how with can help you achieve your objectives.
Here are some areas of Property Law with which we can be of assistance:
Contracts of Sale
When selling a home or property in Thailand, there tends to be little by way of a legal contract to facilitate the sale. This is probably due to the cultural tradition of verbal agreements and often quick transactions and transfer of title which can be arranged by a simple meeting at the land department. Surprisingly, even a lot of “professional” real estate agents do not place sufficient emphasis on the importance of having a written contract of sale and to ensuring that the appropriate provisions are included.
At Diamond Russell Lawyers we can ensure that your contracts for sale of real estate property (land + buildings) are correctly constructed and including the appropriate provisions and conditions of sale. Our contracts are principally constructed in Thai language but also include the translated English version so that any English speaking foreign parties with an interest in the sale can fully understand the contract with all its provisions.
When buying or selling a Thai real estate property, it is important to make sure that the transfer is conducted in a fully lawful manner so that the transfer can be relied upon as being legitimate and without later issues arising. This is where an experienced lawyer comes into play as being very advantageous as all of the documentation and protocols can be attended to professionally and reliably.
Often finance will be required to purchase a property. Having a lawyer to review any finance contracts makes good sense. In some cases where a foreigner is providing finance for a family purchase, a finance agreement might be considered. However, there can be legal restrictions to doing that type of thing and therefore it would be highly advisable to seek the assistance of a Thai lawyer to give an opinion and also facilitate any financing of property in a lawful manner.
Lease agreements tend to fall into the same category as sales agreements in Thailand in as much as they are generally quite casually done and often the appropriate provisions to protect both landlord and tenant are not included and that often causes some uncomfortable and potentially damaging issues.
At Diamond Russell Lawyers we can assist you with the creation of suitable lease agreements for both residential and commercial property. This can be beneficial to a property owner/landlord to be able to use when entering into a lease agreement with a tenant, or it can also be very useful for a tenant taking out a property lease where a verbal agreement -(perhaps including an inadequate and over-simplified lease document) has been given but where the tenant requires a more comprehensive and clear lease agreement (often landlords will agree to a lease agreement offered by a prospective tenant subject to revision and approval).
Sometimes a dispute can arise between sellers and buyers of property or landlords and tenants. This, in fact, tends to be quite common where foreigners are involved as there are cultural differences as well as differences in understanding and often ambiguous or non-existant sales or lease contracts/agreements in place. At these times it can be highly beneficial to call upon and experienced lawyer and mediator to assist in the process of dispute resolution prior to the matter escalating into something more serious and/or requiring the matter going to court. At Diamond Russell Lawyers we have the experience and skill to assist any clients with any matters of dispute resolution.