Living in Thailand | cost of living | visa thailand

Rent Or Buy A House In Thailand

A lot of foreigners who come to stay in Thailand for longer have a strange tendency to buy land and/or houses in Thailand. This could be for many reason:

  • It's cheaper than at your home country, where you could not afford to buy.
  • You want to tell anybody at home, that you own land or house in Thailand
  • You want to make a business with buying and selling the land or house
  • Your (Thai) girlfriend forces you to buy or build her a house.

You might have already heard about the Thai law, that a foreigner can not own land in Thailand but you are wondering why some other foreigners obviously still do. Well, please note that even the national Anthem says, that "every single piece of land in Thailand belongs to Thais."

As a foreigner in Thailand you can:

  • Buy a unit in a condominium
  • Rent a piece of land for 30 Years from the Thai Owner and have that contract registered at the "Land Office" at the local municipal hall. Rental contracts without registration are only valid for up to 3 years. So if you would make a contract over 30 years without registration, the Thai owner will probably claim his land back after 3 years and you have no right at all on it.
    Now, the problem on this registration of the contract is, that the land owner will have to pay a tax for that at the time of registration and Thais don't like to pay taxes. So it's most likely that you will be the one to pay the tax for that business instead of the Thai owner.
    You should ask a law office specialized on this sort of contract to handle that for you and have the right terms in that contract. Do not agree on a local lawyer supplied by the land owner.
  • Buy a piece of land on the name of your Thai wife or girlfriend and make a rental contract with her, same as mentioned above, especially if you are the one who give the money for that land. Very important, that you contact a law office specialized on this. Usually the law offices in tourist places like Pattaya and Phuket have that sort of "water tight" contracts ready for you.
  • Form a Company (Co.LTD) and the company buys the land. This used to be a very common solution for many foreigners over the past years, especially for those foreigners who wanted to do some business with that land. Just a few month ago however, the Thai Government has released some new laws or regulations that from now on, every land deal with companies involved, must be checked if foreigners are shareholders in that company (who want to buy) and if, the land can not be registered on the name of that company anymore.
    There are still some real estate companies who are offering this sort of deal but I would Not recommend this.
  • Any land rental contract that should run over 3 years must be registered with the land office, otherwise it's useless!
  • Always make a rental contract with your Thai partner when you should buy land on his/her name.
  • Do not form a company just to buy a piece of land. There will be a lot of additional cost involved, such as taxes, accounting, yearly balance sheet and much more. Also, "sleeping companies of foreigners" are likely to be canceled in the near future.