Thailand Property Ownership Explained
The increasing popularity of Hua Hin as a popular destination for both tourists and expats has given rise to the number of foreigners looking to buy villas and condos in the area.
Whether it is for investment, buying a holiday home or somewhere to live permanently, there is increasing demand from foreigners wanting to buy property in Hua Hin.
When buying property in any country, there are different laws and legalities that buyers should be aware of and abide by, and Thailand is certainly no exception.
Can foreigners buy property in Thailand?
Yes. It is 100% legally possible for a foreigner to buy property in Thailand. However, Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in their name.
The most common and convenient way for foreigners to own property in Thailand is through a legally recognized leasehold agreement.
Under Thai law, a foreigner can legally buy a house or villa in their name then lease the land it sits on for a maximum tenure of 30 years.
The 30 year lease can then be renewed or extended for two further periods of 30 years, giving a total of 90 years.
The lease is officially registered at the land office and will include Land Office, which further helps to protect your interest in the property.
More importantly, leases are still valid even upon the demise do the lessor, or in the event that the land itself is sold.
Leases can also include specific clauses, which you may deem favorable, such as an heir of succession clause, meaning they can be passed onto children, relatives or friends.
Buying an apartment or condominium as a foreigner
Buying a condominium unit freehold is among the most straightforward and popular forms of property ownership with foreigners and expats in Thailand.
This is because foreigners are able to legally purchase a freehold condominium unit, providing 51% of the total condominium units in the building are owned by Thai nationals.
It is generally considered one of the safest and easiest ways for foreigners to directly own a freehold title deed in Thailand.
Land title deeds
There are six different types of title deeds in Thailand. However, typically only 3 are mainly used with regards to foreigners buying the property.
Chanote Land Title (Nor Sor Gor 4 Jor)
This is the most secure and preferred option for foreign property buyers. A Chanote land title gives full ownership of the land and lists the position, total area and survey information of the land plot. Any land plot listed on the Chanote will have been surveyed by Thailand’s Land Department.
A Chanote title deed can be identified by the red garuda that appears on the deed itself.
Nor Sor Sam Gor (NS-3K) – Confirmed Certificate of Use
A Nor Sor Sam Gor is similar to a Chanote title deed and shows that the Land Department has certified the owner’s right to the land itself. It also shows the land has been measured by the Land Department and has exact boundaries. This type of land title can also be sold, transferred and/or mortgaged.
Nor Sor Sam (NS-3) – Certificate of Use
The difference between this land title and the NS-3K is that it has not yet been measured by the Land Department and therefore has no official boundaries.