In Thailand, ownership of property is prohibited to foreigners. Their only way to obtain real estate is to hold the lease of the land on which the property is located. Currently, the maximum term of the lease is 30 years, but it’s renewable with the cadastre (the land office) to bring it to 60 years. However, the government is considering bringing this initial lease to 50 years to attract more homeowners. We’ll explain in this article all there is to know about the current lease of 30 years, and its possible extension.
Obtaining the Long-Term Lease and Renewal of the Latter
First of all, although a foreigner can’t own land in Thailand, he can own the land in order to own the walls (ie. property) built on it. The rental lease must be written in Thai and include several family members to avoid any administrative dispute of ownership in the event of death. Note that a foreigner can, however, own a condominium (apartment).
Each lease of a duration of more than 3 years must be declared to the Thai Land Office, also called cadastre. When registering, make sure that the title of the property is in your name (full name) and that all the appendices of the lease are there. The lease is then attached to the property contract and it’s only once this step is validated that it’s possible to build a house on the land you rent. The registration fees of the lease are not very important: 1.1% of the rental value. In practice, however, all established leases are leases with a period of 30 years.
As for the renewal of the lease, it must be stipulated in the lease in a renewal clause; pay attention to it at the time of writing the lease. Note that you can only renew a maximum extent of 30 years twice. This allows the tenant of the land to rent for a period of up to 90 years if two renewals are stipulated in the lease. The renewal of the lease is done with the cadastre.
Is a 50-Year Extension of the Long-Term Lease Coming Soon?
The Thai finance minister would support this measure, as it would attract more long-term homeowners to Thailand, while leaving ownership of the land to the Thai owner.