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Navigating Real Estate Laws in Thailand – A Guide for Foreign Investors

Navigating Real Estate Laws in Thailand - A Guide for Foreign Investors

Navigating Real Estate Laws in Thailand – A Guide for Foreign Investors

Thailand is a popular destination for foreign real estate investors due to its tropical climate, low cost of living, and modern amenities. However, the country’s real estate laws contain complex restrictions and limitations for non-citizens. This article provides a overview of Thailand’s property ownership regulations to help foreign investors make informed decisions.

Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Land in Thailand

Under Thai law, foreigners are not permitted to directly own land. However, several options exist for foreign buyers:
  • Leasehold – Lease land from Thai owners for up to 30 years, renewable for additional 30-year periods
  • Company Ownership – Form a Thai company with majority Thai shareholders to purchase land
  • Condominiums – Foreigners can fully own units in condo buildings where foreign ownership is under 49%
  • Thai Spouse – A foreigner married to a Thai can register land under their spouse’s name
Foreign ownership restrictions safeguard Thailand’s real estate market. However, savvy investors can still capitalize on Thailand’s growth potential through effective structuring.

Owning a Freehold Condo in Thailand as a Foreigner

Condominiums represent an increasingly popular investment option for foreigners in Thailand. As a condo owner, foreigners enjoy full ownership and transfer rights. However, responsibilities also apply:
  • Pay monthly maintenance fees
  • Abide by condominium bylaws
  • Maintain common areas through an owner juristic entity
Contact WSR International’s team for guidance on evaluating condominium projects as a foreign buyer.

Key Provisions in Thai Leasehold Agreements

Leasing land from a Thai landlord is a straightforward path to property usage rights for foreign lessees. Typical leasehold terms include:
  • 30-year duration, renewable for additional 30-year periods
  • Lessee duties: Pay rent on time, maintain the property
  • Lessor duties: Pay taxes and register the lease
  • Termination clauses: Non-payment of rent, damage, illegal activity
WSR International’s attorneys can review lease contracts to protect foreign lessee interests before signing.

Navigating Property Transactions in Thailand

Purchasing real estate in Thailand involves defined legal procedures for foreigners:
  • Conduct due diligence on the property and confirm valid title
  • Perform a title search to verify the seller’s ownership
  • Register the sale and transfer with the Thai Department of Lands
  • Pay all required taxes and fees on the transaction
Retaining competent legal counsel is highly recommended to avoid pitfalls when buying property.

Understanding Tax Implications of Thai Property Investments

While Thailand offers favorable tax rates globally, several property taxes apply:
  • Transfer and stamp duties upon sale, 2% to 10% of value
  • Withholding tax of 10% on sales remitted to Revenue Department
  • Capital gains tax if sold within 5 years of purchase
Proper structuring can optimize tax liabilities. Consult WSR International’s tax advisory team when planning your investment.

Turn Key Assistance with Thailand Real Estate Transactions

WSR International offers integrated real estate and tax law capabilities. Contact our attorneys for personalized guidance on:
  • Selecting ownership structures aligned with your objectives
  • Performing due diligence to validate property conditions
  • Navigating registrations, permits and tax filings
  • Developing investment plans compliant with Thai regulations

With WSR International as your trusted advisor, successfully invest in Thailand real estate and generate wealth for the future.



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