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Comparing Thai Property Title Deeds & Yellow House Books

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing property and real estate here in Thailand.

We are specifically discussing the difference between a Title Deed oftentimes called a Chanote title; that is a freehold Title Deed which is somewhat different from other types of Title Deeds here in Thailand. There are varying levels on a spectrum of the type of title that one can have over Thai real estate but in the context, for example of a condominium, Chanote title is going to be what you are going to see because generally speaking you have to have a Chanote in order to have a condominium. But, we are talking about the difference between a Title Deed and a House Book or in this case a Yellow House Book. There are Yellow House Books which basically provide foreigners with the ability to enter the Civil Registrar System. Pursuant to the Civil Registration Act of 1991, or I should say the amendments to the prior Act, it allowed foreigners to be put on what is called a House Book notwithstanding the fact that they may not have an Immigrant Visa AKA Permanent Residence or Thai Citizenship; obviously Thais are going to be in a House Book. So basically they created this thing called the Yellow House Book.

I see a few folks on the internet conflate the Title Deed with the House Book; they are two different things. A Title Deed or a Chanote specifically confers property rights to a given set of real estate. So that maybe a Thai condo that may be a piece of property. Now obviously real estate such as land, the Chanote, it is going to be pretty difficult for a foreigner to have that notwithstanding the presumption that foreigners cannot own land in Thailand, they can technically but it is under a very onerous set of circumstances. Most notably it has to be signed off by the Minister of Interior and generally speaking it is my understanding they are not in the habit of signing off on foreigners owning Thai land; on foreigners owning Thai real estate. So it is virtually impossible for a foreigner to own land in Thailand. That being stated for example a condominium, a foreigner could have a title deed with respect to that.

That is a very different thing from a Yellow Book. A Yellow Book is simply a Civil Rregistrar document. It is basically a document that is noting where a foreigner is domiciled. I shouldn't even say resides because a Yellow House book is not even issued for those with residence, legal residents with respect to immigration. It is simply those who have a long-term domicile and are presumably maintaining their long-term Non-immigrant status. In fact if I remember the statute correctly, if one does not maintain their Non-immigrant status they are immediately stricken from the Yellow House Book system, or at least presumptively stricken I should say.

So those folks who are thinking that the Yellow House Book is the same thing as the Title Deed, they are not. The Yellow House book simply to notes that that person's domicile is in that abode. It is not demonstrative of any property rights in a given piece of real estate in the Kingdom of Thailand.