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ResourcesThailand Real Estate & Property LawTitleThai Real Estate Title: Chanote and Freehold Ownership

Thai Real Estate Title: Chanote and Freehold Ownership

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Chanote titles specifically Chanote Freehold title here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

For those who are unaware, a Chanote or Chanotes are a title deed. It is not unlike a title deed in the United States for example. A Chanote title or Freehold title is very much akin to Fee Simple Absolute title in the American Property Law tradition or for that matter the Common Law Property Law tradition as I understand it.

The thing to take away from this video is that Chanote title is sort of the highest level of title that one can have in Thailand. There are other for lack of a better term grades of title which we were getting into contemporaneously in other videos we are making with this one but Chanote title is sort of the top of the heap and it confers Freehold ownership, so you have Freehold ownership to exclude anyone else from usage of that real estate, that property or in some cases a Thai condo etc.  If you have Freehold ownership you have unfettered access, you have an unfettered right for usage and enjoyment to the exclusion of all others of that property. 

For most foreigners in Thailand, Chanote title is not going to be a practical possibility for things like land in Thailand because of the restrictions on foreign ownership of real property such as land. To be clear, it is not a wholly preclusive restriction. It doesn't preclude foreigners from ever owning land but land ownership by foreign nationals in Thailand is very, very limited and is subject to really substantial scrutiny and has to be signed off at basically the highest of government levels in order to get it. So as a practical matter, for most folks coming to Thailand that are just looking to enjoy a small residential property, Freehold title is probably not going to be possible with respect to a lot of Thai real estate like land for example and houses. However a Thai condo, it is definitely possible to own a condominium in Thailand in Freehold title. It is explicitly possible pursuant to the provisions of the Thai Condominium Act as amended and there are stipulations so there are ownership quotas within the Thai Condominium Juristic Person associated with Freehold ownership but it is certainly possible to maintain Freehold ownership in a Thai condominium.

So Chanote title is the top of the heap and it allows for total unencumbered ownership rights but that type of title is going to be very limited for foreigners here in the Kingdom of Thailand.