Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

ResourcesThailand Real Estate & Property LawTitleWhat Does It Mean to "Own" Property in Thailand?

What Does It Mean to "Own" Property in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing property ownership here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there that I find sort of in the general public about what is property ownership in Thailand; about sort of the definition of the word "own". I will hear this a lot:  "Well I own a house", or "I own land in Thailand", or "I own real estate in Thailand" or "I own a condo in Thailand" and that does kind of vary a lot for a foreign national from the different types of properties that vary on the spectrum that one could own. 

So the rule of thumb is and it is enshrined in law in Thailand, foreigners cannot own real estate, land specifically under the same conditions that they could in their home country. They can't own land in Thailand. I see a lot of foreign nationals will say "well I own land in such and such."  Well when you dig deeper you will find out that it is either owned in a spouse or a loved ones' name or in certain cases it may be a corporate setup that then owns property but that a foreign national may have control over. This is not strictly speaking ownership. You may have a relationship with the actual legal owner or you may be part of the company that legally owns a piece of property and you need to be careful with companies that own property, because if it is done pretextually or as a pretense there can be real problems with that but I am not going to get into that in this video. 

The thing to understand is that again with one exception and I will get into that in a minute, foreigners are precluded from owning land in Thailand. Now one may be able to gain title to for example a structure that sits on a piece of land; that may certainly be possible. We see that a lot with houses that may sit on otherwise perhaps leased or usufruct land but generally speaking the rule of thumb is and it is beyond that, it is the rule, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand.

There is an exception with respect to real estate pertaining to condos. It is possible for a foreign national to take free whole title to a Thai condominium so long as that condominium comports with the provisions of the Condominium Act and one undertakes the formalities to gain freehold title associated with that piece of real estate but that is a different thing from Land. 

The thing to take away from this video is yes it is possible to own a Thai condo, but other types of real estate for example land specifically, foreigners are specifically precluded from owning that type of Thai real estate.