This question has been asked many times before and there appears to be an issue with its understanding. Most foreigners place the land in the name of their wife and try to take a usufruct over the property however that has now also become a major issue in Thailand where the status of women are being questioned as the government at one point in time made it a no-go area. Most prefer to lease the property without going through all the procedures.
YES you can own land in Thailand BUT there are issues.
You can buy land in Thailand this being limited to 1,600 square meters. Not much, but big enough to build a small house for yourself and your wife. There is however another rule before you get there. This is covered by the Land Code – Section 96.
- 1. You need the permission of the Minister of the Interior;
- 2. You need to invest 40 million Baht (US$1.3million) in government bonds for 5 years
You can also show the USD 1.3million investment in a Thai company with special investment status or in a prescribed mutual fund in Thailand. The catch is prescribed which makes investors nervous as the government will define the investment needed. You also need the following:
- 3. A letter from the Thai Military that there are no bases near the property;
- 4. A letter from the local authority that the land is in a defined residential area.
- 5. A map showing where the property is located.
Now important here is that the 5 years of investment being the minimum, states that the clock only starts to tick when the transfer of property is made into your name. Now if you withdraw your investment before the 5 years then your land will be sold by the Director General of the Department of Land.
To sum it all up. You can own land in Thailand but for the amount of money and the size of the land it would make it financially problematic. There would be better places to invest more than US$1 million for such a period of time. You can if you really want take forward insurance on the money for 5 years so you do not loose value if the Thai Baht goes South during that period. The cost of insurance alone would make any investment a financial disaster. Its simply just to much effort and risk to really own a small piece of land in Thailand.
Speak to our lawyers or solicitor in Phuket for advice on leasing land or property in Phuket or anywhere in Thailand. Call us toll-free on our US and UK numbers or simply walk into our law offices in Phuket.