In the past, foreign investors were permitted by Thai law to acquire properties. They could acquire land without any prohibition. As a result, there were foreign investors who were able to acquire land. Currently, foreign investors are not proscribed from acquiring real estate properties except for land. They can acquire Thailand Real Estate such as Thailand property and Thailand Condominiums on certain conditions prescribed by law.
As stated earlier, foreigners are not capable of acquiring land. Nonetheless, there are modes by which they can acquire not in the concept of an owner. First, a foreigner can set up a Thai company to hold the property in freehold title. The Thai company must be operating and doing business in Thailand and must have the minimum requirements of shareholders. Second, an applicant may use the leasehold structure for 30 years. This is one mode of acquiring Thailand property. With respect to commercial and industrial lots, the lease has duration of 50 years renewable for the same term. Third, an applicant can register any property rights by virtue of usufruct.
Foreigners are capable to acquire Thailand Condominium upon compliance of the qualification. First, a foreigner must be the one defined by law. Under Thai law, a foreigner who can acquire Thailand Condominium is someone who is a permanent resident of Thailand; a foreigner who is allowed to reside in Thailand by virtue of Thai Investment Promotion Law; a foreigner as announced by Foreign Business Act; and a foreign legal entity who has brought currency in Thailand. Second, a foreigner can only purchase 49% of the total floor area of the Condominium. This is in consonance to the maximum shareholding that a foreigner can obtain. However, this provision can be waived in the greater area of Bangkok. Third, the capacity of the foreigner to purchase must be supported by Dor Tor 3 which is the foreign income remittance. The property right is transmissible to the heir provided that that the heir qualifies even to one basic qualification given to foreigners.
From what was discussed earlier, land ownership is proscribed among foreigners. Nonetheless, any structure built on land can be acquired and registered under the name of the foreigner.
Thailand Real Estate is a profitable business in Thailand most especially in the areas of travel and leisure mainly because of its fascinating sceneries. Since Thailand is chosen to be the best place for expatriates, the housing development could also be an alternative. The legal system of transparency of ownership and financial records are also merited in establishing a business in Thailand. Nevertheless, there are certain drawbacks. Thailand Real Estate development is not fully opened for investors. Further, in terms of this area, there is a need to consult Local experts due to the fact that regulations and policies are always changing. The taxes and fees are also inevitable incidents of ownership. In terms of land ownership, the owner has to pay local maintenance tax as well as Structure and Usage Tax. Since foreigners are not allowed to acquire land, they are freed from this responsibility. Nevertheless, lessees are not landlords but they are usually the recipient of the burdens of taxes imposed on landlords.