Buying a Condo in Thailand
Different Housing Options for Australian Retirees
Thailand has since become a popular retirement destinations for foreign nationals including Australians. This is so because it is relatively cheap to retire in the Kingdom and adding to the factor are the overall rest and recreation facilities that are uniquely Thai.
However, if an Australian retiree would choose to have a house and lot of his own in Thailand, this would not be possible as foreigners are not allowed to own land on freehold in the Kingdom. What he can do instead is to secure the property that he wants by renting a property or even have it on a long term lease.
- Buy Condominiums
If owning a property is an Australian retiree's primary choice then he can do so on freehold but only on condominiums. He would be allowed to purchase and own a condominium unit on freehold provided that the total foreign ownership of the development on which the unit he is buying is still below 49%.
- Property Lease
As what has been stated earlier, a long term lease is also an option for an Australian retiree. If the lease term is more than three years then the lease agreement must be registered with the land department.
The maximum lease period that he can possibly secure is thirty (30) years although renewing for another term may be possible. However, this "renewal" is not automatic. Even if the lessor and the lessee has agreed of a renewal after the initial term of thirty years, the lessor is not compelled to move for automatic renewal. What is possible is an initial long term lease of thirty years and on the end of such lease period, the lessor and the lessee can renegotiate for another term of thirty years. This will then be registered as a new agreement and not as an automatic extension or renewal of lease.
The Australian retiree must be aware of scrupulous personalities or entities offering 30+30+30 (or 90-year lease) as this is not possible under current Thai laws.
Another option for the Australian retiree is to obtain a "right of superficies" from the owner of the property.
With superficies, what happens is that the superficiary or the person who obtained the right of superficies is allowed to build a structure even if he does not own the land. It is somewhat advantageous for the Australian retiree since the agreement is tied with the land itself.
Still, the Australian-superficiary is still responsible to pay the rent (for long term lease of the land) and register the right of superficies given unto him at the Land Department.
Hiring Property Lawyer
Whatever the option should you take, it would be wise to have legal guidance from a reputable property lawyer in Thailand.
Your property lawyer will make sure that the agreement, the contract and other terms are in consonance with your rights and interests. More than that, your property lawyer in Thailand can even do the necessary checks to ensure that you will not find yourself in the middle of a court proceedings because you leased or rented a property which is subject of an ongoing litigation.