Leasing Property in Thailand
Purchasing a property in Thailand is one the dreams among many, some of them are citizens of Australia. This is not surprising at all as the Kingdom is one of the best countries to their spend vacation or even for retirement having a warm climate and a good mix of urban and rural living.
Yet, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand outright. They are restricted from buying land on freehold and register it under their names. They can only do so if the property is a condominium. Further, what they are also allowed to do is to rent, lease or arrange the property in other forms of agreement such as superficies and usufruct.
Nonetheless, if condominium is really the type of property that a foreigner wants to own on freehold then he should first find out if the condominium development in which the unit belongs to has not reach the 49% cap for foreign ownership otherwise he will be forced to acquire the property under a leasehold arrangement only.
More about leasing a property in Thailand
If you are very determined to buy a condo in a building that has reached the foreign ownership limit, you have two (2) options:
If the term of lease exceeds three (3) years then it must be registered. Validity of the lease can only happen if it is fully registered with the Land Department.
- Lease period
The maximum lease period is thirty (30) years only. Although the lessee and the lessor can agree for a renewal of lease before the first term's expiration, the renewal cannot happen automatically. What can happen is that they will have to renegotiate and if an agreement has been reached, the second term of another 30 years will need to be registered.
Subleasing with another person is possible but only if the lessee is allowed to do so by the original lessor.
The role of property lawyers
Thailand's laws are hugely different with that of Australia's therefore acquiring the services of a competent property lawyer in Thailand is a good idea. This move is to ensure that the negotiations, the contract and the application for registration of the lease are all done legally.
Additionally, property lawyers are also key in making sure that the Australian's rights as a foreign individual and interests as a lessee are well protected on the contract.