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Can a non-Thai buy a house in Thailand?

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Can a non-Thai buy a house in Thailand?

A friend of mine, who has got married to a Thai girl two years back, is planning to buy a house in Thailand. He asked for my advice. I think, he cannot buy a house in his name. He can either buy it on his Thai wife’s name or buy it through his company.

Someone told me that he can take a long-term lease with an option to renew it. What’s the term of the lease?

I heard foreigners can buy a condominium a condo in a building? Is that true?

Please let me know your views.

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If you buy any property in a Thai name it is essential to get a 30 year lease to protect yourself, regardless if the person is a wife, husband or whoever. Relationships sometimes do go sour.

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Relationships sometimes do go sour.

Good point. There is also the issue of something happening to the Thai person. If the house is in a Thai person's name and that person dies, then the ownership of the house goes to the Thai next of kin. Without a lease that next of kin could legally toss you out the door, and horror stories like that are not uncommon.

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I heard foreigners can buy a condominium a condo in a building? Is that true?

Yes, it is true foreigners can buy a condo in his name. There is a certain percentage of foreign-owners and a percentage of Thai-owners the law allows in a condominium complex.

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There is a way around this 49% Thai ownership. That is forming a corporation and buying it in the corp's name. I wouldn't recommend it though as there are some ramifications; paying to have annual balance sheets prepared and difficulty to sell are among the most obvious.

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There is a way around this 49% Thai ownership.

If I am correct, at one time that was a good way around it, but I understand they don't put up with that anymore. I understand they will check to see if the corporation is legitimate and whether the involved Thais (I think there has to be five) actually have the means to be part of the corporation. I also understand that the foreigner cannot be the majority owner.

I am not certain about the above, but I do know that I am partially correct. A few years ago foreigners who had bought that way were frightened they would lose their homes when Thailand announced a crackdown, but the Thai authorities decided not to grandfather it in. But anything one wants to buy today by forming a Thai corporation is going to be faced with far more stringent checks than only a few years ago.

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