In Thailand you may not own land as a foreigner however you can own the structure on the property. Owning a small piece of land in Thailand is difficult but not impossible however for the size you are allowed to buy and the amount of investment you need to place in Thailand the cost is not worth the effort. Most simple buy the house in their name while they lease the land.
The first step is to start by leasing the land on which the property stand or either register a superficies. Having a superficies agreement in Thailand is one of the best investments you can make for a number of reasons over a normal lease. Note that very few people in Thailand make us of the superficies option while in Thailand however it is an option. Also note that this agreement must be registered with the Land Department in Thailand as it has to be registered against the title deed of the property. Also note that you normally become liable for all the taxes on the property.
1. The superficies agreement is valid for 30 years or for the lifetime of the superficies holder;
2. The superficies agreement can be inherited;
3. The superficies agreement still exists even if the property is destroyed;
The agreement above needs to be drafted first before any building starts. Many do buy an existing agreement where the property has already been split between land and structure. The process would be as follows when it comes to the agreement as the Land Office in Thailand.
1. Sign the agreement as the Land Office for the sale or purchase of the structure on the land;
2. Advertise the property sale for a period of 30 days in the area;
3. Once this has been done you need to return to the Land Office to complete the process.
4. The transfer takes place and you can use the agreement as your proof of ownership.
The above needs to be followed and the Land Department has to do a transfer and stamp the agreement. If you do not have this in hand then you might not own the property and might still be the property of the land owner. always check with an attorney for for information and assistance in this regard. Note that if you are going to be building a structure after the agreement then the following documents needs to be brought with to the Land Department.
1. Your passport / Thai wife ID-card
2. Land title deed (Owener)
3. House book (tabien baan)
4. Building permit (More likely than not in your name)
If the structure already exists on the land the agreement needs to be signed at the Land Office and the transfer fees need to be paid on signing of the agreement. Note that the 30 day of advertising is still applicable so people may oppose it if they wish. speak to a property lawyer with regard to superficies as it is not done very often in Thailand but many do feel that it has advantages over a standard lease agreement.