Usufruct in Thailand

Usufruct in Thailand. If you’ve ever dreamt of living in Thailand but can’t own land due to foreign ownership restrictions, then a usufruct might be the answer. This legal concept offers a unique way to gain long-term rights to use and enjoy Thai property.

What is a Usufruct?

In Thai, a usufruct is called “Sidhi-kep-kin” and translates to “the right to enjoy.” It’s essentially a temporary transfer of ownership rights from the property owner (called the “landlord” or “registered owner”) to another person (known as the “usufructuary”). This grants the usufructuary the right to live in, use, and potentially rent out the property for a specified period, often up to 30 years or even for life.

Benefits of a Usufruct

  • Long-Term Enjoyment: Live in your dream Thai home or manage a vacation rental property for a set period.
  • Cost-Effective Option: Compared to outright property ownership, usufructs can be a more affordable way to secure a place in Thailand.
  • Flexibility: Usufruct agreements can be tailored to your needs, specifying things like rental rights and maintenance responsibilities.

Key Considerations

  • Not Ownership: It’s important to remember that a usufruct doesn’t grant ownership. You cannot sell or transfer the property itself.
  • Maintenance Responsibilities: The usufructuary is typically responsible for maintaining the property in good condition and returning it to the owner in a similar state upon the usufruct’s termination.
  • Registration and Fees: Usufruct agreements need to be registered with the Land Department, incurring associated fees.

Who Can Benefit from a Usufruct?

  • Foreign Retirees: Looking for a secure and comfortable place to retire in Thailand? A usufruct allows you to enjoy a property for your lifetime.
  • Long-Term Investors: Usufructs can be a strategic investment for those seeking rental income from Thai property without the full ownership commitment.
  • Married Couples: A usufruct can be a way for a foreign spouse to gain rights to a property registered under the Thai spouse’s name.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Usufruct agreements can be complex, and navigating the legalities is crucial. Consulting with a qualified Thai lawyer specializing in property law is highly recommended. They can ensure the agreement is drafted accurately and protects your interests.


A usufruct offers a unique path to experiencing Thailand’s property market. By understanding the benefits and limitations, and with the guidance of a legal professional, you can determine if a usufruct is the key to unlocking your dream Thai lifestyle.

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