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Ombudsman drafting new law against foreign real estate purchase

来源:建广律师事务所     2012-08-14
字号:T|T

June 28th, 2012 by Somchai

If you are a foreign national thinking of retiring in Thailand and having a home and small piece of land to live out your golden years, well you better do some serious thinking and study. The government of Thailand does not seem to want you to own land freehold at all. A lease hold may be allowed but it is only legal for 30 years and only legal if registered at the Land Office.

As far as what they call the use of nominees, according to the old existing law if you purchase land freehold using the nominee route and caught they will give you 180 days to dispose of the property. The nominee route for freehold is what would be called a grey area that has been done but technically illegal as per Thai law.

The Ombudsman is proposing a new law to offer a 20% reward for Thai’s that report any possible foreigners owning land through nominees. That is 20% of the lands market price and quite an incentive for people to hunt for foreigners that have land and a home.  Also under the new law the foreigners would be deported, thats right, your home taken and sold for reward money and you deported. Of course if this ever did happen then the news stories that would come out in BBC, CNN and all other major international newspapers would not do much good for the future foreign investment in Thailand. Even the Bangkok Post labels this as a draconian new law and if this addition is passed then it will devestate the real estate market in Thailand for foreign retirees seeking a home to live and even Thais married to foreigners as they seem to define a legal Thai spouse as a nominee when it comes to land which could very well be a human rights violation accourding to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights Article 25.

It would seem there is little understanding of the benefit of foreigners coming to Thailand to retire and purchasing a home to live in and the money that they will spend in Thailand over the years.

It would be very wise to only consider renting in Thailand or if purchasing anything maybe only consider a condo. Land should only be rented or leased if you feel you really want land. Avoid anything that could be considered a nominee purchase.  Possibly when Thailand matures more or all the foreign investment money goes to other countries and the economy suffers it will change and offer retirees programs such as Malaysia were you can get a visa for as long as your passport is valid and ability to own your own home safely and securely in your retirement years.