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Want to Own Land in Thailand? New Policies Make Land Ownership Easier for Foreigners

Want to Own Land in Thailand? New Policies Make Land Ownership Easier for Foreigners

The Land Department of Thailand has updated the rules regarding land ownership for foreigners, which have been posted on the department's website. 

It should be noted that land ownership by foreigners in Thailand is still considered complex. The Land Code Act of 1954 generally prohibits direct ownership by foreigners in order to maintain national control over Thailand's natural resources.

However, there are exceptions, such as permits from the Board of Investment for foreign investors in certain business categories and ownership of up to 49% of condominium units under the Thai Condominium Act. Nevertheless, land ownership laws for foreigners remain strict, so it is important to understand and comply with the laws to avoid future complications.

The updates regarding land ownership for foreigners in Thailand are as follows:

1. Inheritance: Non-Thai nationals who are legitimate heirs of foreigners who are permitted to own land may inherit land, subject to applicable regulations. Heirs can inherit up to 1 rai (0.160 hectares) for industrial use or 10 rai (1.60 hectares) for agricultural use, in accordance with the permissions of the previous owner.

2. Land Purchase: According to Article 96 of the Land Law, foreigners may purchase 1 rai of land for residential purposes with a minimum investment of 40 million baht, thereby contributing to the economic and social welfare of Thailand. This investment must last at least three years and the property must be located in Bangkok, Pattaya or other designated cities.

3. Land Transfer: Foreigners may undergo land transfer procedures under relevant laws, such as the Investment Promotion Act of 1977.

The Land Department points out that Thai nationals acting as agents for foreign nationals may be jailed for up to three years, fined a maximum of 6,000 baht, or both. Foreigners who illegally acquire land can be fined up to 20,000 baht per day and/or imprisoned for a maximum of two years.

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