The Hua Hin Property Expert: Understanding property ownership in Prachuap Khiri Khan

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Greetings to all the readers who reached out to me after my debut article as the Hua Hin Property Expert in the July issue of Hua Hin Today. Your positive response has been really pleasing, and I appreciate your engagement.

This month, I aim to shed light on the legal aspects of property ownership in Prachuap Khiri Khan, which of course includes Hua Hin.

This is so you don’t have to rely on the dubious advice from self-proclaimed “barstool experts” or those beer vest wearing individuals who spend their afternoons drinking outside the nearest convenience store.

Before I start, if you have any queries regarding property ownership or the real estate market in Hua Hin, feel free to scan the QR code provided in this article or drop me an email. I’m here to assist you in any way I can.

Contrary to some misconceptions, Thailand allows anyone, regardless of nationality, to own property – be that structures, buildings, and houses.

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However, when it comes to land, it is advisable and safer for foreigners to enter into a legally registered lease in their name, granting them the rights to the land during the lease term.

It’s worth noting that terms of 3×30 years can now be registered.

This is contrary to the previous understanding that only 30 years with options to extend were permissible. This might have been the case 5 or more years ago, but isn’t true today.

More importantly, with a well-drafted and robust contract that includes rights of renewal, rights to sell, and provisions for heirs and successors to continue the lease term, the land lease now offers a secure form of ownership.

Effectively, this arrangement allows you to possess the land for a total of 90 years and offers flexibility to change or sell the property in the future.

In the past, many foreign buyers utilized the Company structured ownership as an alternative.

Andy Dyett, the Hua Hin Property Expert

This involved registering the land under a Thai company with seven names, typically five Thai nominees and two foreign nationals with 49% ownership.

However, this practice has changed due to issues with misuse and circumvention of the law.

Initially, this approach was considered safe and the most viable option, fully endorsed by Thai law.

But over the years, a trend emerged as some sellers of these ‘companies’ resorted to simply changing directors’ names, severing any genuine ties to the land office and tax authorities.

To address this issue, authorities prohibited foreign names from being associated with companies that owned land.

Despite this restriction, a workaround still exists, whereby three Thai individuals purchase the land, and later, one of them resigns to discreetly add the foreign buyer into the company, unbeknownst to the land office.

For an extended period, the lease system faced significant challenges, leading to various issues.

During this time, the relevant laws were constantly being revised and adjusted, almost on a monthly basis, in an attempt to find the right balance. In my opinion, it’s only been in the last 3-4 years that the lease system has truly started to function effectively and deliver the desired results.

For those married to a Thai national, property ownership has improved significantly.

The foreign partner now has rights to the land purchased during the marriage period. In case of any unfortunate event, such as the passing of the Thai spouse, the foreign partner can retain ownership until they decide to sell.

Additionally, a usufruct contract can be established to determine how the asset will be shared if any conflicts arise in the future. However, leasing property from one’s spouse is not permitted.

I hope this article clarifies the legal intricacies of property ownership in Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan. If you require further details or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll be back with more insights next month.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Dyett
The Hua Hin Property Expert

📧 andy@huahinpropertyagent.com
📱 huahinpropertyagent
📞 092 738 2124

#huahinpropertyexpert

Connect with Andy on Whatsapp via the QR code below:

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