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Villas in Thailand

Differences between a villa and a house. Foreign ownership of villas in Thailand and the procedure for transferring ownership.

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Villas in Thailand

What are Thai villas?

While villas can be documented as houses, they are higher-class properties. Villas are usually located in a gated complex with developed infrastructure and on their plot of land, while houses are not.

foreign property ownership in Thailand

Under Thai law, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. However, they are allowed to lease land under a land lease agreement registered with the Land Department and therefore build a structure or own a house on the leased land.

To extend their rights as land tenants, foreigners must acquire the correct legal ownership of the structure. The land lease term for aliens is invariably linked to the ownership of the possession or the right to use and possess the land granted to them. This can be established by obtaining any of the following from the local land office:

  • Building permits issued in the foreigner's name
  • Thai sales contract

The foreign ownership of the villa must also be in writing and registered with the local land department. This is by Section 456 of the Civil Code under the Contract Act of Thailand.

Transfer of ownership

The process of transferring the ownership of a villa to a foreigner includes the following:

  • Announcement of sale. This requires both the foreigner and the seller to be present at the local land office.
  • The issuance of a notice of sale form. This is a 30-day public notice to the local land office to see if anyone will challenge the villa's ownership.
  • The completion of the sale by the local land office.

The following documents are required to transfer ownership:

  • The building permit or contract of sale
  • Tabien Baan (house book)
  • Canot (certificate of ownership)
  • Passport
  • Tor-Dor 21 or power of attorney from the local land office (if applicable)

When a Thai villa sale agreement is offered, the foreigner is charged for translation and taxes, as described above. Factors that determine the rates of property transfer fees and taxes include the actual sale price and the house's appraised value by the government.

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Update: 20-02-2023
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