Check List When Buying Land In Thailand

My Thai wife is in Thailand negotiating to buy a plot of land upon which to build our retirement house.

I’m here in UK and armed with the book (my ‘Bible’) How to Buy Land and Build a House in Thailand by Philip Bryce I’m checking progress remotely. There are important some things in that book relating to legal matters when buying land in Thailand that even the Thai’s aren’t aware of!

Below is an extract from an Email I just today sent to my wife. It’s a checklist for her and I’m sure you’ll find it useful too:-

<Start of email>

1. Check everything before you sign the Contract.

After the Contract is signed if you find something wrong it is too late.

2. Get a Lawyer or Solicitor to check everything. There may be things that we are not aware of.

For example check that nobody else has a claim to use the land.

2. Check the back side of the Chanoht.

Make sure that the person you are talking to has their name as the owner of the land written on the Chanoht. If necessary check their ID Card.

Make sure that there are no loans secured on the land.

3. Make sure that you get a legal paper giving you the rights to use the Access road forever. (See drawings enclosed) Note. The drawings will be posted on the website proper.

4. I can have my name on the Chanoht as a legal user of the land (not as owner).

Note to all Farangs. This is little known by Thai’s – even Thai Lawyers.

This is called a “Usufruct” or in Thai, “sit thi gap gin ta lord shee vit”

You can read about it on this website:-

Foreigners can however protect their interest in the property.

In case of land and house purchase in the name of the Thai spouse foreigners have the following options:

  • (a) agree on the registration of a Right of Usufruct in favor of the foreign spouse,

Not all lawyers know about this.

If I put my name on the Chanoht, I have legal right to use the land and the property even if you die before me.

But I have to be in Thailand to do that at the time the land is transferred to your name.

How and when is the date to make the Chanoht fixed. Is it in the Contract when you put the deposit?

5. Look at the attached drawing of the land, the house and the access road. Note. The drawings will be posted on the website proper.

It seems the house will fit.

Is my drawing correct?

6 Architect

I don’t understand what that Architect is doing. I don’t want to pay for the drawings until  we have decided finally on the house design we want.

<End of email>

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