Posts Tagged ‘thai nationality’

Kanyah Signs The Usufruct And It Is Recorded In The Chanote At The Land Office

Today was a big day for me – one of the biggest since starting the retiring in Thailand project.

One of the big issued and fears I have always had about buying land and building a house in Thailand is that the land and property can never belong to me. It all belongs to my dear wife Kanyah and of course I love her dearly.

Whilst she loves to have me living here I am residing as her guest. I have no rights (until today that is) to access the land and house other than with her permission.

People change and people are fickle. In the past when Kanyah has not shall we say been in the best of moods she has reminded me that it all belongs to her and that it might be better if I went back to England. I do live here under her absolute control.

Not only that but my other bigger concern is what would happen to the land and house if she were to die before me? I have had that clarified today – the land would be inherited jointly by her heirs; her daughter Daeng and our son Alex.

But it wasn’t always like that. It is only a few weeks since Alex had his Thai nationality officially recognised and recorded in Thailand when he obtained his Thai Birth Certificate.

Previous to that I would be at the mercy and whim of Daeng whether I could live here or not. And since Alex became Thai officially I would need both their agreements. Not a very strong position for me to be in I’m sure you’d agree.

But All That Has Changed Today As I Am Granted Legal Rights To Use The Land And Property – Forever

Yes, the usufruct Contract signed by myself and Kanyah and entered on the Chanote is now fully legalised and is in force for the shorter of my lifetime or 30 years.

Even if the ownership of the property changes hands (e.g. to Daeng or Alex) I still have the rights of use.

Here is an extract from the Usufruct Contract, the key sentences:-

1.         Object of Agreement

The owner agrees to grant the right of usufruct on the abovementioned property to the usufructuary and the usufructuary accepts the right of usufruct which entitles him to the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property.
2.         Term of Agreement

Both parties agree that the term of the usufruct of this agreement shall be created and remain in full force and effect for the lifetime of the usufructuary.
4.         Covenants of Owner

4.1       The owner permits the usufructuary to utilize the property for all lawful purposes including, but not limited to the purpose of residency, business or other matters.
7.           Miscellaneous
7.3       This agreement shall be held binding on the owner, the usufructuary, the heir(s), transferee(s), assign(s), or representative(s) in any kind of nature of each parties.

Of course, this is the English language version of the Usufruct Contract, the legal one is in the Thai language.

Photos Of The Thai Usufruct Contract And The Chanote

Note: Click on any of the photos to see a larger version. (Opens in new window)

Here is a photo of the actual front cover of the Usufruct Contract which is written in both the Thai and the English languages:-

Image showing Photo Of Thai Usufruct Contract

Photo Of Thai Usufruct Contract

A full copy of the text (English language version) is given near the bottom of this page.

Next is a copy of a document that has been attached to the front of the Chanote.  I don’t know what it says yet until I receive a translator from my solicitor:-

image showing A Legal Document Attached To The Front Of The Chanote By The Land Office

A Legal Document Attached To The Front Of The Chanote By The Land Office

And last but not least is a scan of the rear of the Chanote showing where the Usufruct Agreement has been recorded officially.

Image showing Rear Of The Chanote Recording The Usufruct Agreement

Rear Of The Chanote Recording The Usufruct Agreement

Other Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Usufruct Agreement

There are other advantages and disadvantages of the Usufruct once it has been registered at the Land Office and recorded on the Chanote.

Because the Chanote has the Usufruct Contract recorded on the back any prospective purchaser of the land would have to take that into account when valuing the land price. probably not many people would want to buy the land with a Usufruct contract attached to it.

This is an advantage for me because it makes me more secure. Kanyah is unlikely to be able to sell the land without my consent to the removal of the Usufruct.

Equally it is a disadvantage to Kanyah because the value of the land is diminished whilst the Usufruct Contract is in place.

For the same reason that the value of the land has effectively been reduced the Chanote is less likely to be accepted by a Bank as collateral for a loan.

This is both an advantage to me and also a disadvantage. The advantage is that Kanyah will probably be unable to take out a loan with the land and house as collateral without my agreement. (Safer for me)

But if I agree to Kanyah taking out a loan (say for another property development project) the Bank are less likely to agree so this is a disadvantage to both of us.

The Process Of Legalising The Usufruct Contract At The Land Office

Below I’ll give you the full details of how we had the Usufruct contract made into a legally binding contract and had the contract entered into the Chanote at the Pakchong Land Office.

Preparation Before You Go To The Land Office

I heard about the Usufruct from Steve, a friend I made via this website. Steve sent me examples of Ufustruct contracts he had put in place with his Thai wife for their properties just outside Pakchong (Pak Chong).

I could have used those examples and modified them myself so suit our names and details etc and had a local translator to change the Thai versions to suit my modified English one.

But when it comes to the law I don’t want to take any chances. be a cheapskate her just to save a few thousand Baht and you could end up without the protection you need.

So I decided to use a solicitor from a reputable legal firm. These are easy to find on the Internet.

Finding A Solicitor

As it happens I had been corresponding with a solicitor by email when I had some queries about Alex gaining his Thai passport. I had been corresponding with a Khun Patcharin who was very helpful. This exchange of emails had been free of charge and I was impressed by the quality of the information received and the excellent and polite service.

Khun Patcharin worked for Korat-Legal (website  http://www.korat-legal.com) located in Nakhon Ratchasima (AKA Korat), Thailand. There was another advantage in going back to Khun Patcharin because Korat is only an hours drive from Pakchong (Pak Chong) and I envisaged the need for a solicitor to be able to accompany us to the Land Office in Pakchong (Pak Chong) when we signed the  Usufruct Contract.

At the time I didn’t know the we had to go to the Land Office, but I suspected it. In fact I didn’t know the process for setting up a Usufruct Contract at all.

Agreeing The Wording Of The Usufruct Agreement

Through a short series of emails the wording of a draft Usufruct Contract was agreed between myself and Khun Patcharin. I had t send photocopies of various documents as listed below.

I gave a copy to Kanyah for her to read having previously explained what I was trying to achieve with it. Surprisingly she had no problem about signing it.

Checking The Chanote (Land Title Deed)

I did as much checking of the technicalities of the document as I could but when the document referred to details on the Chanote I needed Kanyah’s help because the Chanote is entirely in the Thai language –  even the numbers on the Chanote are Thai numerals.

Once everything was checked and agreed we arranged to meet  Khun Patcharin at the Pakchong (Pak Chong) Land Office at 0830 this morning (18 February 2013).

Documents You Need To Take To The Land Office

I addition to the original Usufruct Contract documents that  Khun Patcharin would bring she asked us to take originals of the following documents that I had already sent her copies of by email :-

  • Original of Chanotte
  • Your passport
  • Your house book (if any)
  • Your wife’s ID.Card
  • Your wife’s House book
  • Marriage Certificate
  • If your wife changed her name, please bring the certificate of name change as well.

Getting To The Land Office At Pakchong (Pak Chong)

Photo of Land Office Sign Thai Script English Language

Land Office Sign Thai Script English Language

Image of the Land Office in Pakchong

Photo of the Land Office in Pakchong where the land was registered in Kanyah’s name

I took the above photo of the Land Office in Pakchong (Pak Chong) when we first bought the land in 2010. Here is the address,  the SatNav coordinates and a link to an online map:-

Nakhon Ratchasima Land Office Pak Chong Branch, Highway 2, Khanong Phra, Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130

N 14°   40.140′, E 101° 26.416′

NOSTRA Map: http://bit.ly/1j9EzFx

Google Map:-

View Larger Map

Signing The Usufruct Contract

When we met Khun Patcharin at the Pakchong (Pak Chong) Land Office we simply sat down at the outdoor tables and we both (myself and Kanyah) signed the documents which were countersigned again by Khun Patcharin as a witness.

Note that just this simple act of having a witness to countersign the documents would have been difficult if  Khun Patcharin had not been there.

Then we went inside the Land Office to legalise the Usufruct contract.

Power Of Attorney – This Is really Funny

These are my notes from my pocket notebook as events unfolded:-

Time 0830.

Take queue ticked number 2. Good sign – not many people in there in fact almost empty.

Khun Patcharin goes to the Information Desk and there is some handing over of documents.

Time 0900.

Khun Patcharin says that the Land Office recommends that I sign a Power of Attorney that gives permission for Khun Patcharin to work on my behalf to process the Usufruct Contract at the Land Office.

The reason the Land office recommend this is because the documents are in the Thail Language and I don’t know Thai so there could be claims in future that I didn’t know what I was signing!

OK a valid point and I said no problem I’ll sign a Power of Attorney document.

(This is the funny part)

So Khun Patcharin gets a Power of Attorney form from the Land Office and fills it in. Before asking  me to sign  it she explains briefly what it says because – get this – it’s all in the Thai language! Had me in stitches that one.

Kanyah couldn’t see the funny side of it at all.

I did note that the Power of Attorney referred specifically to the work Khun Patcharin will be doing today at the Land Office in the processing of the Usufruct Agreement and not a generalised Power of Attorney that empowers her to do virtually anything on my behalf. Like emptying my bank account for example.

Time 0930.

Khun Patcharin goes back to the information Desk and takes another queuing ticket number 4. By this time the place is rather packed and things are buzzing but moving slowly. It take 40 minutes to an hour to process each person on average I was told.

At this time while we are waiting for things to be processed back of house we start to talk with Khun Patcharin about the Usufruct and heirs as recorded in the next section.

About Heirs, Inheritance And The Life Of The Usufruct

Khun Patcharin explained the following about the law in Thailand relating to heirs, inheritance and the life of the Usufruct.

  • There are two heirs to the land and property owned by Kanyah. These are Daeng, her daughter by her former Thai husband and Alex, our son. On Kanyah’s death, unless she makes a will, the land and property will be inherited in equal potions by her two children. The fact that Daeng is older than Alex is of no consequence.

(That had me chuckling about how the land and house could be divided equally into two!)

  • Both names will be put on the Chanote.

(The practicality of how this would be achieved tickled me and I naughtily asked “How, if the Chanote is locked away in a safe would Alex or Daeng be able to get to it to have their names added?” This was lost on Kanyah and Khun Patcharin intelligently sidestepped the question my remarking that Thai families and dividing up the inheritance is a hot topic in Thailand!

The practical points remain though:-

  • that I have control over access to the Chanote and nobody – except unless they have a gun pointing to my head – can force me to hand it over
  • and that if I do hand it over to one of them then they have to cooperate to get both names on the document
  • Kanyah hasn’t made a will and although she has a propensity for the land to go to Alex over Daeng she hasn’t finally decided anything.)
  • The Usufruct will still apply until I die (or until 30 years have passed) even if the land and property pass into different ownership.

Time 1000.

Kanyah and I go outside for a cup of coffee and some fresh air while Khun Patcharin sits inside to babysit the process. Well, Kanyah did go inside pretty soon and took some ice tea for Khun Patcharin while I stayed outside for a little longer.

Time 1115.

Back inside the Land Office Khun Patcharin reports that we are awaiting the signature of the Chanote by the Big Boss. Apparently the changes to the Chanote document have already been typed up.

Time 1130.

It’s all finished. Elapsed time 3 hours.

Khun Patcharin retrieves all the documents and we check that they have all been returned. Khun Patcharin explains briefly what the new documents are and promises to send a translation by email when she gets back to the office. This may be delayed by a day because she has to do the whole process again with another client in Korat this afternoon.

So we leave the Land Office, with me being so much relieved that my huge investment in Thailand is now safe and I have full access to use it as if it was my own under Thai law.

The Value Of Having A Solicitor With Your When You Go To The Land Office To Legalise A Usufruct In Thailand

Did I think is was worth the extra money in engaging a solicitor for this process?

Of course I did and I would recommend anyone else contemplating establishing a Usufruct Agreement to safegurd their investment in property in Thailand to do the same.

Here are some of the benefits of engaging a solicitor and having them to accompany you to the Land Office:-

  • Usufruct Agreement correctly drawn up in Thai and English
  • Solicitor guides the process through the Land Office – a process myself and Kanyah have (had) absolutely no idea about
  • On hand to draw up the Power of Attorney as recommended by the Land Office
  • Ad-hoc answers to questions about heirs, inheritance, Land title Deeds (see later) and the Usufruct Contract and the Thai law
  • And last but not least the solicitor baby-sits the process allowing myself and Kanyah to take a break. This alone turned a nerve-wrecking and tense visit into, whilst not quite a delight, a comfortable three hours.

Selfishness or Selfishless?

I can well understanding that some reader are thinking that I am selfish and that I’m only interested in protecting my investments in Thailand.

That’s true to an extent but not the whole story.

About protecting my investments in the land and house that’s one part of it. But I have also invested (and continue to invest) both time and money in my retirement here with Kanyah. She was so lonely and miserable when i was in England working but now she is very happy.

She would hate it if I left and returned to UK.

That’s what i was talking about when I first arrived. And it led to lots of upset and arguments.

Kanyah understood how I felt isolated and insecure with no protection for my investments.

That’s why it was easy for her to sign the Usufruct – because she wants to encourage me to stay. Now she has signed it she knows that I have no reason to leave so she is much more comfortable.

So it’s not just about me, it’s about Kanyah also and our relationship and retirement in Thailand together.

Glossary Of Terms And Other Useful Information

Usufruct

Image for Sidhi Kep Kin Usufruct in Thai Script Language

“Sidhi Kep Kin” in Thai Script Language Means “Usufruct”

In my words this is a legal right for someone (the usufructuary) to be granted the benefit of use of a land or property even though they do not own it. In essence the usufructuary is granted by the owner of the land or property the permission to use of the land or property as if it belonged to the usufructuary. The vehicle for granting this right is a Usufruct Contract (or Agreement)

It is quite common in Thailand where foreigners married to Thai’s invest a lot of money in land and houses for Thai spouses who have own the property since foreigners cannot own land in Thailand.

That’s a short-rough description of what a Usufruct is but there are plenty of learned definitions online f you want to know more, like these for example:-

Usufruct from Wikipedia

Usufruct from Encyclopedia Britannica

Usufruct from The Free Dictionary

Usufruct from Siam Legal

A (Not) Typical Usufruct Contract

A typical usufruct contract gives the rights to the usufructuary to lease or sub-lease the property subject to the usufruct. A typical clause wold be like this:-

“The Usufructuary shall have the rights to lease or sublease the Properties to any other party(ies) at any time during the term of this Contract without prior consent of the Grantor/Owner.”

 I our case I did not need that right and have no intention to lease or sub-lease the property. I therefore made sure that this was not included in our Usufruct Agreement.

Here is the final version of our Usufruct Contract, in the English language:-

CONTENTS

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT (Thai Version)       2-4

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT (English Version) 5-7

IDENTIFICATION CARD OF THE OWNER                                                                  8

COPY OF PASSPORT OF THE USUFRUCTUARY                                                       9

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT

 This agreement to create the right of usufruct is made at Korat-Legal Law Office, Nakhon Ratchasima Province on 18 February 2014. By and Between:

Mrs. Thongplay Brown, Thai national, 60 years old, having Thai identification number 5 1032 00019 36 1, residing at house no. 231, Village No. 12, Pak Chong Sub-District, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, hereinafter referred to as the “Owner” on one part and;

Mr. Alan Brown, British national, 64 years old, holding a UK passport no. 112132401, residing at house no. 231, Village No. 12, Pak Chong Sub-District, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, hereinafter referred to as the “Usufructuary” on another part.

RECITAL

Whereas, the owner has the ownership of land, Chanotte No. 54589, Land No. 168, Survey Page No. 16801, which have total area of 1 Rai, together with the house no. 232, Village No. 12, located at Pak Chong Sub-district, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, together with the house on the said land, hereinafter referred to as the “Property”;

Whereas the parties are the legal husband and wife, therefore the owner intends to grant a usufruct to ensures that the usufructuary shall have exclusive rights on the property as set forth herein;

Whereas the owner has made this agreement voluntarily, free of any coercion or deception, without being threatened, or being mistaken and with no fraud or undue influence of any kind of nature;

Whereas the owner agrees to grant the usufructuary the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property;

And whereas the usufructuary agrees to take from the owner the right of usufruct of the abovementioned property,

Now, Therefore, both parties agree to execute this Contract containing the terms and conditions as follows:

1.            Object of Agreement

The owner agrees to grant the right of usufruct on the abovementioned property to the usufructuary and the usufructuary accepts the right of usufruct which entitles him to the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property.

2.            Term of Agreement

Both parties agree that the term of the usufruct of this agreement shall be created and remain in full force and effect for the lifetime of the usufructuary.

3.            Consideration of Agreement

Both parties agree that there is no exchange in consideration of granting the right of usufruct throughout the term of this registered agreement.

4.            Covenants of Owner

4.1       The owner permits the usufructuary to utilize the property for all lawful purposes including, but not limited to the purpose of residency, business or other matters.

4.2       The owner shall not terminate this agreement before the term hereof unless both parties agrees to terminate this agreement or the usufructuary breach any clause hereof or cause severe damage to the property.

4.3       If the property is destroyed without compensation being paid, the owner is not bound to restore it; but; if the owner does so to any extent, this usufruct revives to that extent.

4.4       The owner allows the usufructuary to transfer the exercise of their right to others by obtaining the prior consent of the owner.

5.         Covenants of Usufructuary

5.1       The Usufructuary shall use the property for all lawful purposes and shall neither cause nor allow others to use the property for unlawful purposes.

5.2       The usufructury must, in the exercise of their rights, take as much care of the property as a person of ordinary prudence would take of his own property.

5.3       The usufructury is bound to keep the substance of the property unaltered, and is responsible for ordinary maintenance and petty repairs.

5.4       The usufructuary shall, for the duration of the usufruct, bear expenses for the management of the property such as utilities, fees or taxes, etc.

6.            After the End of Term

Upon the end of the term, the right of usufruct of this property shall be extinguised and the property will be delivered back to the owner or his successor and shall not devolve on the usufructuaries’s heirs unless otherwise agreed others.

7.            Miscellaneous

7.1       Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement shall be interpreted in such a manner as to be effective and valid under the applicable laws. However, if any provision of this agreement shall be held to be invalid or prohibited under applicable laws, such provision shall be ineffective only to the extent of such invalidity or prohibition without affecting the validity of the remainder of such provision or the remaining provisions of this agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect.

7.2       This agreement shall constitute the entire agreement between both parties hereto and shall supersede any communications, understandings, negotiations, agreements or promises in respect hereto which have been made either in writing or orally prior to the date hereof and are also contradictory to the provision hereof.

7.3       This agreement shall be held binding on the owner, the usufructuary, the heir(s), transferee(s), assign(s), or representative(s) in any kind of nature of each parties.

7.4       This agreement may not change, amend, add or remove any clause hereof unless prior agreed by both parites in writing.

7.5       The headings of this agreement are inserted only for convenience and ease of reference and are not to be considered in the construction or interpretation of any provision of this agreement.

7.6       This agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with and governed by the law of Thailand.

In witness whereof, this agreement is made in duplicate having corresponding terms and conditions and the parties hereto have read and understood the contents hereof and thereby affixed their respective signatures in the presence of the witnesses on the date month and year first above written

SIGNED BY THE PARTIES:

The Owner:                                                                           (Mrs. Thongplay Brown)

The Usufructuary:                                                               (Mr. Alan Brown)

Witness:                                                                                (Miss Patcharin Lomlerttham)

Witness:                                                                                               

 

Chanote

A Chanote is just one type of Land Title Deeds that are assigned to parcels of land in Thailand.

The Chanote is the top level Land Title Deed and is the only one that records ownership of the land with the Title Deed Owner. If you are considering buying land in Thailand that does not have the Chanote Land Title Deed then be very careful and generally I would not recommend it.

Here is a very clear description of the types of Land Title Deeds in Thailand and what they mean.

The Chanote is registered at the Land Office. When any change is made to the Title of the land for example:-

  • if the land is sold
  • if a the land is used as collateral against a loan
  • if a Usufruct Contract is signed on the land

the details are registered at the Land Office and entered on the back of the Chanote.

The same process applies to the lesser Land Title Deeds in Thailand.

 

Visiting The Amphur In Pakchong (Pak Chong) To Investigate Requirements For Our Sons Nationality

Post Added Tuesday 6th August 2013

Today we went to the Amphur in Pakchong (Pak Chong) to enquire about the process and requirements to allow our son, Alex to obtain Thai Nationality.

Re-Cap on Why We Want Alex to Have Thai Nationality

As I explained on the “Why I Can’t Retire To Thailand” one of my major concerns is losing all my investment in our retirement house and land in Pakchong (Pak Chong) if Kanyah should die.

Not a nice subject, I know, but better to face up to the possibility now that to do nothing face the consequences if it should happen. As we are at the moment with the land in Kanyah’s name ownership would I’m sure go into limbo if Kanyah passed on. Certainly I would not be able to sell up and return to U.K. and repatriate my huge investment and I can’t envisage living here without her.

As you know, a foreigner cannot own land in Thailand. The idea is for Alex to get Thai Nationality and then transfer the property and land into his name.

The Thai Army Conscription Issue

We have been over this Thai Nationality issue previously and even had Alex come over here to get his Nationality. That’s when Alex was 22 and he flew to Thailand on Sunday 7th February, 2010,

It was only when he went to the Amphur to apply that he was warned that he could be conscripted into the Thai Army as a Thai National until he reached 30 years old. At 22 years old he was eligible and because he was scared to be conscripted ho decided not to go any further with his application – the trip was wasted.

All this was covered on the Our Strategy For Buying Land In Thailand Post.

So What’s Changed?

It’s 3 1/2 years later and Alex is 27 years old. The Thai conscription laws haven’t changed (as far as I know) so what’s changed if Alex is now prepared to seek Thai Nationality?

Well, Alex has accepted my argument that the chances of him being conscripted are very slim. Just look at his “qualifications” for joining the Thai Army:-

  • He’s under 30 years old
  • He can’t speak a word of Thai, nor read nor write
  • He’s tall and still. He can’t sit cross-legged on the floor
  • He has a bad back and suffers from sciatica
  • He doesn’t know very much about Thailand or its geography, customs etc
  • He’s not a Buddhist
  • He can’t eat hot spicy Thai food
  • In a couple of years he’ll be thirty years old so unless he’s called up right now he’ll be to old
  • He lives in the U.K. and not Thailand. I just cant see the Recruiting Seargent flying out to England to look for him and apply for the Extradition Order to get him back to Thailand where he has a 50% chance of picking out the black ball and (presumably) they’ll have to fly him back again!
  • And probably more important I have been told that one of the reasons for National Service in Thailand is instill a strong sense of pride and Nationalism in the young people which will benefit themselves and the Thai Nation when they have completed their tour of duty. This will not apply in Alex’s case because if ho did the national Service in Thailand he would most likely return to UK afterwards.

I Didn’t Pursuade Alex to Change His Mind

Please be assured of this – I put no pressure on Alex at all about this matter. It was Alex’s decision to help me protect my investment by seeking Thai nationality.

So enough of the history and off to the Amphur.

A Visit To The Amphur Office In Pakchong (Pak Chong) To Obtain Thai Nationality Requirements.

This didn’t take long. I spent more time taking photographs than we did inside the building.

Kanyah enquired at the information desk and was told that they don’t do Nationality. At this Amphur they only do births and deaths, marriage and divorce.

For Nationality issues we had better ‘go on the website’ (whichever website that is) or go to the big Amphur in Korat. (AKA Nakhon Ratchasima).

Why Couldn’t They Have Done This Three Years Ago?

I was led to believe from Kanyah all those years ago when Alex came to Thailand to seek his Thai Passport that it would be a simple formality only not pursued because of the conscription issue.

If they had only asked what the requirements were then we would have know three and a half years ago that more research would be needed. research I’ll have to do now.

It’s never easy is it?

Buying A Car And Land In Thailand To Build A Retirement House On

My experience this week has been very eventful in our quest to buy land and build a retirement house in Thailand.

Both my wife and my son flew out to Thailand on the first leg of the journey toward building our retirement home in Thailand.

Here’s what happened this week.

Our Strategy For Buying Land In Thailand

In case you haven’t already discovered from other sections of the website I’m married to a Thai lady and we have a half Thai son, Alex, aged 22 who was born in the UK.

Since a Farang (myself) can’t own land in Thailand I had to come up with another strategy other than to buy the land (upon which to build our retirement house) in my wife’s name.

Why don’t I want to buy the land in Thailand in my wife’s name? Well, it’s not related to whether I trust her or not.

It’s a more practical problem I face and I wonder if other Farangs retiring in Thailand have thought about it.

The issue is this: If the land is in my wife’s name, what happens to ownership of the land and house if she dies before I do?

Under those circumstances:-

A) I don’t know if I would be allowed to continue to live there legally

B) I may not want to continue to live there. I might want to sell up and repatriate myself and the funds back to UK.

So I came up with (what turned out to be not such a…) cunning plan…

Our son, Alex, is eligible to get Thai nationality. So that done, I could buy the land in his name.

That was the strategy. But it didn’t turn out that way. Here’s why…

All Thai Males Aged 20 to 30 Are Eligible For Conscription Into The Thai Military!

They flew out to Bangkok on Sunday 7th February, 2010, and arrived the next day. On Tuesday, they went to the Amphur to undertake the first step of getting Alex’s Thai nationality – registering on the house papers of my wife’s Thai daughter, Daeng.

That day, the Thai computer system was down, so it was a wait until Wednesday.

They returned to the Amphur on Wednesday and Alex phoned me “Dad, there’s a hitch” he said. “They are telling me that if I put my name on the Thai house papers I am eligible to be consripted into the Thai Army”.

So I did some research on the ‘net and it seems to be true.

I even posted the question on a Thai Forum and received the answer, as follows:-


Hi, I’m a half Thai male aged 22 and want to get a Thai passport so that I can buy land in Thailand. My mother is Thai, my father is English (UK), I was born in the UK.

If I get a Thai ID Card and am put on the house papers am I then eligible to be conscripted into the Thai Military?

Or can I be exempt as a naturalized citizen?

Even if liable to be drafted I doubt if the Thai army would want me because I’m not ‘Thai’ like the Thais. I can’t speak Thai, I’m not a Bhudist, and know nothing about Thai culture.


You are eligible for draft Military service if you get yourself a Thai ID/passport.

I understand after age 30 they will not bother you…

Being a dual national does not exempt you from Military Service have a look at your British passport says exactly this.

You have to make a choice, get yourself your Thai citizen and take your chance with the call up or wait till your 30…


you are not a naturalised Thai citizen. Rather, you are a Thai citizen by birth who is only just getting around to getting his paperwork in order.

If you were born in the UK, you’ll need to approach the Thai embassy to get your Thai birth certificate issued. At the same time, you’ll can apply for a Thai passport.

I am unsure if purchasing land requires you to be in Thailand personally. However, if not, you could get someone to take power of attoerny and they can process the transaction on your behalf without having even to go to Thailand. Should be possible as power of attoerney is available for most things.

Alternatively, if you are a little worried about it all, your mum can purchase the land on your behalf.


If you want to read the thread on the forum, here is the URL:-

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Thai-Thai-Pp-Eligible-Conscrip-t338232.html

Here are some more links on the subject of conscription into the Thai military:-

http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9471

http://isaanstyle.blogspot.com/2008/04/army-conscription-in-thailand.html

Anyway, that’s the first clever idea blown out of the water!

Bearing in mind that the main reason for sending Alex to Thailand was to get his Thai ID then it’s been an expensive and time-wasting trip for him.

And things weren’t getting any better…

Buying A Car (Pickup) In Bangkok, Thailand

You can buy pretty decent motors (cars, pickups etc) here in Uk for a few thousand pounds.

Daeng (and my wife) warned me not to expect the same thing in Thailand.

I wanted a second hand pickup (preferably Japanese) for about $6,000. (Say 200,000 Baht). I was ready to accept a diesel vehicle with 100,000 miles on the clock.

Not to be. It appears that the Thai’s run their vehicles into the ground. Often the mileage isn’t given and if it is how true is it?

So may forums warn “buyer beware” when it comes to buying a used car in Thailand.

Examples of second hand cars (Toyota pickups) for sale in Bangkok:-

2008 Pickup TOYOTA HILUX VIGO D4D 2.5 [E] D4D (Mileage not given)

Price ::  410,000 Thai Baht

Pickup  TOYOTA  HILUX VIGO D4D  2.5[J] (Milaege not given)

Price ::  375,000 Thai Baht

2007 TOYOTA HILUX VIGO 3 l Diesel (Mileage 102,087 km)

Price ::  $20,909 US, about 693,000 Thai Baht

These are just afew exanples of the prices you’ll pay to get a second hand Toyota pickup in Thailand. My research on the Internet indicated that there was not much available below $10,000 (330,000 Baht) and with milages of around 200,000+ km.

Alex and his Mum in Bangkok found a brand new Toyota Hilux 2.5 l diesel for 550,000 Bhat. That included road tax and one years free insurance.

The price in UK for this model (Toyota Hilux 4WD 2.5 D-4D HL2 Single Cab 2dr) is £17,753 (905,403 Bhat)

The pickup comes complete with ABS, driver and passenger airbags, power steering, electric windows, air conditioning, tilt adjust steering column, remote central locking and an audio system with CD player with MP3/CD-R compatibility. The engine is the latest development of the Toyota 2.5-litre D-4D diesel engine.

This is an excellent website to review the technical details and prices of the Toyota Hilux range.

So we paid our deposit and take delivery on 15th March 2010.

That’s all for this post. Next time I’ll be running through the trials and tribulations of our experience of buying land in Thailand.

Update On Buying A Car In Thailand

On 16th March 2010 my wife collected the car we had ordered from the dealer in Bangkok. It was a day late (not sure why) and she had problems with central door locking and electric windows. it took an exchange of money to sort that out, but finally we have the car.

Go to the new update called “collected the Toyota pickup yesterday” to read about collecting the car and the expensive problems on a brand new car that we had to pay to sort out.

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