Avoiding Hazards In Thai Real Estate

Thai real estate is now an alluring possibility for individuals, couples and families seeking to procure property, be it for a short or long term rental in addition to those in search of a permanent dwelling.

Thanks to its warm weather, modern medical facilities, an advanced infrastructure, multiples travel options, cheap cost of living and a mesmerising culture, it is not surprising that Thailand is a popular place to live.

However, foreigners considering acquiringthe white list of real estated need to be prepared and wise up on the common scams associated with buying property in the Land Of Smiles.


Common Real Estate Risks In Thailand

As in many cultures, it simply takes a little bit of research and savviness to avoid the common pitfalls associated with property transactions in Thailand:

Unlike many Western countries, there is no licensing process for estate agents in Thailand. Due diligence is mandatory on the part of the buyer. Ask around for recommendations before hiring a real estate agent.

The basic rule of thumb with Thai real estate law is that foreigners, with very few exceptions, are not allowed to purchase freehold land  in Thailand. They are allowed however to purchase freehold condominium units in designated areas.

Thailand is unfortunately associated with scams from jet skis, to gems to tuk-tuks. Such scams can also sadly extend to land fraud.

In Koh Samui in 2006, investigations by the Thai government exposed that large amounts of land plots had been issued with illegal title deeds. People were left without owning any land, despite having transferred substantial sums of money for it. The majority of land fraud cases are not so drastic and normally involve a lack basic contractual safeguards or due diligence.

Other common property fraud include properties being sold with purchasers thereafter finding promised amenities such as basic sanitation actually not being part of the property. It goes without saying that you should ensure that your contract is clear with what is and isn’t included in the property you are purchasing.

A final, method of acquiring land commonly used trick is using a Thai national (such as a spouse, family member of a spouse or a “professional”) to buy property in their own name on behalf of a foreigner. They then sign a contract to say it belongs to the foreigner. This is strictly illegal under Thai real estate law. A prudent purchaser should avoid instructing either a realtor or law firm that proposes this method of acquisition.


Thai Real Estate Remains A Secure Investment…

Now that you are aware of the pitfalls and risks to be aware of you can proceed with full peace of mind with your Thai real estate transaction. It is important to remember that the above highlights the exceptions rather than the rules for people investing in Thai real estate but it is always sensible to approach any substantial financial transaction in a foreign country with open eyes.

You should also speak to the Thai Government Land Department to arrange an inspection of the land being purchased.

Thailand remains a buyer beware jurisdiction; but for the careful investor, Thailand provides excellent opportunities for attaining that dream Thai holiday home, investment property, permanent residence or retirement home. The feedback (link to feedback page) we have received at Dream Estate Hua Hin will provide you with peace of mind that you can be confident in our professional services at all times.