It can be quite possible for foreigners living in Thailand together with their Thai spouses to have encountered the problem of co-ownership of land. In some cases, the co-ownership of a condominium can also be a problem.
Since the foreigners are not allowed to legally own a land in Thailand, the simple way to coping this problem is to register it in the name of the Thai spouse. However, it naturally carries some risk and complications. If the couple decides for this option, the Thai spouse is required to provide a proof stating that the money used to purchase the property is theirs and it has no foreign claims to it.
Since 1999, Thai spouses have been allowed to legally acquire and register ownership of land in Thailand only. Before this time period, Thai national married to a foreigner lost the right to acquire land in Thailand due to the fact that the old legislation unintentionally enabled the foreigners to acquire an interest in land as the property between husband and wife. However, the amendment in the legislation allows the Thai spouse to acquire the land. This land would remain a personal property and not a jointly owned property between the Thai and foreign spouses.
There is one special scenario when a foreigner is able to acquire land in Thailand which is by inheritance as a statutory heir. Upon the permission of the Minister of Interior, the foreigner can obtain land as a statutory heir and register ownership of the inherited land.
In reality, the regulations only allow inheritance of the land by a foreigner when the inherited land was foreign owned under a treaty. Foreigners thus cannot inherit land in Thailand as statutory heirs from their Thai spouses.
Inheriting a condominium is relatively easier than inheriting a land. A statutory heir or inheritor can be granted the ownership of such unit(s) if they qualify to register ownership with The Land Department. However, if they fail to qualify or their ownership would the allowed 49% of foreign ownership in the condominium building, the heir or inheritor is bound by the law to dispose of the unit within one year from the date of acquisition.
If you are having trouble with inherited land or condominium in Thailand, contact Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors. We are a law firm in Thailand having extensive knowledge of the property laws in Thailand. We can help you with the inherited property in Thailand. If you have any questions or queries or want to book a free consultation with us, contact us now at +66 (0)2642-0214. You can discuss all your legal issues with us and our team of legal experts in Thailand will help you.
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