Due to the legal restrictions in the Thai property market, many foreigners look for alternatives to a direct property purchase, some of which are outlined below.
Leasing land in Thailand
A foreigner can lease land for 30 years in Thailand. However, leasing is rather unusual, in most cases this occurs when a foreign man marries a Thai woman: the Thai woman, as a Thai citizen, purchases the land and stipulates a lease agreement with her foreign husband.
No matter who you lease from, make sure that all data on the deed is accurate, and that the land you are leasing has the appropriate title. Usually, the leasing contract states the duration of the lease, the buyer´s right to resell it and the registration fee.
Land can have different titles in Thailand, depending on factors such as the location or whether it can be leased to a foreigner or not. There are seven types of land titles but just three of them can be leased: Chanot, Nor Sor Saam Gor and Nor Sor Saam.
Purchasing land through a company
Another alternative, is to set up a Thai Limited Company. If you decide this is the best option for you, be aware that as a foreigner, you cannot hold half or more than half of the company's shares. Therefore the company has to be at least 51% owned by Thai citizen. They can then choose to sign over their company rights to you. Note, that the Thai Immigration office is aware of this kind of procedures and will certainly monitor your business.
Buying an apartment as a foreigner
Due to the legal restrictions mentioned above, most foreigners choose to simply buy a condominium or apartment in Thailand. However, a foreigner can only purchase a condominium in his/her own name, as long as at least 51% of the building is owned by Thai people.