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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    Flip, do you know if that decision has been confirmed by the Thai Supreme Court?
    I don't Tobias but it has been widely reported. My Thai lawyer also told me about it.

    Note that these cases have been brought about by the clause in the Thai land law (8. I think) that states something like 'Any attempt to circumvent the Thai Land Laws may result in forfeiture'. 30+30 or even 30+30+30 year leases were seen as just that - circumventing the Thai land laws. It was considered that anything more than 30 years was de facto, ownership.
    Last edited by Flip; 4th Dec 2018 at 12:41.

  2. #22
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    I don't doubt you Flip, unless the Thai Supreme Court overrules that decision the judgment of the Phuket Court is valid. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it is certainly food for thought for all who visit Thailand-UK and who intend to enter in to such an agreement. As with all land deals (and especially in Thailand) Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    As with all land deals (and especially in Thailand) Caveat Emptor - let the buyer beware.
    I agree totally. For example, I am pretty sure that I come as close to 'owning' my property as is possible but can I say that I am 100% the owner? No.

    For anyone interested - and this structure has been formulated by a Thai lawyer, this is the method I use.

    Currently, the house is registered in the name of a Thai national, well known and trusted by me. I am not nor have I ever been, related to this person.

    I have a 30 year Usufruct agreement duly registered at the local land office and recorded on the Chanotte title. I also have a power of attorney, signed by the current registered owner and witnessed at my lawyer's office. The power of attorney grants me the right to sell the property. As neither agreement grants me ownership per se, there is no violation of the Thai land laws. A Usufruct is a legal instrument and grants me only the rights to live in and enjoy the property. The power of attorney grants me the right to sell it which is not illegal.

    However, a Usufruct agreement dies with the benificiary so I would have nothing to pass on to my children. So, sometime in the very near future I will 'sell' the house to a properly registered and fully trading Thai company that I control by owning 39% - 49% of the ordinary chares (depending on what the local land office will allow) the Thai directors will not have any voting rights and as far as I remember, I will hold 100% of the preference shares. (I cannot remember 100% of how the company will be structured but I trust in my lawyer). Therefore I control the company 100% and its the company that will own the property, not me.

    The reason why company ownership routes have failed in the past is once again - the Thai land laws on circumvention. My company will be a genuine, trading entity that has a reason to own land. Many people set up companies purely to own land that are not actually real companies - their lawyer or agent prepares accounts each year and pays the minimum income tax. That is cirumvention - cheating the system and if discovered can lead to forfeiture.

    When I die, I simply leave my shares to whoever and they take over my position - in all probability that will lead to the sale of the property. Should whoever I leave my shares to, decide to keep the property, one benefit will be that there is no property tax payable as the property has not been transfrerred - only the shares have.

  4. #24
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    We own a house currently in my wife's name including the land , our son will become the owner at some point he is Thai so no issues. I cannot think of any reason why I would want title in my name but the total value is a few million Baht not even worth trying to protect it.

    In any purchase I would use a qualified lawyer as a default position in Thailand would seek a second legal opinion.
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by te2008 View Post
    I've been told that it's 25 years, but after having a chat with a decent Thai lawyer, he said it's actually 30 years with an option to renew for another 30 years.
    It looks like the other bent lawyer been trying to have me over the table.
    James, about 8-9 years ago did I meet you at a property exhibition in BKK"?


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    Thai Law is specific any lease greater than three years must be recorded on the back of the title up to a maximum of 30 years. If the lease contains any right to renew after that period most land departments will refuse to stamp it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by te2008 View Post
    Are you a property Thai lawyer?
    If not. Where did you get your info from.

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    I am a property expert and Flip is completely correct, although most Land Departments are refusing now to accept an Usufruct arrangement, even though are are obliged to.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by James HKT View Post
    most Land Departments are refusing now to accept an Usufruct arrangement, even though are are obliged to.
    Do they give any grounds for that James? Has anyone taken them to task on it?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    Do they give any grounds for that James? Has anyone taken them to task on it?
    We use lawyers to draw up leases etc and this came from a trusted company we know well. I can't really tell you if the practice has been challenged, we certainly wouldn't as we depend on a good relationship.

  8. #28
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    One of the major problems with the Thai system I'm afraid - locals can do what they want and rarely get challenged.

    Unrelated but a mate of mine was being made to do something he didn't have to for his visa. He called the main immigration office in Bangkok and asked them about it. They agreed that the officer was wrong but when he asked them to call the Korat office and advise them of that they refused..........face!!!!

    Shame I'm not in Phuket - I'd take them on.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    One of the major problems with the Thai system I'm afraid - locals can do what they want and rarely get challenged.

    Unrelated but a mate of mine was being made to do something he didn't have to for his visa. He called the main immigration office in Bangkok and asked them about it. They agreed that the officer was wrong but when he asked them to call the Korat office and advise them of that they refused..........face!!!!

    Shame I'm not in Phuket - I'd take them on.
    Thai government departments are like independent kingdoms, one will never interfere with another as your friend has found! I remember his problem and what has clearly happened is the IO has said something, has probably now realised they are wrong, but to admit this would be to lose face and as such will maintain they are correct until death!
    Phuket is unlike the other provinces, I don't know why. But you will not beat the establishment here, better to smile, give a low wai, and just accept it, whatever "it" is.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    One of the major problems with the Thai system I'm afraid - locals can do what they want and rarely get challenged.

    Unrelated but a mate of mine was being made to do something he didn't have to for his visa. He called the main immigration office in Bangkok and asked them about it. They agreed that the officer was wrong but when he asked them to call the Korat office and advise them of that they refused..........face!!!!

    Shame I'm not in Phuket - I'd take them on.
    If we did things what they do, then we would get punished.

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by James HKT View Post
    Phuket is unlike the other provinces, I don't know why. But you will not beat the establishment here, better to smile, give a low wai, and just accept it, whatever "it" is.
    Well, I know very little about Phuket James - other than its way more expensive than anywhere else in Thailand but I am slowly learning that it is possible to take on the establishment - at least in other parts of Thailand. You may remember I took on one of the major private hospital groups not so long ago and won - even after my lawyer (and everyone else) said I was wasting my time. It can be very difficult and a great many obstacles can be put in your way but perseverance and tenacity can pay off.

    I once had a bit of a battle with the manager of the local Land Transport office who told me I couldn't register my bike in my name. He stood his ground and I searched and searched but I could not find any regulation that said I couldn't register the bike. I told my next door neighbour - a policeman, about the problem and after a few whiskies he agreed to help. I asked him to write me an unofficial note saying that he had noticed my bike's registration had expired and when he'd mentioned it to me, I told him about the problem - could the Land Transport office (note the office not the manager's name) please show him the regulation that prevented me from registering my bike. He was sure it was a mistake and would contact the department responsible.

    Armed with that note I went back to the LT office and waited to talk to the manager. He agreed to step outside for a coffee and I showed him the note - notice I took him out of sight of others. Within 15 minutes the bike was registered in my name. Since then we get along very well - I recently replaced both my (lost) driving licences without any paperwork - not even that holy grail, the Police Report.

    I completely understand what you say about Face and know how difficult it can be to overcome but sometimes it is possible by offering the face keeper a way out and not doing it in front of their colleagues.

    Korat Immigration - that is going to be an interesting one. My mate's visa extension is up for renewal in February (I think) and his lawyer (incidentally the same one that told me I was wasting my time with the hospital) has agreed to take Korat Immigration on. I don't know the details but this lawyer made local history a while back when he took them on and won. I'm pretty sure he'll offer the lady in question a way out first but he has stated she is 100% wrong and he is not afraid of standing up in court and pointing out the actual regulations. I'm sort of looking forward to that one.

    I think a lot of what we hear about Thai rules, regulations and other areas where foreigners often appear to lose out is actually myth to a certain extent. Things seem to change when such matters are challenged. However, I don't expect to win every battle - in fact I know I'm never going to get a Yellow House book until the local Amphur manager retires but that's another story.

  12. #32
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    I agree it is possible to challenge a ruling in for example an Amphur especially if a family member happens to be a high up in that ministry. My wife eldest brother has a high level position in Chang Rai and when we had problems in Fao Rai a swift phone call removed the barrier in a couple of hours.

    That said most of the time abiding by the rules saves time and energy.

    Thailand is definitively not the worst or even close to the most corrupt administration but its up there somewhere.
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by te2008 View Post
    If we did things what they do, then we would get punished.

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    We would. We're "not in Kansas anymore"

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    If I didn't work I would challenge everything I had issues with as I would in the UK. It's just not worth it.

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