Guidelines for officials
The following summary is translated from a handbook for Lands Department officials to consider land acquisitions by Thai individuals with foreign spouses. It was issued on Dec 22, 2005.
- Thai individuals having both legitimate and illegitimate foreign spouses can acquire unlimited sizes of land as personal property. The couple has to jointly certify in writing on the date of title deed transfer that the money spent to acquire the plot belongs solely to the Thai partner and is not a common matrimonial asset.
- If the foreign spouse is in another country, he/she needs to present to a Thai embassy or consular office a certified letter that the money spent to acquire the plot belongs solely to the Thai partner.
- In cases where a Thai individual with a foreign spouse acquired land after marriage but prior to March 23, 1999 and falsely indicated marital status as single, the couple can go to a Lands Department office and jointly certify in writing that the money spent belongs solely to the Thai partner.
- After the certification, the Thai partner who owns the land can mortgage it.
- A Thai woman buys a plot of land by reporting her marital status as single and withholding the fact of her marriage to a foreign husband. She fails to prove that the money spent was her personal asset. Therefore, officials assume the money was a common matrimonial asset and revoke her ownership. She needs to transfer the ownership to someone else within 180 and 365 days.
- A Thai woman with a common-law foreign husband buys a plot of land at an auction by the Legal Execution Department. The court informs the Lands Department to transfer ownership to the woman but the department finds that the money to be spent is a common matrimonial asset. The Lands Department recommends to the Interior Minister that the purchase be prohibited.
- The Supreme Court has ruled to revoke ownership of a Thai woman who has her name on the land title deed on behalf of her foreign husband. Therefore, the land must be transferred to someone else within 180 and 365 days. Otherwise the Lands Department director-general can order the land transferred with a fee of 5% of the selling price, on top of incurred charges and taxes.