Superficies Agreements in Thailand
The right of Superficies is also a Civil Law concept that was incorporated in the Commercial and Civil Code of Thailand (CCCT). You will find a small section in the book about property, under sections 1410 and 1416 CCCT. It's a real right, like the Usufruct, meaning it's attached to an immovable property, a thing, and not a person. So, the owner of the land can change, but this right will stay until it's extinguished by the contract made between the parties.
By giving the right of superficies, the owner of a piece of land creates in favour of another person, a Foreigner or a Thai national, also called superficiary, the right to own upon or under the land, buildings, structures and plantations. (Section 1410). Unless otherwise provided, this right is transmissible to your heirs by way of inheritance. (section 1411). In other words, the owner of the land grants another person to OWN the structures upon the land for a maximum of 30 years, if it's a fixed period (section 1412 referring to section 1403 paragraph 3) OR for the life of the owner of the land or of the superficiary. (Secton 1412). Generally, the right of superficies will be added to a lease agreement on the land and both contracts will have the same length of time. And like a lease agreement or other contracts, renewals are possible.
Like a usufruct agreement, superficies must be registered in order to be valid. To register the right of superficies, the owner of the land must bring her title deed to the land department. Both parties must sign and the name of the superficiary will be added in Thai on the back of the title deed.
Superficies can be given for some consideration (money) or for free. If given for some money, there is a tax of about 1.1% to pay directly to the land department, for the full agreement, on the day of the registration.
Read more about superficies in Thailand:
- Book IV - Property (Commercial and Civil Code of Thailand, 2008)