Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Bangkok Podcast

Dec 13, 2022

Greg interviews Bangkok-based lawyer Dave Lawrence about the ins and outs of foreigners owning land in Thailand. Dave begins with his backstory: he went to law school in Ohio where he met his future wife while she was getting a master's degree (also in law), and upon graduating they returned to Thailand for what was expected to be two years. That has now turned into 12 years, and in the meantime Dave has worked several different legal jobs at law firms as well as private companies. Dave then explains his current venture: Pegleg, a company that matches foreigners in Thailand with Thai lawyers and law firms. 

Dave then introduces us to the basics of foreigners owning property in Thailand. As for condos, it’s possible as long as less than 50% of the ‘saleable land’ in the building is owned by foreigners. However, in general, owning real property (actual land) is forbidden to foreigners - but there are some well-known (but questionably legal) workarounds. Some foreigners start a company with majority Thai ownership and then have the company purchase the land. Dave points out that this is a risky maneuver and potentially illegal if the Thai owners are just ‘nominees’ instead of true owners. 

Next, the guys discuss the recent (and recurring) talk of amending the law to allow foreign ownership in some cases. Dave argues that such efforts are usually met with skepticism in the legal community because of their history of being met with xenophobic opposition, i.e. fear of foreigners ‘buying up the country.’ The two discuss the pros and cons of foreign ownership and whether they think it will ever come to pass for real. 

As for now, if you are a foreigner and want to own your home in Thailand, it’s condos or trusting your Thai spouse.:) 

Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.