Because of the exotic beauty and splendour of Thailand most of the tourists who come to visit temporarily end up living in this majestic and tropical country as expatriates.
Generally, under the Thai law, foreign ownership of land is strictly prohibited. Financially smart foreigners however, have found the process of purchasing condos in their own name and renting those units out for income generation to be a very attractive investment.
Thus, resourceful foreigners have directly gained full control over the property they acquired in the form of condominium units. Some expats will live in the Thai condo themselves while other owners choose to have a property management company handle the rental. Some Thailand condo developers will even offer this service to the new buyers.
Since foreigners are forbidden from acquiring real properties in Thailand, they have chosen to purchase the next best thing. Acquisition of condominium units have become the simplest and most trouble-free substitute for foreigners who want to own real property in the country.
Although foreign ownership of condominium units is allowed, acquisition thereof is limited to a maximum of forty-nine percent (49%) of the whole building.
Another method of indirectly acquiring real property in Thailand is through a long-term lease. Although the non-Thai is merely considered as a lessee in this case, he is converted into the virtual owner of the leased premises since the lease agreement may be drafted in such a way as to render the agreement binding for a very long time, the maximum period of which is for thirty (30) years.
Before the expiration of the contract of lease, if the latter changes his mind and decide to sell his rights to the leased premises, he may validly be allowed to do so as long as such an act is provided for under the contract of lease.
Another alternative approach to indirectly owning real estate is the purchase of land through a duly registered Thai company. Although purchase of land by an individual foreigner is prohibited, it isn't prohibited for the Thai company to own and to acquire Thailand real estate.