Since foreigners normally cannot own land in Thailand many foreigners opt for a superficies. The superficies in Thailand allows you to own the property on the land without owning the land itself. Many times foreigners will place the land into the name of their wife but build the house under a superficies in their own name. In the event of a divorce the land will always be hers however you can still own the property built onto the land.
Types of Superficies
There are three options when it comes to the superficies. You will need to consider this or speak to a property lawyer in Thailand to assist you with the options as this is only a brief breakdown of the superficies in Thailand.
- The superficies is registered for 30 years. If you are going to invest in property and are able to recover your cost within 30 years then this might be an option. You could also sell the property before the 30 years expiration to the owner of the land if you have an agreement for this beforehand. Most simply built a house and do not expect to be living that long so they opt for the superficies for 30 years.
- You can also have a superficies for the lifetime of the owner of the land. This could be a problem even if the owner is your wife as when the person dies you are going to have to deal with different people who might not be interested in continuing or might want more money for the superficies to exist. This creates its own problems
- The final option is that the superficies expires when you die. You might what to consider this but if you have a wife who lives with you on this land. Then she would be without a home when you die and she will have to deal with the problems of renewing the superficies. You will have to take proper legal advice on what is best for you.
What is a Superficies
Superficies are mainly used by foreigners who wish to protect themselves in the event of a divorce. Since you have no claim against the land as only a Thai can own land in Thailand you can still own the property on the land. If you are retired then this is a good option as well as looking at leasing property or opting for registering a usufruct in Thailand. Now you know what is a superficies.
The superficies has to be registered against the title deed in Thailand and there is a cost involved as the government would normally charge 1% plus 0.1% as stamp duty. The 1.1% registration fee is based on the value of the superficies. If however there is no exchange of cash then it would normally be about 100 THB per plot. Again rules change as well as the laws so always take proper legal advice from a property lawyer in Thailand.