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Mobi

Illegal For Thai Wives Of Foreigners To Own Land

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Mobi    1,104
Saw this short and rather disturbing blurb in the Chiangmai Mail:

Using Thai wife as land purchase nominee is illegal, states Minister

CMM reporters

During his nationwide inspection tour of 30 provinces, Anuwat Meteewiboonwut, the director-general of the Thai government’s Land Department, reiterated that any foreigner who uses a Thai nominee—even if the person is his legal wife—to purchase land in the kingdom will have the title deeds of the land revoked if caught.

Pressed to explain further, he stated that if a Thai wife can fund the purchase of land and a house herself, no law is broken. However, if her husband gives her money from his funds to make the purchase, and is discovered to have done so, this will be regarded as an illegal act and the title deeds will be revoked.

Anuwat’s tour is aimed at improving public services in 3 areas, dress, conduct to the public and the clearing of a backlog of work.

I have no idea why such an important topic that must effect literally thousands of readers to this forum is closed yet again!!! (I know, the OP requested, it, but it is clear that he didn't realise this may be a new development, and also probably didn't realise the original thread was closed).

This same official who originally spoke in Phuket, is now being quoted in the Chiang Mai press. Does this relate to a new pronouncement in Chiang Mai, or does it relate to his earlier statement in Phuket?

Does anyone know?

If he is going round the country making the same statement then maybe it's time someone started to take notice.

Surely, if any topic is worthy of discussion it is this one?

How hard is it to delete inflammatory or irrelevant posts?

Can we keep this one open please?

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steelepulse    3,385

I thought this issue had closure due to the fact that if the wife signs the paper saying the money to buy the land is hers, then end of story.  Did I miss something else?

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thaihome    1,064

I reckon its because people, like you, refuse to understand that this is issue is about nominees and not a wife buying the land directly and the foreign husband signing the statement that he has no claim on the money used to buy it.

Definition of a nominee:

“A person or organization in whose name a security or land is registered though true ownership is held by another party.”

If a Thai wife has purchased land in her name with money the husband has stated he has no claim to, how is that a nominee setup? This was amply explained by the resident legal expert that this was only meant to applying to people setting up companies with Thai nominees, including spouses, for the purpose of owning land, not a Thai person buying land directly in their name.

Hopefully this thread will closed soon as well.

TH

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monty    368

I have had my staff, who is well connected at the land and house department, seek clarifications on the statements made by Mr. Anuwat recently.

Unfortunately, this official refuses to be quoted by name, as for the obvious reasons.

In short, the following is his explanation:

If a Thai person is married to a foreigner, and wishes to register land in her name, it is required for both husband and wife to sign a statement, that the acquired property will remain the sole personal property (Sin Suan Tua) of the Thai partner, as opposed to common matrimonial property (Sin Som Ros) where the latter would normally be the case as per the civil law regarding marriages.

It is clear in this case that the Thai person is 100% owner, entirely on her own behalf, and as such can never be seen as a nominee holding land on someone else's behalf, as there is nobody who, under Thai civil law could make a claim to the land apart form said Thai owner.

There are however spouses who have kept on their Thai Maiden names (as they are legally allowed to do so), and neglect to state that they are married to a foreigner. As such the above mentioned statement does not get signed.

If in this case the funds used to acquire the land are supplied solely by the foreigner, and the foreigner would be able to prove that the funds have been acquired by him previous to the marriage, then according to the Thai civil law, the land would be the sole property of the foreigner (SIn Suan Tua), regardless of whose name the land is registered in. The Thai partner would only be owner of any increase in value acrued during the marriage on a 50% base (as this gain in value would be Sin Som Ros), or according to any pre-nuptial agreements.

In this case it is clear that the Thai partner in the marriage is a nominee, holding the land on behalf of the foreigner, as at all times, either during the marriage or after a divorce, the foreigner can lay claim to the land as per the laws on Sin Suan Tua/Sin Som Ros.

Mr. Anuwat also clearly states, that even if the Thai partner neglected to mention the fact that her husband is a foreigner, and never signed the statement, BUT she can prove that the land has been acquired with her own funds, then she can remain the legal owner of the land since per Thai civil law the land will be her personal property (Sin Suan Tua).

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Crossy    10,593

After discussion with the wiser ones, and a PM exchange with Mobi (the OP) I'm re-opening this thread.

Below is an extract from a PM I got from Mobi, he has some excellent discussion points and valid concerns. Let's keep our comments to these topics please :)

I agree that Monty has posted a good clarification on the issue.

However my main point was to ask whether this guy Anuwat is spewing his legal interpretations all over Thailand, or has the CM press simply picked up what he said in Phuket.

If he is going round the country scaring all the farangs with wives who own property, then I think it is worthy of further discussion.

BTW it doesn't affect me personally, as all the relevant papers were signed at the land office, and she used her (my) married name and I was issued with a usufruct.

I am concerned for those, some elderly, who often panic when this sort of stuff is espoused by "anti farang" land officers.

What about those whose wives didn't declare they were married? Any advice for them? Anyway to regularise the legalities?

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tijnebijn    61

Indeed a very good initiative from the OP to keep this thread open to help each other out .

I just posted in another thread that my wife bought her ground before we got married ,

we did marry 2 years after and she changed the name on the landpaper as she has changed her backname accordingly .

Now I don't know if we should have signed something because of her marital status now ,

in this case do she/we have to sign anything or not ?

Got a bit confused on this one , thanks .

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Crossy    10,593
Indeed a very good initiative from the OP to keep this thread open to help each other out .

Now I don't know if we should have signed something because of her marital status now ,

in this case do she/we have to sign anything or not ?

The whole issue addled my mind too. :)

Taking into account Monty's excellent clarification it is my interpretation, that since the property was acquired BEFORE you married it is her sole personal property (Sin Suan Tua) and you can never have any call on it. This being the case there is no need to renounce your rights by signing the declaration, as you never had any :D

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tijnebijn    61
Indeed a very good initiative from the OP to keep this thread open to help each other out .

Now I don't know if we should have signed something because of her marital status now ,

in this case do she/we have to sign anything or not ?

The whole issue addled my mind too. :D

Taking into account Monty's excellent clarification it is my interpretation, that since the property was acquired BEFORE you married it is her sole personal property (Sin Suan Tua) and you can never have any call on it. This being the case there is no need to renounce your rights by signing the declaration, as you never had any :D

This is what I thought also , thanks for your clarification Crossy , much appreciated here . :)

But as we have so many unclear questions and scenarios on our minds , there is another thing .

Perhaps you can help me some , first because I have no rights to claim anything what happens if my wifes passes over ?

We have 2 kids , one of our own and one of her previous marriage who's father has passed over .

I assume they inherit the whole bunch if it does happen , would you think it is smart to make a will ? ( lawyer or Ampuh )

Another thing is my oldest ( stephson ) does not have our family name , but we want to , think adoption is difficult ,

but I know he can do what he pleases when he turns 20 ( in 3 years time ) .

he has got 2 half brothers on his other side and we don't want anything to go to them if something might happen to him ,

everything unless he has chidren from himself got to go to our other son ...perhaps change name make a will stating that for him . We want them to have equal inheriting status .

My impression is that when I'm at advanced age , my children can take care of me if I'm financially not able to , the main thing is that I live with them , on our property ofcourse . I don't care about anything in my name , just assurance I can stay

at my lovely home till I hopefully pass at an old age .

Thanks for your input , and thats all for now . :D

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Crossy    10,593
But as we have so many unclear questions and scenarios on our minds , there is another thing .

Perhaps you can help me some , first because I have no rights to claim anything what happens if my wifes passes over ?

We have 2 kids , one of our own ............

.........financially not able to , the main thing is that I live with them , on our property ofcourse . I don't care about anything in my name , just assurance I can stay

at my lovely home till I hopefully pass at an old age .

I am no expert but IMHO as a minimum you should:-

  1. Employ a good lawyer conversant with family law.
  2. Your wife should make a will.
  3. You should make a will covering your Thai property, and one in your home country covering your other property.
  4. You need to arrange a means whereby you remain in your home should your wife pre-decease you (lease or usufruct)

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tijnebijn    61

Interesting tips you gave there , I think we should take care of it as quick as possible .

No1 and No 2 , I had a recommendation of a trustworthy lawyer before .

No3 I don't have yet any property in Thailand exept my car and motorbike . In my home country

everything is taking care of .

No4 not sure how to create a usufruct , when does the timeframe goes into effect ?

After she deceases before me or immediately ? Not sure if a lease or whatever may help cause we are still

only in our mid thirties . And also I do not mistrust my children when they are the owners , don't feel the need to .

But its something to consider though .

Thanks again .

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Can anyone explain "revoke"? The title goes back to the previous owner who was a Thai lady married to a foreigner.. and then what? Or does the state get the land.?

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Crossy    10,593
No4 not sure how to create a usufruct , when does the timeframe goes into effect ?

After she deceases before me or immediately ? Not sure if a lease or whatever may help cause we are still

only in our mid thirties . And also I do not mistrust my children when they are the owners , don't feel the need to .

You need to sort an usufruct ASAP, your lawyer will know how. IIRC it's pretty cheap. Usufruct gives you lifetime use of the land no matter who it belongs to (handy as you are both still young).

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churchill    414

Can somebody please advise ?

At present my house / land is owned by a company where I and my wife have shares - I am thinking of taking a loan and the only way to do this - It seems is for me to sell the companies land/house to my wife .

Is there a secure contract that can be drawn up to protect my interests in the unlikely event of either her death or a split . We have a 3 year old daughter so I cannot see a split occurring but who knows ?

Or is it better to forget the loan and leave the ownership as it is - basically in a Thai Company where I have a share ( about 49%)

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Gary A    2,496

A tempest in a tea pot. NOTHING has changed. It only restates that nominees are illegal. Nominees have always been illegal whether the nominee is your wife or not. This only highlights that bogus companies will eventually be prosecuted. My wife has a number of properties that are in her name and I have no claim to them. I signed the document that I have no financial in HER properties. Why this must be rehashed time and time again is beyond me. The bottom line is that you CANNOT own land in Thailand unless you trust your Thai wife.

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bojo    20
Can somebody please advise ?

At present my house / land is owned by a company where I and my wife have shares - I am thinking of taking a loan and the only way to do this - It seems is for me to sell the companies land/house to my wife .

Is there a secure contract that can be drawn up to protect my interests in the unlikely event of either her death or a split . We have a 3 year old daughter so I cannot see a split occurring but who knows ?

Or is it better to forget the loan and leave the ownership as it is - basically in a Thai Company where I have a share ( about 49%)

Loans are quite hard to come by right now but probably easier to obtain if the property is in your wife's name . Taxes will have to be paid also when transferring from company to wife, could be expensive depending on land office's valuation. Then you will have to sign a form saying she has bought the property with her own cash etc.

I've not read all the threads but I would assume their is no contract that could be drawn up that would protect you in the event of a split after signing the form at land office. In event of death a will should cover that i imagine.

Regarding your current company set up...Even with you having a share(49%) I assume your wife is the director and signatory, she's at the helm and has total control over everything.

You could consider 'usufruct' which will give you rights over the premises.

Seek good legal advice, is the best next step.

Regards Bojo

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