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george

New Draconian Property Law To Deport Foreigners Who "Owns" Land Illegally

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george    2,855

PROPERTY

Ombudsmen urge draconian new law

BANGKOK: -- Thai ombudsmen is drafting a carrot-and-stick law to protect Thai lands from illegal foreign nominee ownership, while developers and consultants suggest more legal transparency, a longer leasehold period and higher foreigner property taxes to prevent nominees.

Ombudsman Siracha Charoenpanij said the new law would comprise punishment for companies offering advice to foreigners on how to hold Thai property by disguising their legal transaction. This would include law firms and consultants.

The existing law enforced by the Lands Department requires foreigners found holding Thai property to transfer the plot to someone else or sell it within 180 days.

"The new law includes a reward to anyone providing information about foreigners owning land through nominees. They will get 20% of the market price of that piece of land as a reward after the plot is sold," he said at a seminar on foreign property ownership yesterday held by the Thai Appraisal Foundation.

Deportation

The new law would also deport foreigners found guilty of holding land plots in Thailand illegally.

Ombudsmen will submit the draft to parliament this year, and Mr Siracha thinks there is backing for the bill.

"Anyone related to the property business may be unhappy with this bill as it will make the market rigid. But this law can help protect the land for the next generation of Thais," he said.

Will there be any land left for our Thai children?

He pointed to a new scheme where foreigners disguise their ownership similar to multi-level marketing, where they are buying shares of an agricultural company that grows rice on large plots in the northeast.

"I've heard there was a broker buying land plots throughout a tambon in Surin to cultivate Hom Mali rice," he said. "If such an act is not prevented, will there be any land left for our children?"

Suphin Mechuchep, managing director of property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) (Thailand), said any new law should not weaken Thailand's competitiveness. Yet too free a market would lead to a bubble, so balance is needed, she added.

"We should have transparency if we want foreigners to comply," she said.

She suggested clarity in regulations so foreigners could estimate their investment. Longer leasehold periods such as 50 or 90 years would lower their risk from the current 30 years, she added.

Higher tax on foreigner property transactions

When laws are clarified, she accepted Thailand may charge higher taxes on foreigner property transactions than on those of Thais.

Atip Bijanonda, president of the construction and real estate business department of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, agreed there needs to be balance while still welcoming foreign investment.

He suggested the government set guidelines for foreigners, forbidding their purchase of land banks, farm land, property in border areas, and locations related to the country's security. Foreigners are permitted to buy land in industrial estates because they generate income and employment. Residential units near industrial estates are allowed for foreign investors or executives working there to bring their compatriots to visit Thailand.

-- BKK Post 2012-06-29

Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/300025/ombudsmen-urge-draconian-new-law

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Om85    260

I still have a big doubt: How can possibly any foreigner "own" land throught nominees??? In any case they are renting that land, cuz the real owner is the nominee.coffee1.gif

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hungryhippo    48
Foreigners are permitted to buy land in industrial estates because they generate income and employment.

We're nothing but walking ATMs to these people.

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Jawnie    394

More of the same top-down, nobody really cares, moralizing by a few holier-than-thou hateful elitist politicians. In the meantime, they will be happy to take your tourism and sex-trade money.

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steelepulse    3,385

I guess they could start with the Singaporeans that just dropped 1.4 Billion baht on a resort in Phuket.

It's a little early for the annual sabre rattling which now appears to be a bi annual event instead of an annual event.

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steveyinasia    727

No use trying to apply logic in anything that the Thai government does when it comes to foreigners, their xenophobic ways will never change.

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commande    149

They should start with getting rid of the corruption within their own system of government. All we ever see is a lot of talk and funny it always seems to be the foreigners are taking over. Granted there are a lot of bad foreigners here but it is the Thai's fault because they don't enforce the laws already in place which are more than enough to keep things fair and equal.

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nullx8    105

I still have a big doubt: How can possibly any foreigner "own" land throught nominees??? In any case they are renting that land, cuz the real owner is the nominee.coffee1.gif

RIGHT !

i can not see the crime at all ...

and if this would be illegal .. then the THai person would be the one commits the crime

or do i miss somethings ?

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hellodolly    4,442

Sounds good to me. Sure won't affect the average expat except with a wife he may be able to get a longer lease on a home.

As far as business men go well I think they are perfectly capable of going to another country where they can continue business as they have been doing. For the small Businessmen such as a bar or restaurant owner. It should be no problem. As long as they are being transparent about it. Like if the property is in their wife's name be a wife they are living with not some one they met two years ago and haven't seen since.

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pkspeaker    911

So the big question for many expats- Will they loose or potentially loose that house they bought from a real-estate agent that is technically owned by a 'company', in these cases the company isn't real but the house is owned by this 'company' that has thai 'nominees' that own 51%, the rest-49% of the 'compnay' is owned by the foreigner who spent all that money to by 'his/her' house which they don't technically own..

I was worried that they may one day close the loophole so I never took the bait when real-estate agents told me "yes you can own a house in Thailand" I figure better to put the money in another investment and just rent..

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LennyW    4,165

I read this yesterday and i must say this smacks very much of "yes we want your money but we don't really want to give you anything in return" nothing new in that respect.

If they want to outlaw company ownership, fine, do it definitively once and for all, but offer a real solution.. 99 Year leases would

be a good start.

They have no idea how much damage their reluctance to change will create, with places like Cambodia and Myanmar starting to open up to Foreigners and Foreign business' if Thailand does not "get with the program" inward investment to this country in this sector will rapidly become a thing of the past!!

"Ombudsman Siracha Charoenpanij said the new law would comprise punishment for companies offering advice to foreigners on how to hold Thai property by disguising their legal transaction. This would include law firms and consultants"

I wonder if this would also apply to Land Department officers that demand hefty "fees" to process such transactions?

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RickTheBear    6

"The new law includes a reward to anyone providing information about foreigners owning land through nominees. They will get 20% of the market price of that piece of land as a reward after the plot is sold,"

Are foreigners eligible for this reward... if so, I think I'll be dam_n rich pretty fast by providing infos :-)

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BANGKOK 21 September 2017 06:54
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