Expats in Thailand Face Renewed Property Crackdown

Expat Globe

Thailand has been a popular destination for British expats since the 1970s but new dangers lurk on the horizon for property owning expat Brits.

Thai ombudsman Siracha recently told a seminar on foreign property ownership held by the Thai Appraisal Foundation that the authorities would be developing a new property law targetted at expats living in Thailand that would employ a “carrot and stick” approach.

Mr Charoenpanij said, "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.

"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.

"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?"

Thai property law is notoriously difficult to navigate with expats found to be holding Thai property illegally risk being summarily deported. Complicated structures have emerged whereby expats are allowed to buy an apartment so long as no more than 49% of the development is foreign owned.