how to register a usufruct in Thailand

How to register or get a Thailand usufruct. When I download the usufruct contract from your website, how does it work? I gave money to my Thai friend and he gives me the right of usufruct in renturn, is signing enough, does the government get involved, how, or is it explained in your instructions? Thanks
Asked 6 years ago

Below the basics of usufruct registration in Thailand

  • the usufruct is only valid and enforceable upon registration on the land title deed by the local land office. The right of usufruct and usufructuary’s name will be noted on the backside of the owner’s land title deed and on the original land title deed as held by the land office
  • at the Land Office everything is done in Thai, even your name is usually written in Thai script. It is common that foreigners use a Thai national (Thai lawyer) who can act on their behalf at the Land Office under a (land office form) power of attorney.
  • it is common that land officials expect some 'extra money' for any official registration by the Land Registry (in more rural areas this would be lower than high end tourist locations), but this depends on the officials you are dealing with and the local land office policy. Paying extra money is certainly not a bribe (it is not that they turn a blind eye to anything illegal or unlawful), in Thai culture it can be described as an incentive for the Land Office officials to take extra care and attention to your matter and to make sure your interest is protected by a correct registration in the land registers
  • some land offices are reluctant to register a usufruct and some land office require a larger sum of extra money for the registration of a usufruct
  • some local land offices have a standard policy to reject any custom drafted usufruct and/or only accept their own standard 1 page land office usufruct contract, or sometimes objections made by officials are simply a result of not paying extra money.
  • when the right of usufruct is given without value or consideration the registration fees are minimal. If money or compensation is paid to the owner for the right of usufruct the registration fees are 1,1 % over the total price paid for the usufruct
  • the usufruct must be registered over an unencumbered property with a full legal land title deed and the house should have been legally built according to building permission. The property must have access to a public road. The property should not be under mortgage as this would generally restrict registration of any subsequent rights on the title deed. If the property is transferred to the current owner under a right of redemption (as sometimes happens if a property is transferred (gifted) between family members) this could affect the validity of the usufruct agreement and enforceability if the land must be given back to the previous owner (see short checklist below)
  • usufruct is less suitable if the property to be placed under usufruct is undeveloped land with the intention to build a house upon the land. In this case a right of superficies could also be established. A custom drafted usufruct could give the right to build on the land under usufruct.
Answered 6 years ago
Thailand Lawyer Online

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