Recent Supreme Court ruling clarifies issues around Inheritance of leasehold property

Under Thai Law a foreigner cannot own the freehold on Land, unless they obtain permission from certain government authorities, such as the Board of Investment or the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand. Many foreigners opt for a leasehold/rental agreement of 30 years, the maximum term allowed for the registration of a rental agreement.

Given the problems reported by Jonathan Head, for the BBC, in The Phuket property nightmare in 2015, in which foreigners Ian Rance and Colin Vard lost their properties held in Thai Limited companies - the clarification of issues surrounding inheritance of rental agreements will hopefully provide foreigners with an alternative ownership option.

The Supreme Court’s decision indicates that if the duration of the lease is not for the entire life of the lessee or lessor, it will be deemed that the parties agree to waive their exclusive rights, and thus the lease will not be terminated upon the death of either party.

The Supreme Court’s decision on these issues appears to differ in some ways from previous judgements, and it will be important to monitor how the particular facts and circumstances of other upcoming cases will be interpreted according to Theerapat Sombatsatapornkul, an attorney-at-law from the corporate and commercial department at Tilleke & Gibbins.

Much more on this story from South China Morning Post