We all know by now that foreigners can not buy land in Thailand. But if we still talk about a foreigner buying land in Thailand, it means that he either leases it for at least 30 years (with the option of another 30 years) or buys it in the name of his Thai wife or girlfriend. The latter is not recommended, however. Note that any lease contract that lasts longer than 3 years must be registered at the Land Registry Department. Otherwise, it’s not valid.
This page is intended to give an overview of the different land titles or better land documents that exist in Thailand and the different land measures that indicate the size of a property.
Here is a small list for the land dimensions:
1 Rai = 1600 m²
1 Ngan = 400 m²
1 Tarang Wah = 4 m²
1 Rai = 4 Ngan = 400 Tarang Wah
If a piece of land is for sale in Thailand, this is almost always stated on a sign in Rai. This is important for foreigners, who often can only read the numbers on the sales signs.
Different Land Titles
Thailand has several different types of land titles. They differ in the value and accuracy of the boundaries. We start with the best and most valuable title for foreigners. The most important and valuable land title is the Chanot. Only with a Chanot the property boundaries are measured exactly (by GPS) and thus the property size and boundary stones are exactly defined.
Foreigners should only buy or lease land that has this type of title. For all other land titles, trouble with the neighbors is predictable. They might suddenly claim that their land begins on a completely different coconut tree than previously defined, etc. To be precise, if you bought the land with a lower title and paid for it, the neighbors might come one after the other and cut a slice of “your” land again. But even a chanot can be burdened with loans or leases. Therefore, you should check the title at the land registry office before purchase or lease, preferably by a lawyer.