Many foreigners end up extending their stay in the tropical haven that is Thailand. After spending a few months in cramped hotel rooms, a more desirable dwelling place is most often desired. However, since foreigners are not allowed to own immovable properties in the Kingdom, taking on lease of houses, condominium units or apartments is usually resorted to. Although there are other legal options to acquire interest over immoveable properties, leases are the most popular possibly because it is a type of transaction that foreigners are most familiar with.
If you are a potential lessee (i.e. renter), it is essential to acquaint yourself with a few leasing essentials in Thailand to ensure that you will not have undesirable brushes with your lessor and the law.
Primarily, you have to make it sure that you have a duly executed lease contract between you and the Lessor even if the lease duration is only for a year or two. If the lease period exceeds three years, it is imperative that the lease contract be registered in the Land Office. A lease contract is crucial in the event of future disputes since the law mandates that leases will not be enforceable by action unless there be some written evidence signed by the party liable. Thus, to ensure that your rights and interest over the leased property are protected, a written contract between you and the Lessor is mandatory.
Also, ensure that your verbal arrangement with the Lessor is faithfully reflected in the contract. This is where the services of a reputable Thai lawyer become crucial. Not only will the lawyer ensure that the terms of the contract are according to the agreement of the parties, but also ensure that such terms and conditions are protective of your rights and interests.
Lastly, take note that the contract of lease is not extinguished by the transfer of ownership of the leased property. Thus, despite the transfer of ownership of the property, you should still remain as lessee thereof and the provisions of the contract of lease remains enforceable.