knowledge and practical thai legal information

Marital home, but is it a marital asset?

Home ownership registration on your Thai spouse's name

When a Thai national married to a foreigner requests ownership registration of land in Thailand the Land Department must insure that the land becomes a personal (non-marital) asset of the Thai spouse only. The Land Department will ask from the foreign and Thai spouse a joint declaration that the money expended on the land (or land and house) belongs to the Thai spouse's personal assets (Sin Suan Tua), and therefore (under Thai laws governing property of husband and wife) will remain a personal (non-marital) asset of the Thai spouse (pursuant to section 1472 Civil and Commercial Code).

Alternatively to this joint declaration (in a 'letter of confirmation') the Thai spouse can supply other evidence to the land officer that the property to be transferred is acquired as a personal asset pursuant to section 1471 and 1472 of the civil and commercial code. Alternatively to the above two options, the Thai spouse did not declare the marriage to the Land Department and the land official registers ownership without the procedure to insure that the land becomes a personal asset of the Thai spouse (instead of a jointly owned marital asset of husband and wife).

Management and control of the marital home

Immovable property purchased and registered with the Land Department as a personal asset of the Thai spouse can actualy be managed by the Thai spouse alone. It is under Thai family law only jointly owned real estate that must be managed by husband and wife together (section 1476 Civil and Commercial Code). The Thai spouse is able to sell or encumber the property without the consent of the foreign spouse (even though he may have actually paid for the property). The foreign spouse's rights to the property are limited as the property is registered as a personal asset of the Thai. Any subsequent agreements between husband and wife affecting her personal property can be voided (section 1469).

See also

Land office regulation

The following land office procedure is aimed at preventing the land from becoming a jointly owned property (Sin Somros) of husband and wife. The procedure is required under a March 1999 regulation issued jointly by the Land Department and Ministry of Interior. Prior to this regulation a Thai national married to a foreigner lost the right to acquire land in Thailand.

Content below as issued by the Land Department

A Thai, who has a foreign spouse (legal or illegal), would like to purchase land, an alien spouse has to confirm in a certify letter (see below) that the spending on the land is his/her separate property sin suan tua (meaning her personal property). The proceeding of certify letters are as follows:
  • 1. In case an alien spouse lives in Thailand:
    • 1.1 In case an alien is a legally spouse, a Thai and an alien spouse have to give joint confirmation in certify letter according to the forms which were specified by the Department of Lands in front of the competent officer in the date of registration of rights and juristic act that the spending on land is sin suan tau of a Thai not sin som ros of the spouse.
    • 1.2 In case an alien is an illegally spouse, a Thai and an alien spouse have to give joint confirmation in certify letter according to the forms which were specified by the Department of Lands in front of the competent officer in the date of registration of rights and juristic act that the spending on land is personal asset of a Thai only not common property.
  • 2. In case an alien spouse lives in Thailand but could not proceed according to No.1: In case an alien spouse lives in Thailand but in the date of registration an alien could not give written confirmation together with a Thai in front of the competent officer at the registration land office. A Thai and an alien spouse shall lodge the application of testimony form for confirming that the spending on land is sin suan tau or personal asset of only a Thai not sin som ros or common property by lodging the application to the competent officer at provincial land office or any branch land office.
  • 3. In case an alien spouse lives in oversea: n case an alien spouse lives in oversea and could not lodge the application of testimony form according to No.1 and No.2. An alien has to contacts the embassy, consular or notary public for giving testimony of an alien spouse in certify letter according to the forms which were specified by the Department of Lands that the spending on land is sin suan tau or personal asset of a Thai not sin som ros or common property one. The embassy, consular or notary public has to certify that person, who applies for certify letter, is truly spouse or they live together as husband and wife with a Thai. After, a Thai who would like to purchase land shall bring original of certify letter to the competent officer for registration of rights and juristic act accordingly.
  • 4. In case a Thai who has legal or illegal alien spouse, if a Thai could show the evidence indicates that the spending on land is sin suan tau or personal asset according to section 1471 and section 1472 of The Civil and Commercial Code, the competent officer could registers rights and juristic act for a Thai without testimony form of Thai nationality and an alien spouse according No.1 – No.3.

  • In case a Thai, who has alien spouse, purchased land before 23 March B.E. 2542 but informed or submitted a false document declaring that he/she is single. For relaxation of rule to a Thai, who has legal or illegal alien spouse, purchased or owned land after the date of marriage. And a Thai informed or submitted a false document to the competent officer declaring that he/she is single or a Thai has no alien spouse prior to the date of issuing letter of Ministry of Interior, Urgent No. MOI 0710/Circulation 792 dated 23 March B.E. 2542. An alien spouse and a Thai shall together give a written confirmation in certify letter in front of the competent officer that the spending on land is sin suan tau or personal asset of only a Thai not sin som ros or common property one. After, the competent officer retains documents in dealing file. If an alien spouse who lives oversea and could not give written confirmation together in front of the competent officer, an alien has to contacts the embassy, consular or notary public for giving testimony of an alien spouse in certify letter according to the forms which were specified by the Department of Lands that the spending on land is sin suan tau or personal asset of a Thai not sin som ros or common property one. The embassy, consular or notary public has to certify that person, who applies the certify letter, is truly spouse or they live together as husband and wife with a Thai. After, a Thai who would like to purchase land shall bring original of certify letter to the competent officer for retaining documents in dealing file.

    Document source: land department

    ------------------------

    Below the land office letter of confirmation

    Document source: local land office. This document is to be signed in the presence of the local land office official.

    land office document

    (c) 2011

    search thaicontracts