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Maizefarmer

Protecting The Roof Over Your Head From A Devious Partner

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The re-occurring question that comes up in respect of the house belonging to the recently murdered expat is: who will now actually own the house?

Well, it was always the partners house (i.e. the accused Thai female), but ex-pats concerned they may find themselves in a not dissimilar position, may wish to give thought to the following property ownership solution.

Buying land and building a house? Consider, doing it on condition your partner agrees to registering a long lease for the property in your name. Such leases are typically valid for 30 years and can be renewable – and, yes: as an ex-pat they can be registered in your name.

Although your partner may well own the freehold (the CHANOTE), the leasehold belongs to you – in effect granting you a degree of protection over your investment you would not otherwise have.

Can she sell the land?

In theory yes, but the buyer would have to be willing to accept that they would have a “sitting tenant” for the remainder of the lease. The lease is legally binding over both the seller and buyer, and the buyer would have to pay you an agreed sum if they wanted you out (giving you a way to re-coup your investment, and which would be calculated against the remainder of the lease).

What happens if the relationship breaks down and your partner wants you out?

Good question – the only case I know of had to be settled in court: the judge ordering the Thai partner to pay the ex-pat a figure that was derived from the value of the lease over the remaining lease period – which was 24 years – enabling him to re-coup a large slice of the investment.

What happens if you are murdered to get the property?

An even better question, because clearly any money or investment becomes a mute point. I think long leases are transferable, if they have a newable clause in them – meaning you stipulate in the lease agreement who you want the lease to go to, in turn meaning your partner would still have negotiate (buy) the lease from the beneficiary before they could realize a sale. On this last point, it is not as straightforward as that, and I do not know the fine detail - perhaps one of the legal experts on the forum can address it.

As an additional barrier to a potential greedy partner, consider building the house and have it and the land held through a Thai company – spreading the shares and directors as much as you can – and then draw the lease up between you and the Thai company (i.e. the property & house belongs to the Thai company – not your partner).

In any event: failing your murder or demise otherwise, the registered long lease is solid legal document which if structured and setup properly can go a not inconsiderable way to securing ex-pat interests in any residential property/house they have purchased and/or built.

The above comments are no more than an intro to the subject. I don’t know all the fine points, and I don’t know all the in’s & out’s – if this is a road you want to go down, take professional legal advise and get it done properly. Can't help but feel had this poor murdered ex-pat done this (especially through a Thai setup i.e. company), his partner may well have thought twice about what she was doing.

Comments and input from other forum members..............

Edited by Maizefarmer

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The re-occurring question that comes up in respect of the house belonging to the recently murdered expat is: who will now actually own the house?

Well, it was always the partners house (i.e. the accused Thai female), but ex-pats concerned they may find themselves in a not dissimilar position, may wish to give thought to the following property ownership solution.

Buying land and building a house? Consider, doing it on condition your partner agrees to registering a long lease for the property in your name. Such leases are typically valid for 30 years and can be renewable – and, yes: as an ex-pat they can be registered in your name.

Although your partner may well own the freehold (the CHANOTE), the leasehold belongs to you – in effect granting you a degree of protection over your investment you would not otherwise have.

Can she sell the land?

In theory yes, but the buyer would have to be willing to accept that they would have a “sitting tenant” for the remainder of the lease. The lease is legally binding over both the seller and buyer, and the buyer would have to pay you an agreed sum if they wanted you out (giving you a way to re-coup your investment, and which would be calculated against the remainder of the lease).

What happens if the relationship breaks down and your partner wants you out?

Good question – the only case I know of had to be settled in court: the judge ordering the Thai partner to pay the ex-pat a figure that was derived from the value of the lease over the remaining lease period – which was 24 years – enabling him to re-coup a large slice of the investment.

What happens if you are murdered to get the property?

An even better question, because clearly any money or investment becomes a mute point. I think long leases are transferable, if they have a newable clause in them – meaning you stipulate in the lease agreement who you want the lease to go to, in turn meaning your partner would still have negotiate (buy) the lease from the beneficiary before they could realize a sale. On this last point, it is not as straightforward as that, and I do not know the fine detail - perhaps one of the legal experts on the forum can address it.

As an additional barrier to a potential greedy partner, consider building the house and have it and the land held through a Thai company – spreading the shares and directors as much as you can – and then draw the lease up between you and the Thai company (i.e. the property & house belongs to the Thai company – not your partner).

In any event: failing your murder or demise otherwise, the registered long lease is solid legal document which if structured and setup properly can go a not inconsiderable way to securing ex-pat interests in any residential property/house they have purchased and/or built.

The above comments are no more than an intro to the subject. I don’t know all the fine points, and I don’t know all the in’s & out’s – if this is a road you want to go down, take professional legal advise and get it done properly. Can't help but feel had this poor murdered ex-pat done this (especially through a Thai setup i.e. company), his partner may well have thought twice about what she was doing.

Comments and input from other forum members..............

Legal matters aside, IMO on the practical side: beneficiaries who are not Thai will rarely want to have anything to do with the country after a sudden passing/murder of one of their family members here. If you look at it from their point of view, just think of how long it took you to adjust to how sort out your business here -it takes months at best, and some cases people are still trying to figure it out 5-10+ years later- and then imagine them going through it after your death within a limited time frame.

:o

edit: to add a bit to that, say if you're convicted of murder here... As far as I know, unless there's a civil suit (again see above for the likelihood of that happening: your kin are unlikely to make themselves available for a potentially drawn out legal campaign in another country), the murderer's assets aren't seized. They just sit there and wait for the murderer to reclaim them when he/she is released in the future.

Edited by Heng

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Legal matters aside, IMO on the practical side: beneficiaries who are not Thai will rarely want to have anything to do with the country after a sudden passing/murder of one of their family members here. If you look at it from their point of view, just think of how long it took you to adjust to how sort out your business here -it takes months at best, and some cases people are still trying to figure it out 5-10+ years later- and then imagine them going through it after your death within a limited time frame.

:o

You're right Heng. But I think Maize was suggesting this as a means to hopefully avoid an unexpected and potential demise. Another way of looking at it is to protect your interests in the event of a split in the relationship. That's my take on it.

Another thought is what if your spouse or partner dies from an accident or illness and the family starts squabbling over selling off the assets? If you have no protection, you could not only be out on the street, but out your investment too.

Edited by AmeriThai

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Legal matters aside, IMO on the practical side: beneficiaries who are not Thai will rarely want to have anything to do with the country after a sudden passing/murder of one of their family members here. If you look at it from their point of view, just think of how long it took you to adjust to how sort out your business here -it takes months at best, and some cases people are still trying to figure it out 5-10+ years later- and then imagine them going through it after your death within a limited time frame.

:D

You're right Heng. But I think Maize was suggesting this as a means to hopefully avoid an unexpected and potential demise. Another way of looking at it is to protect your interests in the event of a split in the relationship. That's my take on it.

Another thought is what if your spouse or partner dies from an accident or illness and the family starts squabbling over selling off the assets? If you have no protection, you could not only be out on the street, but out your investment too.

A very good point. They WILL be squabbling in all likelihood.

I see it back here in the States all the time. When brother and sister, parent and sibling turn into mortal enemies over relatively modest sums of money in the West, you can only imagine the regard her family will show toward an outsider getting in the way of their pot of gold. :o

Things can go south so quickly in LOS, whether it is family, a new boy friend or domestic differences. There are so many downsides to trying to own property in Thailand that I am more certain than ever I will never get involved with it.

~WISteve

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My Wife has made a Thai will in Thai and English leaving everything to me and in the case of her own land and own house (not our house or land) has stated she does not want any member of her family to receive anything. How safe is this?

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Property ownership solution. :o

Instead of all the headaches with the laws, might be devious wife, and everything else,…

Well some of the sensible solutions for me if I was a non thai are......

1- take time in finding the suitable and “very trustable” partner - meanwhile just “rent”

2- if I plan to be in Thailand for more than 10 yrs - I would try to get the thai citizenship asap -(2nd passport doesn’t hurt) - meanwhile just "rent"

3-go ahead and give everything to her as a “gift” since the beginning - so no worry in the long run

4-always have a backup plan - for the 2nd place to live - just in case

Etcs…

Ofcourse, this is just me, because I like to try to solve/resolve things since the beginning , not the end.

Prevention is the best action. :D

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The re-occurring question that comes up in respect of the house belonging to the recently murdered expat is: who will now actually own the house?

Well, it was always the partners house (i.e. the accused Thai female), but ex-pats concerned they may find themselves in a not dissimilar position, may wish to give thought to the following property ownership solution.

Buying land and building a house? Consider, doing it on condition your partner agrees to registering a long lease for the property in your name. Such leases are typically valid for 30 years and can be renewable – and, yes: as an ex-pat they can be registered in your name.

Although your partner may well own the freehold (the CHANOTE), the leasehold belongs to you – in effect granting you a degree of protection over your investment you would not otherwise have.

Can she sell the land?

In theory yes, but the buyer would have to be willing to accept that they would have a “sitting tenant” for the remainder of the lease. The lease is legally binding over both the seller and buyer, and the buyer would have to pay you an agreed sum if they wanted you out (giving you a way to re-coup your investment, and which would be calculated against the remainder of the lease).

What happens if the relationship breaks down and your partner wants you out?

Good question – the only case I know of had to be settled in court: the judge ordering the Thai partner to pay the ex-pat a figure that was derived from the value of the lease over the remaining lease period – which was 24 years – enabling him to re-coup a large slice of the investment.

What happens if you are murdered to get the property?

An even better question, because clearly any money or investment becomes a mute point. I think long leases are transferable, if they have a newable clause in them – meaning you stipulate in the lease agreement who you want the lease to go to, in turn meaning your partner would still have negotiate (buy) the lease from the beneficiary before they could realize a sale. On this last point, it is not as straightforward as that, and I do not know the fine detail - perhaps one of the legal experts on the forum can address it.

As an additional barrier to a potential greedy partner, consider building the house and have it and the land held through a Thai company – spreading the shares and directors as much as you can – and then draw the lease up between you and the Thai company (i.e. the property & house belongs to the Thai company – not your partner).

In any event: failing your murder or demise otherwise, the registered long lease is solid legal document which if structured and setup properly can go a not inconsiderable way to securing ex-pat interests in any residential property/house they have purchased and/or built.

The above comments are no more than an intro to the subject. I don’t know all the fine points, and I don’t know all the in’s & out’s – if this is a road you want to go down, take professional legal advise and get it done properly. Can't help but feel had this poor murdered ex-pat done this (especially through a Thai setup i.e. company), his partner may well have thought twice about what she was doing.

Comments and input from other forum members..............

Legal matters aside, IMO on the practical side: beneficiaries who are not Thai will rarely want to have anything to do with the country after a sudden passing/murder of one of their family members here. If you look at it from their point of view, just think of how long it took you to adjust to how sort out your business here -it takes months at best, and some cases people are still trying to figure it out 5-10+ years later- and then imagine them going through it after your death within a limited time frame.

:o

edit: to add a bit to that, say if you're convicted of murder here... As far as I know, unless there's a civil suit (again see above for the likelihood of that happening: your kin are unlikely to make themselves available for a potentially drawn out legal campaign in another country), the murderer's assets aren't seized. They just sit there and wait for the murderer to reclaim them when he/she is released in the future.

Yes- I agree with you, some relatives may well be inclined sooner to draw a line under the matter than get involved in long drawn out legal to'ing & fro'ing, but as AmeriThai points out, that realy was not the point, but rather, that going to the effort of putting in place mechanisms that are legal and can protect your investment in a piece of land and the home you build on it, are possible and enforcable in Thailand.

On a slightly different note, a test case in the Thai courts in late 1998 found in favour of a ex-pat who had being "given" a house (and the land on which it stood) as security against a cash loan made to a Thai friend. An agreement was drawn up and the Chanote was held in escrow by a lawyer both parties agreed to.

The Thai friend subsequently passed away (quite by accident - nothing to do with the loan). The beneficiaries were ordered by the court to reimburse the ex-pat from the deceaseds estate - and if that mean't selling the house then so be it. Ultimately they raised the cash (without having to sell the house), but its interesting to note that the Thai courts found in favour of the ex-pat who had being given of an "asset" he was not allowed to own. As I read it at the time a clear distinction had being drawn between "ownership of the land" and "use of the land as security" in a business dealing.

Yabaaa's case is not unique, it has happened before on more than one occcassion: - although he may not be able to own the land/house, he does though still have a legal title to it's value, and so long as the court uphelds the will and there is no squabbling amongst other relatives, my take on it is that a court would probably order the property to be sold and the proceeds given to Yabaaa. Still, I would suggest you see a specialist property or inheritance lawyer and make sure all the I's are dotted and the T's crossed, and that it is kept up to date every few years i.e. all sorts of arguments stem from wills written 20years before the person dies.

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Property ownership solution. :o

Instead of all the headaches with the laws, might be devious wife, and everything else,…

Well some of the sensible solutions for me if I was a non thai are......

1- take time in finding the suitable and "very trustable" partner - meanwhile just "rent"

2- if I plan to be in Thailand for more than 10 yrs - I would try to get the thai citizenship asap -(2nd passport doesn't hurt) - meanwhile just "rent"

3-go ahead and give everything to her as a "gift" since the beginning - so no worry in the long run

4-always have a backup plan - for the 2nd place to live - just in case

Etcs…

Ofcourse, this is just me, because I like to try to solve/resolve things since the beginning , not the end.

Prevention is the best action. :D

It sounds a bit naive i think, sorry Teacup but ..

1 You will have to rent without a partner since one cannot own anything in Thailand.

Finding a trustworthy partner is what everybody already thought they did and had.

I have never been told someone is looking for the opposite ! You are stating the obvious.

One day for whatever reason, all of a sudden, it could be proven different. Not nice, but humans never stop to amaze. How can this man or woman be so....< whatever >......but it is life.

2 Get Thai citizenship asap. Do you know how many hoops you have to jump through to get this, or how long this process takes? http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Story-Thai-C...io-t121353.html Look at the link for an example, and this was a fast one by his own statement.

Or ask SBK, she was turned down at the beginning already after having lived in Thailand far over 10 years required. So first wait ten years, and thereafter all the time it takes to `maybe` get citizenship, and than start doing the things we really want ? Come on get real.

Do Thai woman really require this much safety build in if a farang enters into a relationship with one of them?

3 Give everything , I agree, but just as trustworthiness can change , so can things change concerning "gifts" especially if things turn sour. As said before (1) it is not nice, but it is human and it happens.

And.. we are not all a member of the Rockefeller family.

4 Having a backup plan is like having second thoughts about what you are doing in the present.

First you have to rent all the time and be very careful, than you have to give everything, and than you have to wait 10 to 15 years for citizenship, it doesn't sound very realistic this way, does it ?

A backup plan never hurts, in whatever situation. But I hope you understand what I mean.

If you want prevention in life, don't do anything, you will never have to regret anything too.

My 2 cents/satang.

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I always thought that a westerner can own the house but not the land it's built on.

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Perhaps an interesting solution (if you have trusted family living overseas), is to ensure that your assets in Thailand are actually legally owned by your brother, or mother (or whoever), who happens to reside in Oz or the UK or wherever. You can have some form of legal contract with them that is drawn up in your home country that gives you control over these assets. Bring your mother/brother over for a holiday when they need to sign any initial purchase papers. Then make sure your Thai partner knows that your mother owns all your assets. She/he will have to travel to Oz/UK to commit the murder . . . .

If she asks why all your assets are held by your mother/brother, just tell her that in your country, you look after your family before your spouse - just like they do in Thailand.

Simon

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Perhaps an interesting solution (if you have trusted family living overseas), is to ensure that your assets in Thailand are actually legally owned by your brother, or mother (or whoever), who happens to reside in Oz or the UK or wherever. You can have some form of legal contract with them that is drawn up in your home country that gives you control over these assets. Bring your mother/brother over for a holiday when they need to sign any initial purchase papers. Then make sure your Thai partner knows that your mother owns all your assets. She/he will have to travel to Oz/UK to commit the murder . . . .

If she asks why all your assets are held by your mother/brother, just tell her that in your country, you look after your family before your spouse - just like they do in Thailand.

Simon

Sorry simon, but if you are a farang, your mother/brother/whoever will probably be farang too.

And they are not allowed to own land, that is what it is all about.

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I always thought that a westerner can own the house but not the land it's built on.

You can own the house but this is of no use if the relatives refuse you to pass their land to enter the house or they can just tell you to take the house and go away.Besides is is not easy to live in a place surrounded by enemies.

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My Wife has made a Thai will in Thai and English leaving everything to me and in the case of her own land and own house (not our house or land) has stated she does not want any member of her family to receive anything. How safe is this?

If you are also appointed as the executioner of the will and the will is drawn up at the amphoe or deposited at the amphoe in a sealed envelope as a so called secred will than you are quite safe.However you have to sell the land within a certain time to a thai citizen.

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Carib, of course they are farang! They can own the house (as a farang), or the lease can be in their name. I think that under Thai law, a house or land lease 'dies' when the lessee dies.. If the husband in Thailand is killed, the house is still owned/leased by the farang brother etc. That's the whole point of this idea...

Simon

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Simon,

That is the best solution for everyone married to a Thai. Most lawyers conveniently 'forget' to mention that a lease or usufruct with your spouse is worthless.

The spouse can revoke that right.

However if the contract is with someone else it is as solid as it can get.

(It is one of the reasons some landoffices (they are instructed) will not register a usufruct when it is not with your spouse. And then some actually think those working at the landoffice are stupid. They just do their bit to keep every inch of Thailand in possesions of Thai. :o )

Edited by Khun Jean

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