Does 90-Years Lease of Land Exist in Thailand ?

Published: 17th February 2009Author: David Tan

This is possible if the plot of land is not sold to another new owner or the land owner stay alive long enough to renew your lease terms. Other than this, it is fallacious to think that you can lease a plot of land for 90 years under Thai civil laws.

Under Thai civil laws, a long term lease of a plot of land can be up to a maximum lease period of 30 years. The law also provides for leasing land for the life period of the land owner or the lessee.

A 30 years lease of land is a long term lease and has to be made in writing, signed by the lessor and lessee and registered at the district Land Office in order to be legally enforceable. In Thailand any lease of immovable property for more than 3 years must be registered. The registration of the 30 years lease period at the district Land Office means that you, the lessee, have the right to use or benefit from the plot of land for the registered 30 years lease period. No other third party would be able to use or receive benefits from the land for the 30 years.

If the land had been bought up by a new owner during the 30 years, this new owner is binding to your 30 years registered lease i.e. allow you to lease the land for the registered lease period. In legal language, you have a real right over the land for the registered 30 years.

Any promises to renew the 30 years lease term for another 2 x 30 lease terms are just promises agreed upon between the land owner and you. An example of such personal promises can be a stipulation in the lease of land contract: “the lessor agrees to renew the lease for another two 30 years lease terms”. Besides the lessor and yourself, no other person is contractually binding to these renewal promises. A third person is not a party to these promise agreements.

Therefore, when the plot of land is sold to a new owner, the new owner is not binding to the promise to renew the lease at the end of the 30 years registered lease. If the land owner dies, the promise dies too, whoever is the land owner at the end of the 30 years is not obligated to renew the lease as well.


One of the recourse would be to lease the plot of land for only 30 years. Register the written and signed lease of land contract at the Land Office. Alternatively, you may want to consider purchasing a condominium unit(s).


Written by David Tan. David is a Lecturer of Business Law at Asian University and author of the book "A Primer of Thai Business Law", available online at In Bangkok the book is available at all Kinokuniya and Asiabooks bookstores. Any questions or comments to David should be sent to blas.inter at

David Tan Articles:

Does 90-year Lease Exist? - David Tan is a Lecturer of Business Law at Asian University. He has kindly provided us with a series of legal articles looking at property and employment law in Thailand. We start by clearing up the 90-year lease issue.

Foreign Ownership of Land? - David Tan continues his series of legal rights articles with an enlightening look at the thorny issue of foreigners owning land in Thailand.

Buying a Condo in Thailand - How to proceed with due diligence when buying a condo in Thailand.

Escrow Agents in Thailand - How to use escrow agents in Thailand when purchasing a property.

Property Purchase Deposits - If you pay a deposit or reservation fee to a property developer, does that mean you have a sale contract?

Lifetime Land Lease? - Is it possible for a foreigner to lease a plot of land for their own lifetime?

Employee Failing Probation - David Tan's series of legal articles move on to employment law. He starts with a look at the requirements for terminating employees who are on a probationary period.

Fixed Employment Contracts - Fixed period employment contracts are a technique employers can use to avoid having to pay severance and provide prior notice of employment termination to employees.

Sacking an Employee - What are the legal implications for an employer to sack an employee in Thailand?

Selecting Outsource Company - If you outsource in Thailand, what rights do the outsource company's employees have from your company?

Contract Protection for Buyers of Condos - How can you be sure your new condo will turn out like the pictures in the glossy brochure?


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