Ninety year leases provided to foreigners acquiring properties in Thailand have been ruled null and void by the Thai courts – the Phuket News trumpets.
The matter has still to go to the Supreme Court but the appeal court ruled that this is the case and that could leave thousands of foreigners in Thailand very twitchy, particular down south in Phuket and Koh Samui where foreigners have been acquiring houses in bulk.
According to Phuket News’ legal expert Jerrold Kippen this means that anyone who has one of
these ‘secured’ or ‘collective’ leases have 100 per cent of nothing. The whole lease agreement is void.
They were essentially a plan dreamed up by property developers and realtors to enable them to sell dreams to foreigners.
Of course, with few exceptions it’s illegal for foreigners to own land in Thailand.
But wait, Jerrold Kippen has an answer:
“The good news, he said, is that secured leases can be restructured to provide actual long-term lease security legally and without any downside to the developer by securing the pre-paid renewal terms with a mortgage over the land involved.
“It is a simple and straightforward legal structure that provides security for the investor. A current ‘Secured’ Lease can be restructured into this better and genuinely secure alternative, before it is too late.
“As always,” he added, “you should engage competent legal and tax counsel in order to implement this mortgage-based security structure successfully.”
Oh that’s alright then. That means the purchase is legal and agents were not doing to so ‘in order to hide their actual agreement to sell and buy the properties.’
Well thanks Jerrold. Now who do all those who bought in Phuket go to for help?
I had visions of another American ‘lawyer’ who started up in Pattaya and then announced the Thai government would seize properties owned by foreigners in the name of dormant companies whose shareholders were ‘nominees. But he had the answer.
But unlike the ‘one stop’ and ‘bestpattayalawyer’ guy Jerrold is kosher and does have a law degree. He was called to the bar in 2006.
He has however stated that he has been ten years in Thailand. That means he practiced law for all of minus one year in the US. (He cannot practice it in Thailand).
That minus one year I understand was in Guam as a law clerk in the public prosecutor’s office.
He was brought up in the United States in the era of Harry Potter I guess among other things.
That is not so say he has not built up a wealth of experience in those ten years. He is now an authority on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Business Law, Commercial Law, Construction Law, Contracts Corporate Law, International Law Investments, Labor & Employment Mergers & Acquisitions Real Estate Taxation Zoning, Planning & Land Use.
Phuket News interviewed him – These are some of his answers.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB.
I am a licensed California attorney running a law firm in Thailand. Have you ever seen Batman? It’s like that.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE?
Plenty of villains, so I never get bored.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
Hot yoga and kitesurfing.
FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH?
Carne asada burrito with guacamole, pizza, gai phat prik pao, Double Double Animal Style burger from In-N-Out, enchilada, Burtoni’s pesto sauce on spinach linguine with black olives and pepper jack cheese, spaghetti with my homemade sauce, tacos, and a lot of other food that is not British.
WHO IS THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY?
Voldermort because he was the one whose name shall not be mentioned.
WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE?
Preferably their place but if not available mine.
And finally, despite what the estate agents or realtors and their lawyers tell you in Thailand, anything over a 30 year lease is extremely dodgy and not worth the paper it is printed on. And indeed so are dormant nominee companies created by foreigners to hold properties. The authorities, of course, have only acted spasmodically on the latter – but if you fall foul of favour so to speak – you can lose everything. In short you are lucky until you are unlucky.
# American dig: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in the US as ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ as American’s could not deal with the word philosopher. This is of course why the US could be the cause of the end of the world.
|The Weapon’s View
LEGAL NOTE: Very few foreign lawyers can practice in Thailand. So bear in mind that what your American lawyer says is the same as what the Thai lawyer (who may not speak English) says – and check all translations yourself.
* #DrewNoyes an American who falsely claimed to be a lawyer in Pattaya and to be on the Amcham legal committee has had his visa connected to his business revoked and is now on a ‘going to court’ visa.as a defendant due to his conviction and two year jail sentence for extortion.
He gained fame three years ago when he announced in his now defunct Pattaya Times newspaper that the Thai Government were about to grab properties which had been bought by foreigners in domant company names. He directed readers to his PAPPA Law company (now operating as One Stop Service Center) which, he said could fix the problem. One Scottish pensioner Joseph McCluskey was offered 200,000 baht for his 3 million baht property but Noyes told Joe he could live there for the rest of his life. Joe was 76. He smelled a rat.
Jerrold actually is qualified in the US and on the AMCHAM committee.
these ‘secured’ or ‘collective’ leases have 100 per cent of nothing. The whole lease agreement is void.”