Considering buying property in Thailand also requires considering a due diligence in Thailand. Servitudes should be checked for when buying property in Thailand. This is registered against the title deed and normally brings down the value of the property, depending on the type of servitude. These servitudes usually affect 2-3 properties but in remote regions this could be even more.
A servitude is a right another has to burden the land you own. A good example of this is a servitude for high-voltage cables across your land or a road from another property so that they can reach the main road. These would be your most common servitudes.
Servitudes are governed by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code being Sections 1387 – 1401. Servitudes in Thailand can also take another form being size and height restrictions of a building or house. Always have an attorney check for servitudes when buying a property. The holder of the servitude does not have a right to expand on a servitude that has already been registered at the Land Department. A good example of this is that you bought your wife land and the people down the road have a servitude for an irrigation pipeline. Tomorrow their farm has grown and now they want two irrigation pipelines running across your property. As the owner of the property which has the servitude registered against it, you are also not allowed to interfere with the servitude by diminishing its value.
Servitudes in Thailand
The holder of the servitude also has to ensure that maintenance is done and not to cause damage to the property. When they refuse or ignore the irrigation pipeline and it starts to leak then this would be where they have failed to maintain the servitude. These repairs they have to do at their own expense. You can also compensate the holder of the servitude by moving the servitude to a different part of the property. You no longer want the irrigation pipelines running through the front of your property but behind. You can ask for their consent to move the pipeline at your own expense.
Should you sell part of your property the part you are selling will also have the servitude registered over it if the irrigation pipeline in this example runs across that property as well. Note whoever that even though there is a servitude registered over the property, if it has not been used in 10 years then the servitude will fall away.
Servitudes in general don’t add value to a property and depending on the type of servitude may be a big burden on the property. Always speak to an attorney in Thailand about the issues of servitudes and look at the property purchase price to see if it is worth your while. Always take legal advice and always ensure that a due diligence report has been done. Property litigation in Thailand is costly and takes years to complete.