Servitudes rarely become an issue in Thailand as foreigner normally cannot own land in their name. Many times foreigners will buy land in the name of their Thai wife and will need to sign the needed documents at the land office that they have no claim on the land. You will need to speak to an attorney in Thailand for more information on how best to protect your property in Thailand. This can be done with a usufruct over the property or registering a superficies over the property.

Servitudes

When you do a due diligence report on the property the servitude will be registered against the title deed. There can be many forms of this however the few examples are the most common you will find. Note that a servitude is a right of some benefit or beneficial use out of, in, or over the land of another.

Your property is located next to the main road and stuck between you and the other property is a track of land that has no access to the main road. The property stuck in the middle might register a servitude over your property in order to drive across your property to have access to the main road. This is the most common issue in Thailand when it comes to servitude’s.

Power lines are common as well where EGAT the electrical generating authority might have registered a servitude to run power lines over the property. Servitudes should not destroy the property and you should take legal advice if you consider that a servitude registered over the property is destroying the property. There may also in rural areas be an issue with placing a small electrical transformer on a pole on your land. Again this is not uncommon.

In smaller towns there may be an issue with sewer lines which might need to run across your property. This is not uncommon and you will need to take legal advice if the government is insistent on doing this by court application. If you are buying property that has a sewer line already on the property, then you will need to take this into account before you purchase the property.

When buying property in rural Thailand you are best advised to speak to a property lawyer in Thailand for more advice and assistance. Servitudes can be changed however most times it’s impossible to do this. You could as an example sell a piece of the land to your neighbour who can use it as a road. There may be other solutions as well but this will depend on your situation.

See the difference between a servitude and that of a usufruct as people do get confused between the two. Also see the options of superficies as property protection when buying property in the name of your Thai wife. Always consider other legal options for protection of your property while in Thailand.