Most expats in Chiang Mai prefer to rent an apartment or a house when they get married in Thailand. There are a number of options with regard to renting property and most rentals tend to be either month-to-month or on 6 month verbal agreements. Some prefer to take a longer lease and if it is over 3 years it gets registered at the Land Department against the title of the property.
Currently in Thailand the maximum lease allowed is 30 years. For more who have retired this is perfect. The longer 99 year lease which are normally found in Asia is not really applicable to an average person looking at retirement but more for a corporate looking at long term investment. some do try and get a back to back agreement for 30 years each but this produces more problems that what it solves and enforcing the agreement might be another issue on its own. speak to your attorney in Chiang Mai about the options available for the lease agreement if you want a lease longer than 30 years.
Over the years estate agents in order to get sales would run adverts for 90 year lease being 3 lease agreements back-to-back. They have seen that in the past this is a hit and miss as the courts will only recognize the maximum terms allowed by law being a 30 year lease agreement. The Thai Civil and Commercial Code Section 540 makes it very clear.
Civil and Commercial Code — Section 540: ‘The duration of a hire of immovable property cannot exceed thirty years. If it is made for a longer period, such period shall be reduced to thirty years. The aforesaid period may be renewed, but it must not exceed thirty years from the time of renewal’.). Any lease of immovable property for a longer period than 30 years in Thailand may only be made by renewal of the lease contract upon its expiration. Based on supreme court judgment it is possible to say that a valid and enforceable renewal can only be made within a period of 3 years prior to the expiration of the first lease term (not 30 years prior to expiration). If for example the lessor and lessee have executed 2 or more consecutive 30-year lease agreements it shall by law be deemed as 1 lease and reduced to 30 years.
Most lease agreements in Thailand are very short term and don’t present much of an issue as they tend to be verbal agreements. some prefer to register a Thai company to hold the lease or property. What is common practice is that you leave 1-3 months rental with the owner of the apartment of house and before you leave you can give them notice that you are leaving and that the rent they hold will be used to pay for the last months rent or for however long the deposit was taken for. This is common practice and as stated mainly verbal. If say you gave a deposit for 6 months rent and you only lived there for 3 months they are not normally going to return to you the remainder of the money as they prefer that you live out the rental deposit as they can find a new tenant for the apartment/house during this time.