Servitudes in Thailand

Servitudes in Thailand. Thailand’s property market offers stunning condos and idyllic beach plots, but before you dive in, it’s crucial to understand servitudes. In simpler terms, a servitude is a legal right attached to one piece of land (benefited property) that restricts how another piece of land (burdened property) can be used.

How Servitudes Work

Imagine a plot with no road access. The owner might secure a right of way (servitude) across a neighbor’s land to reach the main road. This benefits the landlocked plot (dominant property) while restricting development on the burdened property.

Types of Servitudes in Thailand

  • Right of Way: The most common servitude, granting access across another’s land. This is essential for ensuring access to your property, especially if it’s located off the main road or surrounded by other developments.
  • Right of Drainage: Ensuring proper water flow from one property to another. This is particularly important in areas with heavy rainfall, as improper drainage can lead to flooding and foundation problems.
  • Right of Light: Preserving access to sunlight for a building. This servitude is often crucial for homes or businesses that rely on natural light, such as art studios or plant nurseries.
  • Right to View: Limiting construction that would block a scenic vista. This servitude can be especially valuable for properties with oceanfront views or overlooking mountains. In some cases, there may also be servitudes restricting signage or excessive landscaping that could obstruct the view.

Why Servitudes Matter

A hidden servitude can significantly impact your property’s value and enjoyment. For example, a power line servitude might limit building heights or restrict future development plans, making it difficult to add a second story or build a swimming pool. Similarly, a right of way servitude could mean unexpected foot traffic or vehicle access across your property, impacting privacy and security.

Checking for Servitudes

A thorough due diligence process is essential. Your lawyer will check the land registry for registered servitudes. Additionally, it’s wise to ask neighbors and review historical documents to uncover any unregistered servitudes established through long-term use. For instance, if a well-worn path exists across a neighboring property, it might indicate an unregistered right of way. By being proactive, you can avoid unexpected restrictions and ensure your dream Thai property remains a source of pleasure.

Servitudes and New Developments

If you’re considering buying in a new development, it’s vital to understand the overall plan and any potential servitudes that might be created. For example, there might be servitudes granting access for maintenance of common areas or utilities running through various plots. A well-designed development will incorporate servitudes in a way that minimizes inconvenience to residents, but it’s still important to be aware of them.

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