Terms You Might Encounter in Real Estate Investment

Investment requires some understanding of legalistic language. While you can definitely tap the skills and expertise of a legal advisor on your team, it is best if you also have the basic knowledge at the least of what the terms are.

This would also save you and your legal advisor a lot of time that would otherwise be spent in discussions with one another over a contract that you two are looking at.

Here are some terms you could encounter when you invest in real estate in Thailand.

Actual Cash Value

The actual cash value is the price with which an owner could sell his or her property to interested parties. The value could change from time to time, as the property appreciates in worth with the passage of time.

Absolute Title

If the property owner is able to furnish a document that indicates absolute title, it means that the ownership of the property has been proven to be unquestionable in a court of law. Thus, the holder of an absolute title can expect no further legal disputes regarding ownership of the property.

Absentee Owner

You could encounter this if you’re looking to lease a condominium unit that is owned by a foreign national. It indicates that the de facto owner is not based in Thailand, but is in another country most of the time.


Brochures and sales paraphernalia make frequent use of this term. Amenities are the common features of a property, like a condo or a hotel, that all owners can access. A swimming pool exclusive to the access of property owners as well as an in-house fitness center are all considered amenities.

Certificate of Occupancy

You should look for this when purchasing a condominium unit or a commercial property. This document shows that the relevant government authorities have deemed the structure to be fit for occupation and has all the necessary safety features like fire exits.


Having something pledged as collateral means that the debtor has used that object as a guarantee that he or she can repay the loan. It’s common in real estate transactions for property owners to pledge their real estate properties as collateral for their mortgages. If they default on the payment, the bank will seize the property after a certain period of time.

Right of Way

All property owners are required to pledge a part of their properties for “right of way.” This simply means that they turn over a parcel of land that’s part of their properties to facilitate access for pedestrians to pass through.


Sub-leasing is an act by an individual who has lease interest on a property that opens the property for leasing to other third parties. The third parties submit lease payments to the sub-lessor, and not the original owner of the property who only collects lease payments from the sub-lessor. A lease agreement need to be negotiated with a sub-leasing clause in order for this to be legal.

These are but a few of the terms that you can commonly encounter when you’re interested in investing in real estate in Thailand.

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Photo credit : Mark Moz

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