Servitudes in Thailand

Servitudes in Thailand. Thailand’s property market attracts many foreigners seeking a beautiful place to live or invest. However, property ownership in Thailand can involve “servitudes,” legal rights granted to one property (the dominant property) that affect another property (the servient property). Understanding servitudes is crucial for ensuring a smooth property transaction.

What are Servitudes in Thailand?

Servitudes, also known as easements, are established by law (sections 1387 to 1401 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code) and create a burden on one piece of land for the benefit of another. In simpler terms, imagine property A has a house, but its only access to the public road is through a pathway on property B. In this case, a servitude would grant property A (the dominant property) the right of way through property B (the servient property).

Types of Servitudes in Thailand

There are various types of servitudes, each granting specific rights to the dominant property:

  • Right of Way: As mentioned earlier, this grants access across the servient property, often for pedestrians or vehicles.
  • Right of Drainage: This allows the dominant property to drain water onto or through the servient property.
  • Right of Light: This ensures the dominant property receives sufficient natural light across the servient property.
  • Right of View: This restricts the servient property owner from building structures that obstruct the view of the dominant property.

How are Servitudes Created?

Servitudes can be established in two ways:

  • Registered Servitude: This is the most common and secure method. A servitude agreement outlining the rights and limitations is registered with the Land Department, becoming part of the property title deeds for both the dominant and servient properties.
  • Prescriptive Servitude: In rare cases, a servitude can be established through long-term usage. If, for example, property A has used a pathway on property B for access for over ten years without objection, a prescriptive servitude might be recognized by the court.

Importance of Due Diligence

When buying property in Thailand, it’s crucial to conduct thorough due diligence, including checking for any registered servitudes on the property title. A servitude can significantly impact the value and usability of a property. For instance, a right of way easement across your land can limit privacy and restrict future development plans.

Impact of Servitudes on Property

Here’s how servitudes can affect properties:

  • Dominant Property: The property benefits from the servitude, potentially increasing its value due to improved access or other advantages.
  • Servient Property: The property is burdened by the servitude, potentially limiting its usage or development options and potentially decreasing its value.

Seeking Legal Advice

A qualified lawyer experienced in Thai property law can be invaluable when dealing with servitudes. They can help you:

  • Interpret Servitude Agreements: Ensure you understand the specific rights and limitations imposed by a servitude.
  • Negotiate Servitude Terms: If you’re purchasing a property with a servitude, a lawyer can help negotiate with the seller regarding potential adjustments to the servitude agreement.
  • Resolve Servitude Disputes: If a disagreement arises regarding a servitude, a lawyer can advise on legal recourse.


Servitudes are a legal reality in Thailand’s property landscape. By understanding what they are, the different types, and how they impact properties, you can make informed decisions when buying or selling land. Consulting with a lawyer is highly recommended to ensure a smooth and secure property transaction.

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