So…after we had concluded the land purchase, I needed to get a lease in place, which would give me control (well, as much control as Thai law allows) over what we were going to do with the land.
I hear some saying ‘oooh – how romantic’’ and I in turn can point to rose-tinted specs on men who thought love would last for ever only to discover later that it doesn’t.
So…a lease was needed, and not just any lease. Specifically, the 30-year lease. This of course involved drafting up the lease itself, getting it translated and submitting it into records at the land office.
To be fair, my Wife (bless her), was on-board with the lease concept. Of course I was. We (I) drafted what I wanted, and we got it translated. Out next port of call was the land office near to Chachenseao. We employed the services of a solicitor to do the deed, thus having someone of legal standing on hand in case there were any last-minute questions, and also allowing me to stay ‘ in the shadows’ and not draw attention to myself too much.
Thus it was that the lease was submitted to the front desk.
Immediately …there was an issue.
The land office wanted to know where she had got the money to purchase all this land. Of course we had rehearsed that question but they needed evidence, some we had some we did not. End result was… No lease just a follow-up appointment.
Some scrabbling round back home came up with enough funding evidence to show it had been possible to buy the land.
So back we went for trip 2 complete with solicitor (again) and enough money to pay for whatever it took. Again, I kept out of the way. Some discussions took place, lengthy discussions, and after, they came to tell me the (bad) news…. Such leases were not available! The military jun…. The prime minister had decreed that such leases gave ‘’too much power to Farangs’’. Of course I pushed them to renegotiate. In the end, it was the solicitor only, and finally, he came out with papers to sign with witnesses, and “all was ok”
We had been on this mission nearly all day, I was tired so it was not until we were driving back to BKK that I looked at that ‘lease’.
Man, I blew up immediately. The lease was not 30 years. It was a 3 year local lease, no real worth, did not even need the solicitor, the land office, etc. and certainly not what I wanted. I told him clearly he would not be getting paid for this…excuse and it was a long drive back to Bangkok in silence. I was fuming.
Later, PJ discussed what had happened. There WAS pressure in the land office to deter long leases for foreigners, but it was not impossible. He had thought something better than nothing so had not been forceful AND he thought he was helping the Thai (PJ) not sign away too much to the farang! Hmmmmmm, you can guess how she took to all that.