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Condominium Ownership in Thailand

Condominium Ownership in Thailand

by: Magna Carta Law Office
Can foreign nationals own a condominium in Thailand?
Non-Thai nationals are allowed to own a condominium under their names upon proving all the evidence presented is correct and provided that the ownership ratio held or to be held by the foreigner does exceed the “foreigner quota”. The Foreign purchaser shall be able to present evidence of bringing foreign currency into the Kingdom to the amount not less than the price of the condominium unit in the form of a Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate.
What does “foreigner quota” mean?
Although foreigners are allowed to purchase condominium units in Thailand, there are still certain limitations. Only 49 percent of the total space of all units within a condominium building can be sold to foreigners and registered under their own names. This means that in any condominium project, Thai nationals must own at least 51 percent of the units by area. That is why, prior to selecting a condominium, a foreign buyer must first check the current ratio of foreign ownership in a condominium with the Juristic Person.
What is a Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate? Why is it necessary?
A Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate or Thor Thor Sam is a legal document issued by banks upon receipt of foreign currency into your bank account in Thailand. This must be requested from your bank when you are remitting funds to Thailand for the purpose of purchasing a condominium unit. In line with a foreigner’s acquisition of a property, it is Thailand government’s condition that the money used to pay for the purchase price must originate from an offshore source in the form of foreign currency. This certificate shall be presented to the officer at the land office where ownership of the condominium unit will be registered. Failure to comply with this requirement will prevent the registration of the property under the purchaser’s name.
Is it possible to transfer the money directly to the account of the developer or my lawyer?
This shall be possible considering that your name must appear as being the sender and the money must have been transferred from your own bank account. It is important that your name shows at one end of the transaction.
I am a foreign buyer with a Thai co-owner; do I still need to transfer the full amount in foreign currency?
No, you only need to remit half of the purchase price of the condominium in foreign currency if you purchase, transfer and register in co-ownership with a Thai person such as your wife. The other half of the condominium price can be paid in Thai currency as the Thai share of co-ownership.
Are there other ways to purchase a condominium unit if the 49 percent quota is filled up already?
If the quota of 49 percent is already filled, you can form and name the unit under a Thai company to be able to purchase a condominium unit or go with a leasing option.
How can I be sure that the property I will purchase is not a scam and the person selling it to me is the legal owner?
You can consult a legal advisor on how to check all the papers for validity. Due Diligence procedure is normally performed to confirm all material facts of the property being sold.
What should the sale and purchase agreement cover?
The sale and purchase agreement for a condominium shall specify in detail the responsibilities of the buyer and seller of the condominium. It covers among, others, the agreed price and payment schedule, transfer date, exact details of the condominium, responsibilities for transfer fees and taxes, warranties, and matters relating to due diligence.
Can I legally rent out my condominium unit?
Yes, you can legally rent out your unit unless restricted in the bylaws of the condominium and as long as you are settling all the corresponding taxes and it is not intended to be a business. Only when you engage this as a business, then it should be in strict compliance with the requirements of the Foreign Business and Foreign Employment act.