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søndag 6. november 2016

Laws about house and condo in Thailand

Are foreigners allowed to buy land or property in Thailand?
Thailand land law generally prohibits foreigners from owning freehold land in Thailand.

However, there are some legal exceptions to this. There are also other methods available for acquiring valid and legal rights to land and real estate in Thailand that do not amount to outright ownership.

What are the different ways of acquiring land rights or purchasing property in Thailand?

2.1 Land Leases: Although Thailand real estate law restricts land ownership rights to non-Thai citizens, foreigners are expressly permitted may to hold a 100% interest in a Thailand land lease. The foreigner effectively leases the land or house from the Thai national who remains the owner of the land. Thailand lease law allows a 30-year maximum lease period, with the possibility of renewing the lease for additional 30 year periods.

2.2 Company Ownership: Thailand registered companies with majority Thai ownership are able to buy land in Thailand. In the past it has been common for foreign nationals to acquire an interest in Thailand real estate as minority shareholders in a Thai majority company.

However in recent years, the Thailand Land Department has become stricter in investigating limited companies for the use of the "nominee" Thai shareholders, who do not possess a legitimate interest in the company owning the land. Nevertheless it is still possible however for a non-Thai shareholder to secure his investment in a Thai limited company through legal means.

2.3 Investment:
Thai real estate law allows foreigners to buy and own a limited amount of land based on an investment of 40 million baht for five consecutive years, provided that the land is used for residential purposes.

2.4 Thai Spouse:Under Thai real estate law, a Thai spouse of a foreigner may be allowed to buy land or property in Thailand in his or her own name.

However the married couple may be asked to sign declarations at the Land Department to state that the funds used are the separate property of the Thai spouse.

Any claim on the land or property by the non-Thai spouse could therefore be waived which might be problematic in a divorce case.

It could make it difficult for the non-Thai spouse to prove that the land was marital property. In this case, a skillfully drafted Thailand prenuptial agreement may help to minimize the risk to the non-Thai spouse.

2.5 Usufruct Habitation and Superficies: A non-Thai may acquire a life term interest in certain types of property rights in Thailand. One example, a usufruct, is a right to use (and profit from) land and is similar to a leasehold but is non-transferable with some important differences.

Can Thai nationals buy real estate in their name and then execute an agreement that the land is held for a foreigner?
This is a dangerous approach because it is technically illegal under Thai property law for a Thai national to act as a nominee on behalf of a foreigner to purchase real estate. Therefore, the agreement may be problematic and/or illegal. It is sensible to consult an experienced real estate lawyer in Thailand for the most suitable and best available options.

Can foreigners own houses in Thailand?

In general, foreigners can own buildings and houses in Thailand as Thai real estate law places no nationality restrictions on ownership of such in Thailand.

Buying a condo in Thailand is an attractive option for many foreign nationals.

There are less nationality restrictions under Thailand condominium laws regarding ownership than land ownership and it is possible for a foreigner to own a condo outright. 

As one of the few property rights allowed under Thailand real estate law to non-Thai nationals, condo-ownership is a popular choice for investment as well as residence and retirement purposes.

What condo units are foreign nationals permitted by Thailand land law to purchase? 

In general, according to Thai real estate law and the regulations that govern condominium law, non-Thai nationals may purchase condo units in condo buildings throughout Thailand, as long as their purchase would not cause the foreign ownership ratio of combined units in the building to exceed 49% of the total floor area. 

Certain condo buildings in the Greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area may not be subject to the same 49% foreign ownership ratio restriction.

What are the requirements for a foreign individual to purchase a condo unit in a building in which foreign purchases are permitted? 

Thailand condominium laws specify that foreigners who do not have a Thailand residence permit must show proof that the funds for purchase of the condominium were brought from outside of Thailand. Non-Thais who have legal residence permits are not required to show evidence of funds coming from abroad for the condominium purchase.

What is the most typical way for a foreigner to purchase a condominium in Thailand?

Most foreigners purchase a condominium by showing evidence of an incoming remittance of foreign currency into their bank account from abroad. This is typically demonstrated by requesting the issuance of a certifying document from the receiving bank in Thailand.

Can foreigners inherit ownership of a condo?

Property ownership of a condo may be inherited by either Thai or non-Thai descendents under normal circumstances. 

However, consultation with a licensed experienced Thai lawyer is recommended for estate planning. 

Are condominium long-term leases available?

Pursuant to the Thailand Land Law, condominiums may be leased to foreigners for periods of up to 30 years and may have options to renew the lease upon expiry. Leases longer than 3 years must registered with the Land Department.

Why is it important to have a qualified Thailand real estate lawyer supervise your condo purchase transaction?

Thailand laws regulating real estate transactions do not provide as many inherent consumer protections as with most western jurisdictions. For example, in Thailand, real estate agents are not licensed and title insurance is not commonly used. Thailand is very much a "Buyer Beware" jurisdiction. Foreign buyers are advised to seek legal advice from a qualified Thailand real estate attorney.

The Law
  1. Thailand Land Code
  3. Buying Land and Property in Thailand  

Foreign Ownership buying an apartment unit

 Buying a Condominium in Thailand


Common mistakes

when buying a condo in Thailand
  • Not having clearly agreed in a new construction that the purchase concerns a freehold purchase of a condo registered under the condominium act, and not as an alternative (and/or) a leasehold purchase;
  • Not dealing with a registered condominium under the Thailand condo act but an unregistered holiday or leasehold apartment building.
  • Not having transferred foreign currency into Thailand at least equal to the purchase price (not qualifying under section 19);
  • Not having obtained legal advice on how taxes and transfer fees are to be divided and ending up paying more than necessary;
  • Not having obtained legal advice on the condominium sale and purchase agreement and required terms and conditions and responsibilities of the parties;
  • Not having conducted due diligence on a project or unit and being confronted with unexpected issues after signing the purchase agreement and having paid a unsecured deposit;
  • Not having agreed escrow in the payment schedule and being confronted with default by the seller after part payment of the purchase price and prior to transfer of ownership;
  • Not having checked the unit title deed and previous land office sale agreement to ensure that the apartment is free of encumbrances.

Some place to look for condos
(Update as i find new sites)

Templates Thai Contracts 1
Templates Thai Contracts 2

Templates Thai Contract 3

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