Foreign Condominium Ownership in Thailand
By: Magna Carta Law Office
“Condominium” means a building divided into individual units and people are able to hold ownership separately according to units whereby each unit consists of personal ownership in the property and joint ownership in common property.
With the increasing rate of foreign regular visitors and retirees in Thailand, purchasing a condominium is gaining popularity. According to Thai Law, Non-Thai nationals are eligible to purchase condominium units in Thailand under foreigners’ own names. However, there are certain limitations as follows:
Foreign ownership shall be granted provided that the ownership ratio held or to be held by the foreigner is not exceeding the “foreigner quota”. In any condominium project, only 49% of the total space of all units within a condominium building can be sold to foreigners and registered under their own names.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSACTION CERTIFICATE
The Foreign purchaser who does not have a Thailand residence permit shall be able to present an 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 or Thor Thor Sam. 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.
In the event that the money shall be transferred directly to the account of the property developer or your representative, it is important that your name shows at one end of the transaction. Your name must appear as being the sender and the money must have been transferred from your own bank account.
In cases wherein a foreigner plans to purchase, transfer and register in co-ownership with a Thai national, the foreigner only needs to remit half of the purchase price of the condominium in foreign currency. The other half of the condominium price can be paid in Thai currency as the Thai share of the co-ownership.
It is recommended that you have a lawyer in Thailand to review the contract drafted by the seller to ensure it is prepared with proper terms and conditions as required by relevant laws, and to confirm that the contract does not contain terms of any hidden cost and drawbacks. Your lawyer will also discuss with the seller on your behalf for proposed changes until both parties mutually agree with the content of the final contract before signing.