Thailand Condo Laws

Buying a condominium in Thailand is perhaps the simplest and easiest option available to foreigners.

The only restrictions on purchasing a condominium in Thailand are that the percentage of units sold to foreigners cannot exceed 49% of the total number of units in the condominium block, and that the funds used to buy the condominium have been remitted from abroad and correctly recorded as such by a Thai Bank on a “Foreign Exchange Transaction Form”.

The Foreign Exchange Transaction Form is an official bank document issued by the receiving bank upon the receipt of foreign currency into your bank account in Thailand. You must request a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form from your bank when you are remitting funds to Thailand for the purpose of purchasing a condominium in Thailand, and the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form must specify that the remittance is solely for the purpose of purchasing a property in Thailand – Code 5.22.

Purchases of Condominiums in Thailand by foreign individuals come under the jurisdiction of the Condominium Act B.E. 2535 (1992).

The owner of each Condominium in Thailand is issued with a certificate of unit ownership. The certificate also has a statement saying exactly what percentage of rights over the common areas of the building each owner has. Process to Purchase a Condominium Pursuant to Thai property law, a foreigner may have a freehold ownership over a unit in condominium under certain restrictions.

Four Steps to Own a Condo – New Development

1. Title Search:
To verify the statusof a land over which a condominium is constructed. Normally, a land would be under mortgage with a supporting bank.

2. Sale and Purchase Agreement:
Thisdocument specifies the selling price, terms and conditions of the sale. It is advised that a contract is to be reviewed by a lawyer for the best protection of rights of the buyer.

3. Payment:

a) Deposit: Normally, 1% of the total price of a unit is required as a deposit payment to reserve a right to purchase a condo.
b) Down Payment: a sum of 25% or 30%, depending on an agreement between a buyer and a seller, of the total price of a unit is required as a first payment of the price of a unit. There may also be some payments to be made between a down payment and a transfer date. This will depend on your written agreement with the developer. The buyer’s monies to buy a condominium must be transferred into a Thailand bank account from abroad.

4. Registration of Ownership:
After a delivery of condominium unit and the final payment, the seller will then transfer the ownership of a condominium unit into your name. A registration fee, a stamp duty, and a withholding tax must be paid at the time a transfer of ownership takes place.

Four Steps to Own a Condo – 2nd Hand Sale in Condo Development

1. Title Search:
Similar to a title search for a new condominium project, this step is essential for a purpose of verification of status of the land where a building is located. Normally, as a used condominium, a land shall not be under mortgage, or, if it is, the buyer would acknowledge his position over such land.

2. Sales Agreement:
If you buy a condominium from an individual, a sales agreement normally is a ready-to-use contract (An agreement which is not especially drafted for the sale between buyer and seller).

3. Payment:
A norm is that a buyer shall pay a full price of property to a seller upon a transfer of ownership at the Land Department.

4. Registration of Ownership:
To buy a condominium, a buyer (or a seller, or both parties, depending on an agreement between parties) shall be responsible for a registration fee, a stamp duty (in case of having owned the property for more than 5 years) or a special business tax (in case of having owned the property for less than 5%), and a withholding tax.