Thailand50 - Buying Property in Thailand

Condominium Ownership

If the ownership of the entire condominium building is less than 49% foreign owned then the ownership of the condominium can be held on your own name, this is the easiest and most secure way of owning a Condominium in Thailand.

There are certain things you will need to do to ensure that you qualify to purchase in your own name, first you will need to transfer the full purchase from a bank abroad to show that the funds are from a foreign source and in a foreign currency, the Thai receiving bank will need to be told that the incoming funds are for a property purchase in your name and they will then issue a " Tor Tor 3" certificate that will enable you to purchase in your own name.

If the value of the condo is in excess of 10 million Baht, (raised recently from 3 million Baht) then you may qualify for an "investment visa" this will eliminate the need for border runs and you will be able to extend and renew at the end of each year. This only applies to a newly built condominium purchased from a Thai developer.

Checklist for purchasing a condo in your own name:

  • Check that the ownership of the entire building is less than 49% foreign owned if you are purchasing from the developer or from a Thai national.
  • Ensure the purchase funds are sent to the Thai receiving bank from abroad and are sent in a foreign currency.
  • Ensure that the Thai receiving Bank has been notified that the inward transfer is for a condominium purchase and have.

House and Land Ownership

It is not possible for a foreigner to own land out right in their own name, there are various ways within the law or securing your purchase and enjoying it whilst you live there.

Option 1 Thai Nominee

This option is best suited for married couples and is the easiest way to own your house. To complete this form of house purchase you need the funds and a Thai national who is willing to own a property that you the buyer have paid for. There are obviously risks involved if the relationship fails at some point.

Option 2 Thai Nominee and Lease with an Option to Purchase

This is probably the safest way to buy a house and land in Thailand.
You still require a Thai Nominee but the deal is made safe for the buyer by having a lease registered on the land. There is a tax payable on the lease income however this is minimal. The lease is a legally binding document registered at the lands office. The initial term of the lease as well as the extension periods are declared as paid in advance and incorporated into the agreement is an option allowing the Lessee (buyer) to purchase the land outright should the law change and permit foreigners to own land in Thailand. This is the closest you can get to freehold property ownership in Thailand.

Option 3 Thai Nominee with Mortgage

This is a very safe method of house and land purchase. Once again you will need a Thai Nominee in order to effect a property purchase in this manner. Instead of a lease agreement, this purchase method relies upon a mortgage to secure the buyers investment.

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The way this works is, the buyer has a Thai Nominee to buy the property then the property is registered as mortgaged at the lands office. Once again there is a tax applicable to this, it is however minimal. The property cannot be sold until the mortgage lender signs the title documents declaring the mortgage cleared. This once again gives 100% control over the property although not ownership. The buyer may remove the nominee should any problems arise and transfer in a new nominee at any time.

Option 4 Thai Company

This is probably the most popular method of property ownership. To own property through a company you need 7 (seven) partners (shareholders) including yourself. Each of the six Thai shareholders have a portion of the 61% that must be owned prior to the house purchase (this is reduced to 51% after the house is purchased). There is only one director (the buyer) who is also sole signatory for the company. The buyer will also have to obtain documentation through the lawyer who forms the company giving the buyer 100% control of the company. Being a company, there will be a tax obligation, as there would be in any country, however the costs here are minimal and your lawyer will have an accounting department able to assist you with the above.

Update

This method is currently being scrutinized by the Thai land office under instruction from the Thai Government, the land office now require proof that the nominee shareholders have proof of funds prior to the purchase and we recommend that you take exhaustive legal advice before proceeding with this method.

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