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Thailand Condominium Lawyer FAQ

Sample condo contract payment terms

FOR A RESALE OR OFF-PLAN CONDO IN THAILAND

In case of the sale of an existing condo unit/ apartment in Thailand (as opposed to off-plan) the purchase price for the unit could be paid by cashier's check to the seller at the time of transfer of ownership of the condominium at the land office (standard practice). The buyer pays when his name is registered as the new owner of the unit. In this case the foreign buyer of the condo must obtain a cashier's check AND the foreign exchange documents (FET form) from his bank in Thailand. The foreign exchange transaction form is required for registration of foreign ownership under Thai condominium laws.

Buying a condo in Thailand

The Thailand condominium law allows outright foreign ownership of an apartment unit in a condominium registered and licensed as a condominium with the Thailand Land Department. The Thailand Condominium Act contains in section 19 the restrictions and requirement for foreign ownership of a condo.

Any foreigner who can enter Thailand legally can buy a condominium and regiser foreign ownership within the foreign ownership quota of the condominium building (section 19 bis of the Condominium Act B.E.2522) but he must qualify for foreign ownership under section 19. Becoming eligible for foreign ownership a non resident foreigner must have transferred the full purchase price for the condo in foreign currency into Thailand. The receiving bank in Thailand will issue proof of the remitance and exchange of foreign currency into Thai baht that must be submitted with the Land Department.

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Payable at the transfer of ownership

When a condominium is transferred from one person to another taxes and fees are on the spot at the time of transfer imposed by the provincial or local land branch office where the conveyancing of the condominium takes place. The taxes could be paid either by the seller or the buyer of the condominium or divided between them. The land office will calculate the payable amounts and issue a receipt specifying the total amounts of transfer fees, specific business tax, local municipality tax, stamp duty and income withholding tax. These calculation are based on the registered sale value of the condominium or the government assessed registered value of the condominium.

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Not all apartment buildings in Thailand are registered as 'condominium'

In tourist resort areas, such as Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and Koh Samui, holiday 'leasehold' apartments are often confused with condominiums licensed and registered under the Thailand Condominium Act. On the outside these buildings could look the same but legally they cannot be compared. Buying a condo in a building registered under the Condominium Act is far from the same as buying a leasehold unit in a residential apartment building having no license or condominium registration with the Land Department.

With leasehold apartment in this blog post we refer to an apartment complex not registered under the Condominium Act. For lease of a condominium unit registered under the Condominium Act we refer to the article 'lease purchase of a condominium'

Dispose of a condo by will to another foreigner

Bequeath a condominium under provisions of a will

A foreigner who complies with the Condominium Act can own a condominium unit in Thailand outright, but upon his death his right of foreign freehold ownership won't pass to his foreign successors/ heirs. Any foreigner who receives a condo in Thailand by inheritance must qualify for ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act or he must sell the unit within one year of acquisition by inheritance.

Condos in Thailand may be inherited by foreigners through testamentary or intestate succession, however, in order to legally register ownership of the unit with the Land Department the receiving foreigner must proof that he qualifies for ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act.

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