Buying a condominium with a Thai spouse

Foreign or Thai owned

When a condominium unit in Thailand is acquired by a Thai national married to a foreigner the unit will automatically be considered foreign owned under the condominium act, unless the acquisition of the condominium unit is in accordance with the procedure for the acquisition of land by a Thai national married to a foreigner (read procedure). Only in this case the unit will be considered Thai owned and will fall within the Thai ownership side of the condominium. This also means that under Thai matrimonial property laws the unit will be considered a personal (non-marital) asset of the Thai spouse and not a jointly owned marital asset of husband and wife.

The following information comes from the Department of Lands

Normal purchase of the unit

In the case where a Thai national who has a foreigner spouse (whether legitimate or illegitimate) expends money which forms the community property or the jointly acquired property of husband and wife for the acquisition of the unit, whether the purchase is made in the sole name of that Thai national or jointly in the name of the foreign spouse as well, the acquisition shall be considerd be made by the foreigner. In this instance, the foreigner must be a foreigner within the meaning of section 19 Condominium Act:

  • under 1 foreigners permitted to have residence in the Thailand under the immigration law,
  • under 2 foreigners permitted to enter into Thailand under the investment promotion law, or
  • under 5 foreigners or juristic person regarded by law as foreign who have brought in foreign currency into Thailand and exchanged and withdrawn Thai baht from the Thai baht account or foreign currency account), as the case may be.

The Thai national spouse is therefore entitled to purchase a condominium unit in accordance with the entitlement of the foreign spouse and it shall be deemed that such condominium unit is wholly owned by that foreigner because the ownership in a condominium unit is indivisible and governed by section 19 bis.

A unit acquired by gift

In the case where a Thai national who has a foreign spouse, whether legitimate of illegitimate, applies for permission to accept a gift of a condominium unit, such gift being made with the intention that the property will become the community property or such gift resulting in the foreigner having co-ownership therein, the foreign spouse of that Thai national must be a foreigner within the meaning of section 19:

  • (1) foreigners permitted to have residence in the Thailand under the immigration law or
  • (2) foreigners permitted to enter into Thailand under the investment promotion law,

and it shall be deemed that the condominium unit is wholly owned by the foreigner and governed by section 19 bis.

In contrast, a Thai national who has a foreign spouse under section 19 (5) is not allowed to accept a transfer of a gift which is made with the intention that the property will become the community property because the case under section 19(5) is one involving the application by a foreigner for permission to acquire ownership in a condominium unit in a manner of sale, in respect of which payment therefore must be made.

Source: Department of Land