Condominium Act Thailand Section Foreign Ownership

Foreigners are within the foreign ownership quota of a condominium allowed to own an apartment unit freehold in their own name. Foreigners must however qualify under condominium laws for foreign ownership. Section 19 of the Condominium Act is the relevant law section governing foreign apartment ownership in Thailand.

Section 19 of the condominium Act contains:

sample real property ownership title deed
  • Foreigners who can own an apartment unit under Thai condominium laws
  • Percentage of foreign ownership
  • Registration of foreign ownership
  • Loss of foreign ownership
  • Inheritance and foreign ownership
  • Change of nationality and ownership

The Thailand Condominium Act section 19 applies to apartment buildings licensed and registered with the land department as condominium under condominium laws. Only these bulding offer individual apartment ownership including an apartment unit title deeds for each unit, registered and issued by the land department (image on the right).

Section 19 (translation)

Foreigners and juristic persons regarded by law as foreigners may hold ownership of an apartment if the are the following:
  • Foreigners permitted to have residence in the Kingdom under the Immigration law;
  • Foreigners permitted to enter into the Kingdom under the investment promotion law;
  • Juristic persons as provided in section 97 and 98 of the Land Code and registered as juristic persons under Thai law;
  • Juristic persons which are foreign under the Announcement of the National Executive Council No.281 dated November 24, B.E. 2515 and have obtained promotion certificate under investment promotion law;
  • Foreigners or juristic persons regarded by law as foreign who have brought in foreign currency into the Kingdom or withdraw money from Thai baht account of the person who have residence outside the Kingdom or withdraw money from a foreign currency account.

Percentage of foreign ownership in a condominium

Section 19 (2) Each condominium shall have foreigners or corporate as indicated under Section 19 holding ownerships in the units collectively not exceeding forty-nine percents (49%) of the spaces of the whole units in such particular condominium at the time of making the registration of such condominium in accordance with Section 6.

Section 19 (3) In transferring of ownership of an apartment to a foreigner or juristic person as specified in Section 19 shall the applicant for transfer of ownership of apartment shall notify the Competent Official of the name of the foreigner or juristic person as specified in Section 19 together with the proportion of space of apartments already owned by such foreigners or juristic persons, and the foreigner or juristic person who applies for holding the ownership of apartment shall present the following evidence to the Competent Official;
  • For the foreigner specified in Section 19 (1), evidence of being permitted to have residence in the Kingdom under Immigration Law must be presented;
  • For the foreigner as specified in Section 19, the evidence of being permitted to enter the Kingdom under investment promotion law must be presented;
  • For the juristic person as specified in Section 19 (3), the evidence of being registered as the juristic person under Thai law must be presented;
  • For the juristic person as specified in Section 19 (4), the evidence of obtaining promotion certificate under investment promotion law must be presented;
  • For juristic persons stipulated in Section 19 (5), they shall produce evidence of bringing in foreign currency into the Kingdom or evidence of withdrawal of money from Thai Baht account of the person who have residence outside the Kingdom or withdrawal of money from foreign currency account in the amount of not less than the price of the apartment to be purchased.

Registration of foreign ownership by the Land Office

Section 19 (4). Upon the competent authority having received the documents and evidences under Section 19 ter and having examined and deemed that they are correct according to the provisions of Section 19 ter and the ratio of holding the ownership in apartment of foreigners or juristic persons under Section 19, of those already held the ownership and those applying for the acceptance of transfer, not exceeding the ration prescribed in the first paragraph of Section 19 bis, the competent authority shall proceed with the registration of rights and juristic acts concerning apartments under Chapter 4 for such aliens or juristic persons applying for the acceptance of transfer.

When a foreigner has to give up his ownership

Section 19 (5). The foreigner or juristic person as provided in Section 19 shall dispose of apartment in the following cases:
  • When the foreigner or juristic person stipulated in Section 19 have acquired apartments by legacy in the capacity of statutory heir or inheritor under will or by other means as the case may be, and when include the apartment already held by such foreigners or juristic persons stipulated in Section 19 exceeding the ratio prescribed in Section 19 bis;
  • Where the permission to have residence in the Kingdom of the foreigner as specified in Section 19 is revoked, or his residence certificate is no longer valid;
  • Where the foreigner as specified in Section 19 (1), (2) and (5) is deported out of the Kingdom, and has not received a relaxation or is not sent to earn a living any where instead of being deported;
  • Where the foreigner as specified in Section 19 (4) does not receive permission from the Board of Investment to stay in the Kingdom;
  • Where the promotion certificate of the juristic person as specified in Section 19 (4) is revoked.
  • The foreigner or juristic person who is compelled to dispose of the apartment under the first paragraph shall notify in writing the Competent Official within the period of sixty days from the date the cause of such disposition occurred under the first paragraph.
For the case of (1), only the apartments exceeding the designated proportion shall be disposed; for the case of (2), (3), (4) and (5), all the apartments owned shall be disposed.

The disposition of apartments under the third paragraph shall be made within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of acquisition of ownership of such apartments, or the date of revocation of permission to have residence in the Kindom, or the invalidation of the residence certificate or the date of being ordered deported or de the date of revocation by the Board of Investment of permission to stay in the Kingdom, or the date of revocation of promotion certificate as the case may be. If the disposition is not made within the said period, the Director-General of Land Department shall have the power to dispose of such apartment, and the provisions regarding the the compulsion of disposition of land under Chapter 3 of the Land Code and the Ministerial Regulations issued thereunder shall be applied to the disposition of such apartment mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 (6) Where the authorized official issues an order to revoke the permission for aliens to have residence in the Kingdom, or where the facts appear to the official that the residence certificate of the alien is no longer valid for the foreigner as specified in Section 19 (1), (2) or (5) out of the Kingdom, or issues an order revoking the permission for the foreigner as specified in Section 19 (2) for staying in the Kingdom, or issues an order revoking promotion certificate for the juristic person as specified in Section 19 (4), as the case may be, such official shall notify the Director-General of the Land Department within sixty days from the date of issue of the order or the date of knowing such facts.

Inheritance of foreign ownership

Section 19 (7). A foreigner or juristic person regarded by law as foreign other than those specified in Section 19 who acquires an apartment by inheritance as statutory heir or legatee or otherwise, as such case may be, shall notify in writing the Competent Official within a period of sixty days from the date of acquisition of ownership of apartment, and shall dispose of such apartment within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of acquisition of ownership of apartment. If disposition is not made within said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Ownership and change of Thai to foreign nationality

Section 19 (8) Any person who acquired ownership of apartment while he had the Thai nationality, and subsequently loses Thai nationality due to surrender of Thai nationality, conversion of nationality or revocation of Thai nationality under national law, and is not alien as specified in Section 19, shall notify in writing the Competent Official of loss of Thai nationality and the inability to continue to hold ownership of apartment within a period of sixty days from the date of loss of Thai nationality, and shall dispose of all apartments owned by him within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of loss of Thai nationality. If disposition is not made within said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 (9). Whoever acquires the ownership in apartments at the time he is of Thai national, if later the said person loses his Thai nationality because of forsaking Thai nationality, denaturalization or having been denaturalized of Thai nationality under the law governing nationality, and the said person is an alien as stipulated in Section 19, if wishing to continue holding the ownership thereof, shall inform the competent authority in writing of the lose of Thai nationality and shall produce evidence that he is an alien stipulated in Section 19 to the competent authority within one hundred and eighty days from the date of loss of Thai nationality. However, if the ownership in apartment of the said foreigner exceeding the ration prescribed in the first paragraph of Section 19 bis, or not being in accordance with second paragraph of the third paragraph of Section 19 bis, he shall dispose of the apartment that exceeds the ratio within one year from the date of loss of Thai nationality. If he does not dispose of the said apartment within the said period of time, the provisions of the forth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

If the foreigner under the first paragraph does not wish to continue to hold ownership of apartment, he shall notify in writing the Competent Official of the loss of Thai nationality within a period of sixty days from the date of loss of Thai nationality, and shall dispose of all apartments owned by him within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of loss of Thai nationality. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 (10) A juristic person which had Thai nationality and holds ownership of apartment, and subsequently the nature of such juristic person changes to become that regarded by law as a foreigner and is not a juristic person specified in Section 19, shall notify in writing the Competent Official of change of its nature and the inability to continue to hold ownership of apartment within a period of sixty days from the date of such change and shall dispose of all the apartments owned by it within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 (11) For juristic persons which is of Thai nationality and holds ownership of apartment, and subsequently the nature of such juristic person changes to become that regarded by law as a foreigner and may hold ownership of apartment as it is a juristic person as specified in Section 19, if it wishes to continue to hold ownership of apartment, it shall notify in writing the Competent Official of change of its nature shall submit evidences showing that it is a foreigner as specified in Section 19 to the Competent Official within one hundred and eighty days from the date of change. But if the ownership of apartments of such juristic person exceeds the proportion specified in Section 19 bis, it shall dispose of the apartments in excess of the proportion prescribed within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

If the juristic person under the first paragraph doe not wish to continue to hold ownership of apartment, it shall notify in writing the Competent Official of change of its nature within a period of sixty days from the date of such change and shall dispose of all apartment owned by it within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

See also