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Q & A condominium and foreign ownership in Thailand

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Basics of foreign ownership

The Thailand Condominium Act allows foreigners to have outright ownership of an apartment unit in a condominium. Foreign ownership is governed by condominium laws and ownership includes co-ownership in the common areas such as the land, exterior of building, hallways and stairs, roof, swimming pools. Below some aspects of condominium and buying or owning a condo in Thailand .
  • Do all apartments in Thailand offer foreign freehold ownership? +

    Answer No, only apartment buildings that are registered and licensed with the land department as a condominium under Thailand condominium laws offer individual unit ownership within the 49% foreign ownership quota of that condominium, read more...
  • Can a condominium building in Thailand be 100% foreign owned? +

    ANSWER No. Foreign ownership in a condominium building is limited to a maximum of 49% of the aggregate floor space of the units in the condominium, more than half of the condominium building must be Thai owned, read more section 19 condominium act...
  • Can every foreigner buy and own a condo in Thailand? +

    ANSWER Yes (within the foreign ownership quota of the condominium), but every foreigner must personally qualify for ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act, read more...
  • Can a Thai national married to a foreign purchase an apartment unit in a condominium? +

    ANSWER Yes, but such acquisition will be considered made by a foreigner and the purchase must comply with the foreign ownership requirements of section 19 of the condominium act read more...
  • Can I without restrictions transfer the proceeds from the sale of a condo out of Thailand. +

    Answer With the correct documents (including land office tax receipt) and when you were the freehold owner of the condo and sold it, yes. The reason for this is that all fees, taxes, including personal income withholding tax for which you are liable are already withheld by the land office on the transfer date.
  • Can a foreign company own a condo apartment in Thailand? +

    Answer Foreign companies can register ownership as a foreign juristic entity within the foreign ownership quota of the condominium. Depending on the land office requirements certain company documents are asked and must be prepared, notarized, translated and submitted with the land office, together with other documents required under condominium laws, just as as when a foreign individual is buying a condo in Thailand.
  • Can foreigners borrow money and get a mortgage for the purchase of a condo in Thailand? +

    Answer In general no because foreigners simply do not meet the bank's criteria for financing of a condo but also foreigners would this way not comply with the requirements for foreign ownership under condominium laws (section 19). A mortgage for the (part) financing of a condo would only be possible for foreigners with residency, income and an employment history in Thailand.
  • What are the fees and charged by the condominium juristic person? +

    Answer Each owner in a condominium pays fees based on his/ her apartment unit size for the maintenance and management of the condominium building and common areas. It is each owner's share in the common expenses and maintenance of the condominium. In addition the condominium could decide the charge additional contributions to a sinking/ reserve fund for repairs and upgrades of the building.
  • What means saleable floor area in an off-plan condo sale agreement? +

    Answer It could mean the apartment unit floor area according to the building plans and the size/ square meters upon which the sale price is based. Usually the contract says the price will be adjusted based on the final floor area upon completion of the building and as measured by the Land Department surveyor. The final floor area will be stated in the unit title deed. The final floor area is not the exact useable floor area of the unit as the official floor area of a condo is measured from the center of the walls of the unit that are not joint ownership.
  • What are my tax responsibilities owning a unit on a Thai company name? +

    Answer You need to file your (audited) annual financial accounts every year with the Ministry of commerce, Department of Business, Revenue Department. In addition, as your unit is not considered 'owner occupied' (your company is as a separate juristic person considered the owner) you need to pay a property tax of 12.5 % of the yearly rental, even if you do not pay rent, then the minimum rent value will be assessed based on the appraised value of the unit. As it is the responsibility of the owner to inform the local authorities this tax is often not paid but the relevant local authorities do occasional checks which will lead to a higher tax assessment and fines when caught.
  • How to pay for a condo in Thailand? +

    ANSWER Either the foreigner pays through his own bank account inside Thailand, the seller's bank account inside Thailand or a foreign currency account held at a Thai bank, in any case the foreigner must comply with the condominium act section 19, read more...
  • Do I need a sale agreement when buying a condo? +

    ANSWER When it is a new built condominium the developer must offer you a sale and purchase agreement for the unit which complies with contract sale regulations and consumer protection laws. When you buy a resale condo you do not need a contract, you can agree verbally and go to the Land Office and transfer ownership, but putting the agreement in writing in a contract is strongly recommended, read more...
  • What are the tax implications of renting my condo in Thailand? +

    ANSWER Rent received by a foreigner in Thailand is subject to personal income tax (Revenue Code) and subject to a yearly local housing and land tax of 12.5% on the rent read more...
  • What is the proof of ownership of an apartment unit? +

    official condo apartment documentsANSWER Every apartment unit in a registered condominium has an apartment unit title deed (issued by the Land Department) and a house registration (blue) book (issued by the local government). The most important document for ownership is the title deed (sample right). When ownership of an apartment is transferred the land office will change the owner's name on the owner's title deed and the owner's name in the land office registers.
  • Are there any sales taxes for transfer of ownership? +

    ANSWER Conveyancing fees and taxes are: transfer fee (2%), business tax (3.3% if applicable), stamp duty (0.5%) and income withholding (progressive rate), read more...
  • What is a FET-form? +

    ANSWER It means 'foreign exchange transaction' form. A bank in Thailand dealing with the exchange of foreign currency exceeding 50,000 USD (or equivalent in any other currency) must under banking regulations prepare a 'FET-form' and report this transaction to the central Bank of Thailand, read more...
  • Can I buy a condo leasehold? +

    ANSWER No, you can enter into a lease agreement with the owner but you will not obtain a title to the unit nor will you obtain a guatanteed right to extend your lease when it runs out . You will in essence become a tenant with a pre-paid rent, having a personal right of use and possession of the unit for a maximum term of 30 years, read more...
  • Can a foreigner who inherits a condo under a will register ownership of the condo in Thailand? +

    ANSWER No, not automatically. Foreign ownership is under condominium laws an individual right of a specific foreigner. Every foreigner (including the benificiary under a will) must personally qualify for apartment ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act, read more...
  • Can a Thai company own a condominium unit on a foreigner's behalf? +

    ANSWER No, not on a foreigner's behalf (that would be illegal), but a majority Thai owned Thai limited company can register ownership of an apartment as a Thai juristic person when the Thai-foreign shareholding in the company is accepted by the Land Department.
  • How are condominiums in Thailand regulated? +

    ANSWER Once the building is licensed and registered as a condominium the building is controlled by its rules and regulations (internal regulations as accepted and amended by all unit owners), and by the Condominium Act (external)...
  • Are all apartment buildings regulated by the condominium act? +

    ANSWER Only apartment buildings that are registered and licensed with the Land Department as 'condominium' are governed by the Condominium Act (read more...)
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