Buying a condominium in Thailand
The easiest choice of foreigners to buy a property in Thailand is buying a condominium. The only restrictions applied to foreigners on buying a condominium are that the percentage of units sold to foreigner must not be over forty nine percent (49%) of total amounts of units in the condominium and the funds used to purchase the condominium have been remitted from abroad and recorded as such by any Thai Banks on a Tor Tor Sam which is an official bank document issued by the receiving bank upon the receipt of foreign currency into a bank account in Thailand
A foreigner must request a Tor Tor Sam from a bank when he or she is remitting funds to Thailand in order to purchase a condominium, and the Tor Tor Sam must specify that the remittance is solely for the purpose of purchasing a property
A certificate of ownership will be given to the owner of each condominium with statement stating that how many percentages of rights over the common areas of the building each owner poses
Owning a House and Land in Thailand
According to Thai law, any person can register any type of building in their own name; therefore a foreigner can own a building on the land and may register such ownership local district’s Land Office. Certainty of possession of land and house is assured by being the owner of the house. If arranged in this manner, then the house will be separate from the land, and will not be a component part under Civil Law.
It is clearly stated under Thai law that foreigner cannot own freehold land except the following conditions:
- Become a Thai resident/citizen
- Receive an inheritance the total area including the land which has or has not been acquired must not over 1 Rai (1,600 sqm.) for a residential purpose
- Bringing the money not less than forty million Baht into Thailand for investment to the amount as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation, which shall be not less than Baht forty million and the land which has been acquired must not over 1 Rai (1,600 sqm.) for a residential purpose
- Acquisition of land applying under other laws such as the Promotion of Investment Act, B.E. 2520 (1977), the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), the Petroleum Act, B.E. 2514 (1971).
- A foreigners can have a 30 year lease with a prepaid option to renew for a further two times of 30 years each
- Usufruct Interest, which is limited to a 30 year maximum period with an option to renew, allows a foreigner temporary ownership rights to things on or arising from the land. Usufruct Interest expires upon the death of the holder and cannot be inherited but it cane be sold or transferred
- Any company with more than 40% foreign interest buys land will be investigated by the Central Land Office in Bangkok to assure that the company has not been established in an attempt to avoid the prohibition against foreign ownership of land.
Title Deeds in Thailand
In Thailand there are four types of Land Title that commonly used as evidences of land ownership, possessory rights an other interests in land;
- Chanote (Title Deed) which is a certificate for ownership of land. People having their name shown on the deeds have the legal right to the land, and can use them as evidence to confirm the right to government authorities;
- Nor Sor Sam Kor (Confirmed Cerificate of Use): This kind of certificate certifies that the person named on the certificate has the confirmed right to use the land, implying all requirements for the issuance of the title deed have been met and issuance of the deed is pending. They may be sold, leased, used as mortgage collateral and etc. The holder of this certificate cannot leave the land unattended for more than 12 years.
- Nor Sor Sam (Cerificate of Use): Similar to the Confirmed Certificate of Use except that not all of the formalities to certify the right to use have been performed. Before a transfer can be achieved, a notice of intent must be posted and then 30 days public notice is required before any change of status over the land can be registered.
- Sor Kor Nung (Certificate of Possession): This kind of certificate recognizes that a person is in possession of land but the Certificate does not imply that there are any rights associated with the possession. This kind of certificate is not transferable, but a person in possession may transfer physical possession and the new possessor may apply for a new Certificate of Possession.
Getting a Mortgage Loan
In Thailand, foreigners cannot mortgage properties. However, most of the financial institutions provide loans for property purchasing to Thais and Thai companies. Generally, a property developer arranges customers a financing package from a financial institution. In most property development projects, a down payment can be done in installments from 10 to 24 months.
Then, the sale contract will be made and the balance amount is paid through the loan which is financed from a financial institution after the down payment has been paid. A buyer is required by the financial institution to mortgage the property with it as collateral against the loan.
Land Appraisals and Valuations
It is difficult to find the exact appraisal price for land because there are there different appraisals rates the government rate, the appraisal company’s rate and the fair market value of the land
Things you should consider before renting, leasing or purchasing property
There are many infrastructure and other considerations you need to consider you when you are renting, leasing or purchasing property:
- Cable or Satellite TV connection
- Pest Control
- Hot water facilities
- Air Conditioning
- White Goods
Can my Thai wife own Land?
The recent Ministerial regulation gives the right to Thai national’s married to foreigners to purchase land. However, the Thai spouse must be able to prove that the money used in the purchase of freehold land is legally solely theirs with no foreign claim to it.
Property Taxes in Thailand
In Thailand, there are no property taxes that are exactly equivalent to the property taxes in the western countries. However, the most comparable taxes on properties are the Land Tax and the Structures Usage Tax which is collected by the municipal office or district office, and applied to properties used for commercial purpose
What Taxes and Costs are Applicable to Purchasing a Property?
In Thailand, whenever a property in Thailand is bought and sold, there are four kinds of tax that need to be taken into account.
- Land registration (transfer fee) of 2.0% of assessed value of the land.
- Stamp Duty/Fee of 0.5% of the assessed value or the sale price – whichever is higher.
- Specific Business Tax of 3.3% of the assessed value or the sale price – whichever is higher – this will be applied to all sales by companies and to any private sales that occur within 5 years of the date of purchase.
- Income Tax which is calculated on a very complex formula according to the assessed value of the property, the length of time owned and the applicable personal income tax rate.