Foreigners interested in investing in Thailand property are limited in the type of properties they can own. Land ownership of buildings is the exclusive right of Thais although foreigners are allowed to own buildings. Thus for foreigners, investing in the construction of a building on a piece of land in Thailand is not a very wise option. The Condominium Act of B.E. 2522 (1979) however, provides some concessions to foreigners interested in investing in Thai real estate. This law grants them the privilege of owning Thailand condominiums and defines the parameters of such ownership. Foreigners may not own more than 49% of the value or area of the entire project.
Who are eligible to invest in Bangkok condominiums? There are two groups and these are:
- Non-corporate foreigners who are permitted to reside in Thailand according to the Immigration Act and the Investment Promotion Act; as well as those who bring foreign currency into the country specifically for the purpose of investing in a condominium
- Corporations registered with the Thai government; those promoted by the Thai Board of Investment; and those that bring foreign money into Thailand.
Thailand accepts all foreign currencies as payment for the purchase of a condominium unit. The money must be transferred into Thailand as a foreign currency then converted into Thai Baht by a local bank in Thailand. The process of buying a condominium involves showing proof to the Department of Lands that the payment has been sent from overseas in foreign currency. The said government agency will not register the transfer of ownership to the foreign buyer without such proof.
Buyers must adhere to the following guidelines when paying for the Thailand condominium:
The name on the purchase contract must be exactly the same name in the remittances “down to the letter”. If there are two buyers, two names should appear in the contract and two separate remittances should be made by the two persons mentioned, in equal amounts.
Only funds remitted in foreign currency will be accepted.
The remittance advice must state the purpose for which funds are being transferred. This should be stated thus: “FOR THE PURCHASE OF BUYING A CONDOMINIUM, UNIT #___ IN_____ IN _____”. The specific name of the project, and tower or building number must be included.
The amount for each of the following must be specified based on what is written in the contract: reservation, signing sale and purchase agreement, installments, and transfer amount.
- The two options to transfer money to the developer are:
- transferring funds into a local bank account of the buyer in Thailand then executing a domestic transfer of same to the Developer
- directly transferring funds to the Developer’s account
A foreigner planning on buying a place of his own in Thailand has the option of purchasing a condominium. The buying process is simple and straightforward, thanks to investor-friendly Thai statues. To make sure that all the requirements are in order and the foreign buyer is protected from possible unscrupulous business practices, it is best to enlist the services of reliable and competent lawyers who specialize in Thailand real estate and property transactions. Siam Legal is a reputable law firm with local and foreign attorneys who will provide you with the best legal service available to facilitate the real estate transaction involved in your purchase of your very own Bangkok Condominium.