If you are looking to buy a property in Thailand, there are several requirements that you must know before proceeding. These include the laws that govern foreign ownership of landed property, as well as the regulations governing land leases and condominiums. It is important to work with a local real estate agent and lawyer who will be able to help you navigate the requirements that come with owning a property in Thailand.
A foreigner can only own a condo unit under section 19 of the Condominium Act (which is essentially a freehold title), as well as under a long lease agreement commonly known as “Leasehold”. To purchase a condo with a freehold, you need to bring into Thailand at least equal to the total price of the condominium and have exchanged this amount in Thai baht inside the country. The recipient bank inside Thailand will supply documents to confirm remittance of the money and this is then submitted to the Land Department in order to register foreign ownership of the condominium.
Another option for foreigners is to purchase a land parcel through a Thai company which is secured by a ‘Chanote’ title deed which will guarantee that the land is 100% owned by a foreigner. There are a few ways to go about this, but it is best to use the services of a Thai lawyer who can outline these options in detail and ensure that they are carried out correctly and securely.
Buying a Villa or Townhouse
One of the most common forms of land ownership for foreigners is through a villa or townhouse, although this can be complex and requires an extensive knowledge of the legal requirements to be successful. There are a number of factors to consider, such as whether the land is in an area that is not restricted by Thai law. If the land is in an area that is subject to zoning restrictions, it will be very difficult to sell the land later on and will most likely require a lengthy process.
There are also a number of other restrictions that must be met, such as the requirement that any money sent to Thailand for the purchase of the property be converted to Thai baht and clearly labelled. This is especially important if the property is purchased in foreign currency, as the buyer must be able to prove that the money has been properly remitted and that it was subsequently exchanged into Thai baht by a bank inside Thailand.
The land can be purchased through a Thai company but the owner of the company must be a foreigner and this must be in an area where land is not controlled by the government. This may mean that it is a little harder to set up the company but in practice, it is possible and can be a safe option for many people who are seeking to secure land as part of their property investment portfolio.