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CondominiumsThere are three legal acts relevant to the purchase of a condominium unit by an alien, being the Condominium Act  B.E. 2522 (or 1979, the Condominium Act (No. 2), B.E. 2534 (or 1991) and the Condominium Act (N. 3) B.E. 2542 (or 1999) issued on 28th April, 1999. Until recently, foreigners could only own forty percent (40%) of the aggregate unit space. This has been amended to 49% of the aggregate unit space although the ministerial regulations governing this change have not yet been issued. The new Act allows that aliens or alien juristic persons (majority foreign-owned companies) can own up to 100% of the aggregate unit space registered in a condominium up to 27th April 2004. The total development area in that case must be under 5 rai (8000 m2) and located in Bangkok, all municipal districts and "such other areas as shall hereafter be announced by the Minister of the Interior to be foreign owned, provided always (this is unchanged) that the funds for the purchase have been remitted from abroad".

Who can own a condominium:
Basically any foreigner who can enter Thailand legally can buy a condominium.

Basically any negoti able foreign currency can be used to purchase a condominium. 
The foreign currency MUST be transferred into Thailand as foreign currency and exchanged by the handling bank in Thai Baht.

Documents needed when buying a condominium:
For foreigners to be eligible to purchase a condominium in Thailand they must present proof to the Land Department that the funds have been remitted from overseas in foreign currency. Without such proof the Land Department will not permit the transfer of ownership to the foreign buyer.

1. Remittances must be sent in exactly ("to the letter") the same name as that on the purchase contract, i.e. if Tom Smith is the purchaser then the name Tom Smith must appear on the remittance advice. T. Smith or Smith Enterprises are unaccept able.
2. Transfers of funds MUST be made in FOREIGN CURRENCY only and NOT in Thai Baht, i.e. if you are working in US Dollars then remit in US Dollars. Do not remit in Thai Baht.
3. Amounts transferred must be more than $5,000 in order to obtain a Thor Tor 3 form. (The bank will NOT ISSUE a Thor Tor 3 form for amounts less than $5,000.) This may mean you will have to agree to a modified instalment schedule so that all amounts remitted are more than $5,000.
4. The purpose of the remittance MUST be stated on the remittance advice. This should be "FOR THE PURCHASE OF A CONDOMINIUM". The Bank of Thailand's code for this is 5.22.

A condominium title (first established under the condominium act of 1979) is a title to a part of a building or buildings with multiple owners, and a fractional interest in the land (always a Chanot) and other common assets (such as a swimming pool) and common parts of the building (such as the stair well or lobby). The title will state the
floor area of the private apartment, the ground area of the common land and the percentage interest which that apartment has in the common property. This percentage also represents the value of the voting interest in the condominium company or owners' association.

Buildings "other than condominiums" do not have any form of title document , but their sale or long lease can be registered at the Amphoer (district) land office. Proof of ownership, must be established either from proof of construction or document showing previous sale-purchase (not to be confused with the House Registration document, which is only a register of the house's occupants).

Transfer of a building as distinct from its land requires the posting of 30 days public notice (to see if anyone wishes to contest the ownership). 
Foreign nationals (aliens) may own a building (as distinct from its land) and may register such transfer of ownership into their names at the local district office.

1 Rai = 4 Ngan = 1,600 m 2 = 17,108 Square Feet
1 Ngan = 100 Talang wah = 400 m 2  
1 Talang wah = 4 m 2    
1 Acre = 2.529 Rai    
1 Hectare = 6.25 Rai    

Property Purchase Tax & Free

Specific business tax = 3.3%
Transfer fees = 2%
Stamp duty = 0.5%

Understanding Land Titles:

Chanot ti dinTrue title deeds, "Chanot ti din", are only to be found in the most and longest developed parts of the Thailand, and of course in Bangkok. Chanot titles, issued by the Provincial office of the Thai Land Department, are accurately surveyed, plotted in relation to a national survey grid and also marked by unique numbered marker posts set in the ground.

Most "titles" in rural Thailand are however of the Nor. Sor. Sam or Nor Sor. Sam Kor. (N.S.3.) variety and are in the strictest interpretation "land exploration testimonial deeds". They are to all practical purposes land title deeds (issued and maintained by the Amphoer, the District land office) in as much as clear records of ownership are maintained, and that they may be sold, leased, used as mortgage collateral etc. 
In the case of the Nor. Sor. Sam. but not the more recently issued Nor. Sor. Sam. Kor. there is however a requirement that 30 days public notice is necessary before any change of status over the land can be registered.

N.S.3. titles are in general less accurately surveyed than Chanot titles. In the case of the older (now increasingly rare N.S.3.) titles the boundaries are only recorded in relation to the neighboring plots and survey errors in length of boundary or area are not unusual.

The newer Nor. Sor. Sam. Kor. is in general much more accurately surveyed and each plot is cross referenced to a master survey of the area and a corresponding aerial photograph. For this reason whenever purchasing N.S.3. land which lacks clearly defined physical boundaries it is a wise precaution to ask the owner to stake out the boundaries and then ask neighboring land owners to confirm the vendors interpretation of the boundary.

The Chanot and the Nor. Sor. Sam. Kor. are the only titles over which register able right of ownership or lease can exist, and are as such the only ones that a prudent foreigner should consider. 

Below the Chanot and N.S.3. title there are a host of other forms of land claim document such as the Sor. Kor. Nueng (S.K.1)., the Tor. Bor. Tor. Hoc. (T.B.T.6) and the Tor. Bor. Tor. Ha.(T.B.T.5.). These rights are essentially a form of squatter or settler's claim which has been filed with the district office and upon which a small fee has been paid. Unlike the Chanot and N.S.3.. it is neither possible to register a sale or lease over these land rights, nor will a bank accept them for collateral and most importantly one cannot apply for (or obtain approval to) build on such land.
In certain circumstances, based on the length of the claim and the use to which the land has been put, it is possible to upgrade these land claims (to N.S.3. or Chanot title). The steps involved in such an application and the number of government departments required to approve such an application (where such approval is often discretionary) is however quite daunting and most definitely not recommended to anyone without the best of connections at the district, provincial and (in many cases) national level.

The newer Sor. Bor Kor. titles are very different to the above claims. These are true title deeds, accurately surveyed and pegged (like a Chanot). They may be mortgaged, planning permission for development may be sought and granted. The one significant thing that may not happen with a Sor. Bor Kor, is that it may not be sold or transferred (except under last will and testament). Many expect that this limitation will change in time or that the titles can be quickly upgraded to a full Chanot. This is not a universal interpretation of the intention of the new titles and it may be unlikely that any upgrading will granted in the near future.

Q. Can a foreign investor own land/home/business in the Kingdom of Thailand?
A. Yes you have the right to own or lease land/home/business in Thailand.

Q. How is this achieved.
A. There are two ways to own land/home/business in Thailand.

1 Simply set up a limited company through one of the many English
speaking registered agents. Thai corporate business set up and law is
based on English regulations and is very similar and very simple.

2 Own or lease the land/home/business through a Thai national i.e. spouse,
partner, business associate or friend.
(Option 1 is the most popular and safest method throughout, but this is
of course up to the individual).

Q. How much does it cost to set up a Thai company?

Step 1 Firstly a non immigrant B (business) visa must be applied
for through a Thai embassy in your homeland or whilst you are here on a
standard Thai visa.
Cost approx. Baht 10,000 / 150 pounds
processing time approx. 30 days

Step 2 Company setup, list 3 desired names for your company and complete
an application form detailing the purpose of your proposal, i.e. company
to trade as a bar, restaurant, hotel etc.
Cost approx. Baht 30,000 /450 ponds
processing time approx. 30 days running concurrent with Thai visa application

Step 3
Once you have achieved the first two steps you must now apply for a Thai work
Cost approx. Baht 9000 / 140 pounds
processing time approx. 30 days

Total Cost approx Baht 49,000 / 740 pounds.
Total Processing time 60 days.

investPhuket is undoubtedly becoming the new playground of Asia and although a small island (550 kilometers square) has every modern amenity including, international hospitals and schools, modern infrastructure and roads, broadband communications, beautiful beaches and landscape, the finest hotels and restaurants, international shopping malls, friendly welcoming people, relaxed living and little crime, and last of all a warm climate all year around. Several new marinas and golf courses are also being built.

How it works

When buying off plan (as opposed to resale property) you put down a reservation deposit to reserve the plot, Villa, Condo etc. and then usually within 30 days after seeking legal advice and contracts being vetted and due diligence carried out, you sign contracts and pay the first installment of anything between 15-30 % of the sales price and the remainder over a period in stage payments based on build completion until it is finished which is usually approximately one year hence for most developments. By buying this way you get the opportunity to buy at up to 30% or more below market value. The reason you can save so much is the developers wish to attract early buyers whom have no hurry to occupy the property but realize the benefits and significant savings of buying early. This assists the developer with early buyers' confidence in the project and gives an injection of capital and security for the bank and aids the projects finances. It is a case of WIN, WIN for all parties! During the build stage it is normal for prices to rise substantially due to material cost rises and to en able the developer and buyer to maximize their returns. It is only right that those, whom buy first, pay less than those whom buy last.

Investment return

The above example shows that for a small outlay you can spread your payments over one year and receive a large capital gain even before you move in! Many investors do just that “flip” and sell the property shortly after completion. However, it is probably wiser to hold on to it as with the prices rising by 15-20% per annum plus materials inflation, Phuket property makes a very sound investment indeed over the longer term. You can also rent out the property and receive a rental income as well.

Now is the time to invest here without question and we are avail able to give advice on the best developments on the island as we represent them all.

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