Land ownership in Thailand is restricted to Thai nationals only though exceptions may be obtained by foreign-owned companies who have gained promotion by the Board of Investment. For foreign individuals however, purchasing a condo is a way to own outright a property in the Kingdom.
Non-Thai nationals who are eyeing to purchase condos in Thailand may be in for good and satisfying deals as a lot of condo developments are sprouting in world-renowned tourist sites like in Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. If they would be able to purchase their own condo unit in these areas, they do not need to travel extensively just to reach a tourism site and reselling or leasing their units may even provide them with good returns.
Nonetheless, be it foreign individuals or companies, purchasing a condo in Thailand means they still have to satisfy the conditions set by law:
- Funds – the funds to be used in the purchase must be sourced out from abroad and this can be supported by the Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate. Also, if a foreign individual has a Thai spouse and they want to purchase a condo under the name of the Thai spouse, they must execute an affidavit certifying that the funds used in the purchase comes from the local spouse’s own funds and nothing from the foreign spouse.
- Foreign Ownership Quota – the law requires that foreign ownership on the total unit floor space on each condo development must not exceed 49% otherwise the foreigner cannot purchase a unit on such development anymore but still, he may secure one through a long term lease.
Now, if a foreign individual is really interested in owning a condo in Thailand, it is highly advisable that he must undergo several safety checks for him to know more about the development, the developer, the title deed and the condo management among others and these must be done with the assistance or supervision of a reputable law firm with extensive experience in dealing with Thai properties.
Through these safety checks, the foreigner may uncover:
- The unit’s real state – there can be instances in which the description released by the developer differ from the actual unit in terms of quality and materials used as well as the structural integrity of the building in which the unit is part of.
- The type of title deed – condominium development can only occur on a superior title deed and if development is allowed in such particular area and no local ordinance is opposing this. The buyer must know if development is clear and allowed in the locality otherwise he may be surprise in the future when a litigation proceeding has commence because building a condo in the area is restricted.
- Condo management – the condo management plays a huge role in having a satisfying stay as it is in charge of the security and maintenance of the condo plus in ensuring a harmonious environment for all the tenants. Conducting the proper safety check would help uncover the type of management the condo has and how its rules and regulations would affect the foreigner.
- Developer’s background – the quality of the units, the duration of development and having the insurance that development will be finished on time or if it will be finished at all lies largely on the developer. This is why it is also important to know more about the developer if it is financially capable in finishing the project or not especially if the unit is to be bought off-plan. The buyer must also know about the background of the developer if it has been involved in a litigation in the past and how its previous and current clients has viewed the company.
Surely, the safety checks will require the foreign individual or company to spend more. Nonetheless, it will all be worth it as these allow him to know more about the developer, the management and other important details about the project prior to his actual purchase and or signing of any contracts.
He just have to make sure that the firm he will be consulting with is indeed reputable and has an extensive history in conducting safety checks for clients who have since purchased their own condo units in Thailand.