Laws of Condominium Ownership for Foreigners in Thailand
Thailand is one of the best places to own a condominium as a foreigner investor. The prices are considerably affordable when compared to similar luxurious real estate properties in cities like Singapore.
Additionally, the process owning a condo is quite simple and straightforward.
Foreigners have the right to own condominiums directly, which is usually not the case with foreign land ownership in Thailand.
Furthermore, laws for condo ownership by foreigners are much more permissive in comparison to most cities in Asia. This largely explains the popularity of the Thai condo market among foreigners.
Condo Ownership Laws for Foreigners in Thailand
By law, foreigners can own not more than 49% of a condo property’s floor area. In fact, some areas in the Greater Bangkok Metropolitan area may not be restricted by the 49% ownership rule.
However, in comparison to the restrictive land ownership laws for foreigners in Thailand, condo ownership laws are extremely liberal.
Very few requirements are necessary before a foreigner can own a condo in the country. For instance, the foreigner has to open bank account with a local bank.
Other necessities include having a copy of the passport indicating the immigration stamp and the intention to purchase a condo.
Inheriting and Leasing Condos
Foreigners are also allowed to inherit condos, whether from Thai or non-Thai descendants. Furthermore, foreigners can opt to lease condos for up to 30 years and then renew the leases every 30 years.
Nevertheless, leases lasting more than 3 years have to be registered with the Land Department.
The lease option can be used in cases where the condos in question have already reached the legal foreign ownership quota.
Legal Requirements for Condo Ownership by Foreigners in Thailand
Before a foreigner can acquire a condo in Thailand, they have to meet certain legal restrictions put in place under the Condominium Act B.E 2535 of 1992.
A foreigner only has to meet any of the following conditions to have the right to legally purchase a condo in Thailand.
The first feasible qualification is that the foreigner must possess a residence permit. A foreigner who has legal residence permits does not even have to pay for the condo in foreign currency. Nevertheless, all foreigners without a Thai residence permit have to demonstrate that the funds used were brought in from outside the country.
The second legal alternative for qualifying to own a condo in Thailand as a foreigner is that the buyer has to have a permit to stay in the country with regard to the Investment Promotion Law.
The third alternative legal condition is that the foreigner has to bring in the entire sum required for the condo in foreign currency. This is also a requirement for foreigners without permits to stay in the county.
Additionally, the foreign condo buyer can be a foreign juristic entity with BOI privileges in Thailand. The final alternative condition is that the person is a foreign juristic entity with some land right in Thailand as stipulated in the Land Code.
In general, the process through which foreigners can own condos in Thailand is very straightforward.
The terms are few, simple, and very attractive to foreign real estate investors.
Foreigners can buy the condos anywhere within the country, although Bangkok is a favorite among foreigners due to the vibrancy of its real estate market, access to good infrastructure, availability of modern facilities and world-class city life.