Picture yourself enjoying a morning coffee on your very own balcony. You look out at beautiful scenery and watch the sunrise over clear, enjoying the warm tropical weather. It’s not just a vacation; it’s everyday life. If the idea of living in Thailand has ever crossed your mind, you’re in for a beautiful journey.
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in Thailand and owning a piece of land or a house there. In that case, you might be curious about how can foreigners buy property in Thailand.
Well, the good news is that it is legally allowed, but there are some rules and restrictions that you need to know about. This article will explain the rules for owning property in Thailand. We’ll discuss the laws on holding land, villas, or condos in Thailand and explain the ways foreigners can buy property in Thailand.
Understanding Thailand’s laws on property ownership
Before you buy a property in Thailand, you should learn about some important laws and rules on property ownership in Thailand. This will help you ensure everything goes smoothly when purchasing the property.
Restriction on owning land in Thailand
Thailand has rules about whether people from other countries can’t own land. According to the Thailand Land Code Act Chapter 8, Section 86, foreigners can own land in Thailand if a special agreement exists between Thailand and their home country, like a treaty. This agreement needs to say they can own land in Thailand. It also means they have to follow specific rules explained in the law.
But here’s the thing: the last time Thailand had an agreement like this was way back in 1970. That means, right now, there’s no deal with any country that lets foreigners buy and own land in Thailand. Unless you decide to invest ฿ 60 million ($1.62 million), you can buy land of 1 Rai (1600 m2) with government permission as stated in Chapter 9, Section 96.
Condominium or apartment ownership
The law describes a ‘condominium’ as a building that can be divided into separate units for people to own. It includes shared areas like the land the building is on, hallways, and elevators.
The opportunity for individual ownership of units, shared ownership of common spaces, and government-issued ownership unit title deeds for foreigners is exclusively extended to condominium buildings licensed under the Condominium Act and officially registered as ‘condominiums’ with the Land Department.
The Condominium Act, specifically Section 19, sets the rules for foreign ownership of condominiums in Thailand. According to this section, foreign ownership is limited to 49% of the total floor area, which includes all units within a condominium building from all units in the building. And more than half of the units in the building must be owned by Thai nationals.
So, if you are a foreigner looking to buy a Thailand condo, confirming that there is still room for foreign ownership within the condominium building is essential.
How can foreigners buy property in Thailand?
There are two options for foreigners who want to buy property in Thailand:
While Thai laws may prohibit non-citizens from buying and owning land, another option is leasehold for acquiring properties in Thailand. When renting or leasing property in Thailand, foreigners enjoy the same rights as Thai citizens. If you wish to rent a house, apartment, or land, you can do so for up to 30 years.
In Thailand, a lease agreement operates like a prepaid rental contract. It’s different from owning Thailand property. If someone violates the lease agreement, it can be terminated before the agreed-upon time. You cannot use it as collateral for a loan; it doesn’t automatically transfer to your family when you pass away. If you intend to let someone else rent the estate you’ve leased, you must obtain permission from both the owner and the government.
2. Buying a freehold condominium
In Thailand, you can own what’s known as “freehold” property. This means you receive a certificate proving you own the property outright, unlike leasehold, where you must rent the property.
The most common type of freehold property foreigners can own in Thailand is condominiums. Condos are similar to apartments that you can purchase. This makes them a popular choice because they are relatively easy to acquire.
Additionally, you can buy a condominium as an investment, which means it can provide you with extra income in the form of rent. So, owning a condominium in Thailand can be a smart choice for living in Thailand or earning money through property rentals.
3. Building a structure on leased land
According to legal regulations in Thailand, a building is seen as a component of the property on which it is constructed. Nevertheless, if a foreigner builds a structure on a plot of land, that structure is considered a separate property. Consequently, in Thailand, foreigners have the right to develop and own the buildings on leased land only if they obtain a construction permit registered in their name.
7-Step guide to buying property in Thailand as a foreigner
Can foreigners buy property in Thailand? They sure can by following these seven steps:
Step 1: Research Thailand’s real estate market
Doing some early research is crucial before you search for a property in Thailand. This research helps you understand the basic rules about who can own an estate in Thailand, especially if you’re from another country. It’s important to know what you’re allowed to own and what you’re not allowed to own.
Understanding these rules is helpful because it helps you to ask the right questions to lawyers, agents, and sellers when you’re ready to buy real estate. Another part of your early research should be deciding where to buy a property in Thailand, like in a particular city, island, area, or location.
Step 2: Find a real estate agent in Thailand
The internet can help look for trustworthy Thailand real estate agents. An agent can help you save time and energy by showing you properties that match what you want and how much you can spend. Some people think buying directly from a developer is cheaper, but sometimes it costs more.
Our expert team ensures you’re not alone in navigating Thailand’s real estate market. We are happy to help you find the property of your dreams. To learn more about how we can help you, please leave your details below or contact us at email@example.com. Let’s find your property in Thailand together!
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Step 3: Hire a local lawyer
Planning everything carefully is essential when you’re about to spend much of your money on a house in Thailand. The best way is to work with a professional property lawyer in Thailand.
As a foreigner, you may face numerous legal intricacies that are unfamiliar to you. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of a Thai estate attorney before finalizing any contracts or agreements. This step will ensure that all legal aspects of your purchase are comprehensively addressed.
Step 4: Property survey in Thailand
When you’re on the hunt for an estate, it involves looking at different houses or apartments. You’ll work with Thailand real estate agents, and this part also discusses what you should pay attention to when you see these properties.
After looking at several properties, you must make a shortlist and decide which one to pick. To do this, you’ll need to consider what you want to achieve with your investment in Thailand and compare the properties based on your criteria.
Step 5: Checking the property’s title deed
An essential part of buying a property is looking closely at the title deed recorded at the Land Office. This is how you make sure that the person selling the property owns it legally before you decide to buy it.
When you do a complete title search, you’ll get an entire history of who has owned the property in the past, and you’ll see all the official interests tied to the property, like any debts or loans on it. The title search also ensures you know about any special rights connected to the estate, like what you can build on.
Step 6: Deposit payment
Once you’re content with the property and its title, you must submit a deposit payment to confirm your commitment to the next steps in this process. In exchange for this payment, the seller will securely hold the estate and proceed to the next stage of the purchasing process, which includes preparing the contracts. The regular deposit is usually 10-15% of what you’re paying for the property. If both sides follow the agreement correctly, this money gets removed from the original price.
Step 7: Examine the property contract carefully
It’s recommended to have a Thai property lawyer review the estate contract thoroughly, especially since the seller creates it. By carefully checking the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement, you are looking out for your interests.
Breaking down Thailand’s property taxes and costs
The seller pays most of the property taxes and costs in Thailand. When you buy property in Thailand, you have to pay the following taxes and fees:
- Transfer fee: Property buyers must pay a transfer fee of 2% on the property’s registered value.
- Agent’s fee: When using the services of a real estate agent or legal agent, an agent’s fee is paid. Depending on the agent or agency, this can be a percentual or fixed fee.
Required documentation for ownership transfer
The transfer of real estate ownership requires the submission of the following documents to the Land Office:
- Title Deed of the property (Chanote).
- Certification of No-Debt.
- Copies of passports or identification documents of both the seller and the buyer.
- Copies of the immigration stamp in the passport of the foreign party.
- Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate (commonly known as Thor Thor 3) for the foreign party. Banks issue this certificate upon receiving foreign currency into the foreigner’s bank account in Thailand. Complying with this government regulation is mandatory when remitting funds from overseas to purchase a condominium unit in Thailand. Comply with this requirement to ensure the registration of the property under the buyer’s name.
- Company documents from the past three months.
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Our committed team guarantees that you’re well-accompanied in understanding the complexities of the Thai property scene. To discover more about how we can assist you, kindly drop your details below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s work together on your successful property adventure!
Get help with buying property in Thailand
Buying Thailand real estate in Thailand as a foreigner can be a great option to have a nice place to live or to have a vacation. However, buying property in Thailand can be challenging. There are rules and laws that you need to know about. You should understand what properties you can buy and how to do it.
Knowing the rules and being careful with your money is essential. Working with experts in the Thai real estate market is advised. In the end, with the correct information and help, foreigners can buy property in Thailand and enjoy the nice place and good economy while being safe with their investment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can foreigners own villas in Thailand?
Because of land ownership rules, foreigners can’t buy a villa outright. Instead, they have to get a leasehold agreement. This is usually simple, and you’ll likely be offered a 30-year lease for any estate or home, the most extended lease you can get in Thailand.
Can I own a condo in Thailand as a foreigner?
Yes, you can. As long as they have legal permission to enter Thailand, anyone from any nationality can buy a condominium, which is usually a type of property you can own outright.
Is it worth buying property in Thailand?
Yes, it is. One great thing about investing in property in Thailand is that it’s not very expensive to live there. This means you won’t have to spend much on your day-to-day expenses.