Can I Own a
Condominium in Thailand?
Yes, you can. Under Thai Law, 49% of the internal area of a condo
building, excluding the common areas, can be assigned to be owned
Buying a condominium, is the simplest option available to
foreigners. The only restrictions on purchasing a condominium, are
that the funds used for purchase were remitted from abroad and
correctly recorded as such by the receiving Thai Bank on a Tor Tor
Sam. Purchases of condominiums by foreign individuals come under
the jurisdiction of the Condominium Act B.E. 2535 (1992).
The owner of each condominium is issued with a certificate of unit
ownership. The certificate also has a statement saying exactly
what percentage of rights over the common areas of the building
each owner has.
Can I Own a House
and Land in Thailand?
Ownership of land is governed by the Land Code BE 2497 (1954), the
Civil and Commercial Code, Land Reform for Agriculture Act BE 2518
(1975) and the regulations set forth by the Ministry of the
Although Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in
Thailand, there are various ways in which you can structure
establish a controlling interest in a Thai company that owns the
land, or own a lease for the land in your own name, all complying
with existing Thai laws:
Nominee with Lease and Option to Buy - you can use a Thai
Nominee to purchase the house/land and have a 30 year lease with a
30 by 30 year option from the nominee. In order to be enforceable,
any lease for a period of longer than three years must be
registered, which involves a modest payment of a registration fee
and stamp duty based on a percentage of the rental fee for the
whole lease term. The original registered lease remains in force
and effect even if the property is sold. The drawbacks to a lease
include the fact that the parties can contractually agree to
renewals, but this right cannot be registered and is not effective
against a purchaser of the property, and that the lessee cannot
(without the lessor's consent) sublease, sell or transfer his or
Nominee with Mortgage - you
can use a Nominee to purchase the house/land and have a mortgage
(registered with the appropriate land department office) on the
property in your favour. However, in some circumstances the Thai
courts have ruled that this was not a bona fide mortgage, but
rather it was a mortgage contrived to circumvent the existing laws
of Thailand prohibiting foreign ownership of land. It is important
to note that only the owner of the land is entitled to mortgage
the land; the lessee of land does not have the same privilege.
Usufruct Interest (Sidhi-kep-kin)
- gives you temporary ownership rights to things on or arising
from the land. In practice, a usufruct is limited to a 30 year
maximum period; like leases, the agreement can be successively
renewed. In contrast to a lease, a usufructury interest can be
sold or transferred, although it expires upon the death of the
holder of the usufruct and therefore cannot be inherited.
Limited Liability Company -
this form of purchasing property is the most popular with foreign
investors as the Articles of Association can be varied to allow
greater protection for foreign minority shareholders where
majority Thai ownership is required under the Alien Business Law.
Thai law requires that 51% of the shares be held by Thai juristic
persons, however, any company with more than 40% foreign interest
that purchases land will be investigated by the Central Land
Office in Bangkok (under Section 74 of the Land Code) to ensure
that the company has not been organized in an attempt to
circumvent the prohibition against foreign ownership of land. This
results in the foreign ownership of the company being limited at
39%, but with the recommended changes to the Articles of
Association, the foreigner can be the only director of the
company, and the only officer of the company who can commit or
bind the company in any contractual dealings - effectively giving
the minority shareholder control over the company.
is a Tor Tor Sam (3)?
A Tor Tor Sam (3) is an official bank document issued by the
receiving bank upon the receipt of foreign currency into your bank
account in Thailand. You must request a Tor Tor Sam from your bank
when you are remitting funds to Thailand for the purpose of
purchasing a condominium, and the Tor Tor Sam must specify that
the remittance is solely for the purpose of purchasing a property
- Code 5.22.
Thai Wife Own Land?
Yes. Prior to 1998, any Thai woman who married a foreigner would
lose her right to purchase land in Thailand. She could, however,
still retain land that she owned prior to marrying the foreigner.
However, 1999 a new Ministerial regulation changed that to allow
Thai national's married to foreigners the right to purchase land,
but the Thai spouse must prove that the money used in the purchase
of freehold land is legally solely theirs with no foreign claim to
it. This is usually achieved by the foreign spouse signing a
declaration stating that the funds used for the purchase of
property belonged to the Thai spouse prior to the marriage and are
beyond his claim.
Do They Have
Land Title Deeds in Thailand?
Yes, the Title Deed (Chanote) is the purest form of land
ownership. It ensures easy transfer, one original set is kept in
the District Land Office where the registration of land transfer
takes place, and the other original set is given to the owner of
the land. Look for the red coloured crest at the head of the
Confirmed Certificate of Use (Ngor Sor Saam Gor)
This document certifies the right to use land and is often issued
pending title deed. Transfer of the certificate is mainly
completed at the District Land Office or Branch District level, as
the case may be. Look for a green coloured crest at the head of
The 2 documents above are the easiest titles to transfer ownership
of. Avoid any other form of ownership documents.
How is Property Appraised and Valued in Thailand?
There are generally three different appraisal values; the
government value, the appraisal company's value and the market
value of the property. The government value is calculated every 5
years, the last update was in 2004. Over the last few years all of
these rates have begun to come closer together.
is Land Measured in Thailand?
Thai land measurements are a combination of imperial and metric
measurement systems. Title deeds in Thailand include all land
measurements using the Thai system and are also written in Thai,
therefore it is beneficial for you to have a translation if you
are thinking of buying a property. Below you'll find a comparison
between the Thai and Western sytems which hopefully will help you
gain a better understanding.
1 Wah = 2 Metres
1 Sq Wah is called a Talangwah = 4 Sqm
100 Talangwah = 1 Ngan = 400 Sqm
4 Ngan = 1 Rai = 1600 Sqm = 400 Talangwah
1 Acre = 4047 Sqm = approx 2.53 Rai
1 Hectare = 10000 Sqm = 6.25 Rai
Are there any Taxes and Costs Payable When Purchasing a Property?
Yes, on all purchase/sale of property in Thailand there is a stamp
Duty of 0.5%, a transfer fee of 2%, a business tax of 3.3% levied
against an owner who has been in registered possession of the
property less than 5 years, and withholding tax of 1% of the
Government price or the declared value whichever is the higher.
There is no Capital Gains Tax in Thailand, There are no set rules
on who pays these fees and taxes, and it is just another part of
the bargaining process, as with all the other costs of the
transfer of ownership.