Thailand is boasting its wide arrays of properties all over the country, with the most reasonable prices (and some unreasonable too). It is noted that the properties in Thailand may be cheaper than some properties in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, USA or in Europe. We have observed that number of foreigners from all around the world are coming to Thailand to own or rent a property in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Khao Yai and in other tourism areas. Foreign investments are dramatically increasing every year in Thailand.
A number of the foreigners buy properties here in Thailand for residential purposes, some are for retirement and majority of them are for investment. Those who bought properties for residential purposes brought their family here in Thailand to start a new life, to embrace the wonderful culture and heritage of Thailand. The same with those who bought properties for retirement purposes, they want to spend their life here in Thailand. And for those who bought properties for investment purposes, they know that Thailand is a booming economy and they are making profit out of their properties here in Thailand.
Our property experts did a research about foreigners who wants to own a property here in Thailand. Upon asking them why they wish to buy a property in Thailand, many responded that “The properties in Thailand are very cheap when compared with the properties on their country and it is good for their investments”.
Siam Attorney has been noted to be one of the most reputable in Property Services here in Thailand. We have been providing the best property services to our foreign clients who wants to buy, rent, lease, mortgage etc. for more than 15 years already (and counting). We know the complications and issues that our foreign clients face, our lawyers have significant experiences with the usual issues they face, and we make sure that our actions and services will always be for the benefit of our clients.
Here are some issues that concerns foreign clients:
- Delivery date is not finished on time
- Construction with different materials on agreement
- Fake title deed
- Fake owner
- Already paid for the reservation, but EIA not approved
- Sale and Purchase Agreement is unenforceable
- Construction with no license
- The unit and title deed are different from each other
Above points are just example but we have seen many issues from property transactions amongst foreigners in Thailand. It must better for you to consult with the lawyer who specializes in property transaction before you hand out your money to the prospective Seller. We have property services in Bangkok, Phuket and other provinces in Thailand. We have also observed that different locations may need different requirements or paper work because some locations are in strict area such as Phuket, Samui, Phra Ngan etc. Therefore, we can provide different approach to handle and accomplish the case.
Our Property Service lawyers also sees to it that they provide the necessary documents and requirements as some locations requires different details and different approach. We always make sure that we are on the right track for the welfare of our clients. Siam Attorney’s lawyers have significant experience on different fields, but our lawyers excel on the following property services in Thailand:
- Leasing a Land/Property in Thailand
- Land titles
- Purchasing land through a company
- Buying an apartment as a foreigner
- Buying Process
- Due Diligence
Siam Attorney’s Property Services
Leasing land in Thailand
A foreigner can lease land for 30 years in Thailand. However, leasing is rather unusual, in most cases this occurs when a foreign man marries a Thai woman: the Thai woman, as a Thai citizen, purchases the land and stipulates a lease agreement with her foreign husband.
No matter who you lease from, make sure that all data on the deed is accurate, and that the land you are leasing has the appropriate title. Usually, the leasing contract states the duration of the lease, the buyer´s right to resell it and the registration fee.
A foreigner can have a 30-year renewable lease, under which the buyer registers at the Land Office an option to renew the lease contract indefinitely, for further 30-year periods. There are serious drawbacks, however. Lease renewals cannot be registered, and are not effective against a purchaser of the property. And the lessee cannot (without the lessor’s consent) sublease, sell or transfer his or her interest.
Land can have different titles in Thailand, depending on factors such as the location or whether it can be leased to a foreigner or not. There are seven types of land titles but just three of them can be leased: Chanot, Nor Sor Saam Gor and Nor Sor Saam. Title Deeds
Titles are problematic in Thailand. It is important to distinguish between the different types and familiarize yourself with them before engaging in purchase transactions.
The best landed property titles are “Chanott ti din”. this type of title deed is those who had the land accurately surveyed, giving incontestable possession of the land. The most developed areas of provinces have such titles. However most of Thailand does not, and even in Phuket, for example, only 10% of the land is under this title.
Most “titles” in the country are “Nor Sor Sam” or “Nor Sor Sam Kor”, which are land title deeds in as much as clear records of ownership are maintained, and may be sold or leased, but tend to be less accurately surveyed than Chanott titles. If purchasing Nor Sor Sam-titled land lacking clearly defined physical boundaries, it is wise to ask the owner to stake out the boundaries, and then ask neighboring landowners to confirm his work.
Sor Kor Nung, Tor Bor Tor Hoc, and Tor Bor Tor Ha titles are essentially squatter’s rights registered at the district office for a small fee. They cannot legally be sold, nor can the purchaser build on the land.
Sor Bor Kor are true title deeds, accurately surveyed and pegged (like a Chanott), which can be mortgaged and developed. But they cannot be leased, sold or transferred. So Sor Bor Kor must be ignored.
Purchasing land through a company
Another alternative, is to set up a Thai Limited Company. If you decide this is the best option for you, be aware that as a foreigner, you cannot hold half or more than half of the company’s shares. Therefore, the company has to be at least 51% owned by Thai citizen. They can then choose to sign over their company rights to you. Note, that the Thai Immigration office is aware of this kind of procedures and will certainly monitor your business. Another option is to set up a private limited company with mixed Thai and foreign ownership, the foreign ownership being 49% or less. Companies are allowed to own land. The foreign national can control the company by using a legal power of attorney from the Thai shareholders, handing control to the foreign directors, or through assigning greater voting rights to the foreigner partner/s. This is an effective and time-tested route, most commonly taken by foreigners. The help of a lawyer is very important.
Buying an apartment as a foreigner
Due to the legal restrictions mentioned above, most foreigners choose to simply buy a condominium or apartment in Thailand. However, a foreigner can only purchase a condominium in his/her own name, as long as at least 51% of the building units are owned by Thai people.
It is very important to hire a real estate attorney when purchasing property. The realty industry in the country is still unregulated, so a lawyer will be able to provide more security than a mere real estate agent.
There are, essentially, two important documents that are needed: passport and an Exchange Control Form. But if the option of buying through a company is preferred, the following are required documents:
o Certified copy of the certificate of incorporation
o Certified copy of the memorandum of association
o Notaries certificate
o List of shareholders (in English with Thai translation)
o Minutes of directors’ meetings with resolution to purchase the property
o Letter of advice regarding specific signature
o Power of attorney – if you, as a director, will not be present in the transactions
o Free debt letter
o Foreign co-owner letter
o Certified copy of IDs of authorized director(s)
o Certified copy of the house registration of the authorized director(s)
o Title deed of the condominium unit
Due diligence should be conducted prior to signing agreements and paying deposits. It is wise to ask the lawyer to do a caveat search and verify the property’s actual condition before engaging in purchase transactions. Once the seller accepts the offer, his lawyer will prepare a purchase agreement. This should include, among other things, which party pays the legal fees, transfer fees, and taxes.