As more foreigners wish to move to Thailand either to retire or for business opportunities, condominium investment becomes a hit. There are multitude of benefits when an expat purchase a condominium unit in Thailand: An expat may use it for personal residence; to earn a rental income; as a property investment in Thailand.
A condominium is a building where persons are able to hold ownership separately according to the unit whereby each unit consists of personal ownership in the property and joint ownership in common property.
Foreigners interested in real property ownership in Thailand may consider buying a condominium unit. Foreigners are allowed to buy a condo unit in Thailand outright. This is probably the easiest way, most popular, and straightforward method to acquire a real estate property in Thailand.
Governed by the Condominium Act B.E 1979, a condominium is consisted of individual ownership of living units and joint ownership of the common areas within the building. Before buying a condo in Thailand, you have to check the title, the owner of the unit (or if in the case of buying a condo off-plan, check the developer) through conducting a Due Diligence, check the Contract of Sales, and you can check on the Land Office that it is not under mortgage or has no legal liability on the property (encumbrances).
It is important that on the Contract of Sales, the maintenance fee is clearly indicated. Maintenance Fee should be in accordance to space that you own, or simply amount per square meter. Maintenance Fee is declared on Land Office where the property is registered under the By-laws of the Condominium. If the maintenance fee is not indicated, check with the condominium’s management company before signing the sales contract. In the event that an increase in maintenance fee is needed, please take note that this must be agreed by gaining three-fourths majority vote amongst all joint-owners of the building. An amended Rules and Regulations must be registered at the Land Office in order to take effect.
In pursuance to Condominium Act B.E 1979, Rules and Regulations of the Condominium must contain the following information:
- Name of the condominium’s juristic person
- Location of the office
- The amount of sinking fund an owner must pay
- Other common properties
- How the common and individual properties would be used
- The ratio of each unit in terms of space
- The procedures for the general meeting
- The ratio of the maintenance fees
- Procedure for managers and their appointments
Aside from the Rules and Regulations of the Condominium, each buyer must check the following restrictions before signing a sales contract: Restrictions on pets; On age of children who can use the pool or other facilities; On parking any vehicles or boats; On types of floor-covering materials, drapes or window hangings, screenings or closing in of open balconies; Limitations on use of recreational facilities in the common areas; Sound or noise restrictions.
Before purchasing a condo or signing any sales document, it is recommended to seek legal advice. There are legitimate law firms in Thailand that could do title search, due diligence, review your sales contract, advise you about buying pre-construction projects (buying a condo off-plan), compute for an accurate cost with regards to transfer of title, and protect your rights as a consumer by making sure understand specific Thailand property taxes.
If you are interested in financing for foreigners in Thailand, we have competent Property Lawyers who could assist you in obtaining a mortgage bond.
See also renting a condo in Phuket.