Buying Condominiums in Thailand

Five Classes of Foreigner Who Can Own Condo Units in Thailand:

  1. Aliens with a residence permit under the immigration laws
  2. Aliens allowed to enter Thailand under the laws for the promotion of investment in Thailand
  3. Juristic persons deemed to be aliens under the Land Code and registered as juristic persons under Thai law
  4. Juristic persons with a certificate of promotion of investment under the laws for the promotion of investment
  5. Aliens or juristic persons deemed by Thai law to be aliens, who have brought into the Kingdom foreign exchange or withdrawn the money from the non-resident Baht account or withdrawn the money from the foreign currency deposit account.

Benefits of Buying a Condo Unit:

The increase in condo unit demand can be attributed to ease of foreign purchase of condo unit in Thailand. Apart from that is the following advantages of condo unit ownership:

  1. personal residence especially on retirement years
  2. to earn a rental income
  3. as a property investment in Thailand
  4. less maintenance involved for the owner
  5. highly secured (most condominium projects in Thailand offer 24-hour security so one can feel safe that everything will be as it was when one is not residing)
  6. access to communal facilities such as swimming pools, security and fitness studios
  7. proximity to metropolitan area such as school, nearest BTS or MRT station often makes renting out or selling much faster compared to other types of property

Documents Needed When Buying a Condominium in Thailand:

  1. Thor Tor 3 document (this is a bank document, which serves as an evidence that you have brought foreign currency into the country from abroad for purchase of the condominium, applicable for those without Thailand residence permit). You can request the issuance of this document from a bank in Thailand.
  2. Valid Passport

Note: For purchasing the condominium in the name of a company, the documentation is more extensive and more complicated. Contact a Property Lawyer in Thailand for assistance.

Buying Off Plan Condominium Units

In the current market it is best to avoid buying “off plan” unless you are absolutely sure of the developer and that the development will be completed. Unfortunately many condominium buyers in the past few years have paid deposits only to find the developer has failed and the building has either not started at all or it is standing in a state of partial completion.

As there is no legal requirement for escrow accounts in this country, the buyer is very much at the mercy of the developer. Other than taking a civil action against the developer or going to the consumer protection board, there is really nothing you can to do to recover your deposit.

The best decision would be to buy in a developed building or renovate a resale unit in a well-maintained and well-managed building.

See also Condominium Purchase in Thailand.