Buying a Condo in Thailand
For a foreigner, buying a condominium unit in Thailand is one of the most simple forms of acquiring ownership interest in Thailand real estate. In general, foreigners are not allowed to acquire or own a freehold interest in land within the country. Exceptions include ownership permitted by treaty and ownership permitted by special approval. Thai law does place limits on the number of units in a condominium that can be owned by foreigners.
The Thai law enacted the Condominium Act in 1979. This allowed foreign persons to own condominium units but limited ownership to 40 percent of the total area of the units of the condominium. In 1999, the foreign ownership was raised to 49 percent and up to 100 percent in certain urban areas.
Although the Condominium Act is designed to promote foreign ownership of condominiums within Thailand, there are still many restrictions on foreign ownership. For instance, one restriction states foreigners may acquire ownership interests in condominium units and specifies when foreign persons who have acquired ownership interests in condominium units are required to deprive themselves of them.
The Condominium Act permits five classes of aliens to own condominium units, namely:
- aliens with a residence permit under the immigration laws;
- aliens allowed to enter Thailand under the laws for the promotion of investment in Thailand;
- juristic persons deemed to be aliens under the Land Code and registered as juristic persons under Thai law;
- juristic persons with a certificate of promotion of investment under the laws for the promotion of investment; and aliens or juristic persons deemed by Thai law to be aliens, who have brought into the Kingdom foreign exchange or withdrawn the money from the non-resident Baht account or withdrawn the money from the foreign currency deposit account