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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Buying your first property in Thailand is a big thing to most people!
Some people know the “in’s and out’s” of the legal system and some don’t. These first home buyers include Thai and expats searching for information, answers to questions or who have concerns. New investors or even landlords who own properties are as well looking for an up-to-date info on the every changing regulations within the Pattaya property market.

  • Can Foreigners own condominiums in Thailand?
  • Can foreigners own land and houses in Thailand?
  • What is “THOR TOR 3”?
  • Can I, as a foreigner, get mortgage loan from Thai bank?
  • What is a long term lease hold?
  • What is limited Thai company?
  • Is it safe to set up a company to own land and house in Thailand?
  • Can my Thai Spouse own land?
  • Are there deeds in Thailand?
  • How many forms of deed there are in Thailand?
  • Are there property taxes in Thailand?
  • Are there taxes or fees apply on property transfers in Thailand?
  • What is the procedure of buying properties in Thailand?

QUESTION & ANSWER

Can foreigners own condominium in Thailand?

1. They have visa to be in Thailand.

2. The total area on the condominium building that can be sold, has not been sold and owned by foreigners more than 49%.

3. The fund they will use to purchase the condominium is sent from overseas or brought in Thailand in foreign currencies and exchange into Baht within Thailand.

Can foreigners onw land and houses in Thailand?

Short answer is NO. Foreigners cannot directly own land by their names. Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in Thailand. Foreigners have the rights to the ownership of buildings detached or separate to the land. There are also ways foreigners can structure so they can own land and still comply with existing Thai laws. The two most popular ways for foreigners to own land are
1. Take a long term leaseholds and
2. Registered a limited Thai company to own land.

What is "THOR TOR 3"?

Thor Tor3 is an abbreviation of Thai terms, the Foreign Currency Exchange Transaction form (also known as FET form) in English. Thor Tor 3 is financial institution official document, reporting foreign currency exchange transactions in Thailand. The document proves that the foreign currency remittance into Thailand ON PURPOSE OF PURCHASING CONDOMINIUM/S and exchange into Thai Baht inside Thailand. The FET form is issued by the authorized financial institution inside Thailand that handles the exchange of foreign currency and contains the information such as:

  • Transferred amount in foreign currency
  • Transferred amount in Thai Baht
  • Name of money sender
  • Name of money receiver
  • Purpose of transferring the money

Foreign Currency Exchange Transaction form must be provided to Land Department when transferring condominium ownerships to foreigners. The fund amount mentioned on FET, converted to Baht, should not be less than the sale price of the condominium. For any foreign currency exchange transactions (buying, selling, depositing, withdrawing foreign currencies) between financial institutions and their non-interbank customers the recipient bank inside Thailand must prepare a FET form for each remittance and exchange of foreign currency with an equivalent of USD 50,000 or more (amount increased in 2010) and report this to the Bank of Thailand.

Can I, as a foreigner, get mortgage loan from Thai bank?

No, foreigners cannot mortgage properties in Thailand with Thai banks. However, some real estate developers these days provide property loans for their foreign buyers and in most pre-built real estate developments, allow down payment to be made in installments during the constructions.

What is a long term lease hold?

Land and houses in Thailand can be a lease hold for a period of 30 years maximum, renewable for further 2 times. A lease of longer period than 3 years, the lease has to be registered at The Land Department. A registered long term leases equivalent to freehold owner ships. The lesser cannot take possession of the property upon expiration of the lease. The registered leaseholds are secure and relatively straightforward.

What is limited Thai company?

A limited Thai company is the most popular form of business structures in Thailand. Is a company with no more than 49% shares owned by foreigner/s. The rest of the shares must be held by Thai juristic persons who will sign over control of their shares to you, this can be arranged by the lawyer so that you control the company, and which can legally own land. As a managing director of the company, you control the voting of the other shares, and therefore you have control over the ownership of the land.

Is it safe to set up a company to own land and house in Thailand?

Many foreigners have secured land and houses in Thailand. However, they should beware and ensure of using trustworthy lawyers.

Can my Thai spouse own land?

Yes, Thai spouses have right to own land. Before 1999, Thai spouses who married foreigners would lose their rights to own land after registered the marriages. Recently Ministerial regulation allows Thai spouses married to foreigners the right to purchase and own land, but the Thai spouses 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 spouses 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.

Are there deeds in Thailand?

Yes, there are deeds in Thailand.

How many form of deed are there in Thailand?

There are 2 main different kinds of deeds in Thailand which are land deeds and condominium unit ownership title deed.

Land Deeds

There are 4 types of land title deeds:

  • Chanote or Nor Sor See (นส 4) in Thai, Title Deed in Engling, is the purest form of evidence that a person or individuals own a piece of land. Title deeds are given only for areas that are surveyed.
  • Nor Sor Sam Gor (นส 3ก) is provided for the land that is awaiting the title deed. The land is measured by the Land. Department, it has its exact boundaries. Land with this type of deed may be sold, transferred, or mortgaged like the land with the title deeds (Chanote). To change Nor Sor Sam Gor (นส3ก) to a Chanote, the owners of the land have to file an application to the Land Department, requesting to change this type of deed to Chanote. The Land Department may grant an approval in the case there is no opposition made against the application.
  • Nor Sor Sam (นส3) is as well, provided by the Land Department but never yet, been measured, the land has no exact boundaries. The Nor Sor Sam may later be switched to a Nor Sor Sam Gor(นส3ก) then transform to Chanote(title deed).
  • Sor PorKor See Soon Nueng(สปก 401) is a type of deed that is surveyed, marked by numbered pegs in the ground. Land with Sor Por Kor See Soon Nueng can be developed and mortgaged in the same way as title deed land, but it has significant restriction. It’s title granted as a personal right to the original holder though they’re not allowed to sell or lease, it can only be transferred to the next of kin of the original holder.

Condominium Unit Ownership Title Deed

The condominium unit ownership title deed is the ownership document issued by the Land Department. The deed contains the following main particulars:

1. Position and size of the land where the condominium buildings built on.
2. Location, size and plan of the condominium unit, and also its width, length and height.
3. Ratio of ownership of the total land.
4. Full name/s of the person/s having the ownership of the condominium unit.
5. Index for the registration of rights and juristic acts.
6. Signature of the Competent Official.
7. Position seal of the Competent Official.

Translation of Condominium Unit Ownership Title Deed

 

Are there property taxes in Thailand?

No, there are no property taxes in Thailand that are exactly equivalent to the property taxes in the west. For individual property owners if they rent/lease out their properties, there shall be Housing and Land tax collected at the rate of 12.5% of the yearly rental according to the lease agreement or the annual assessed value by the local authorities or whichever is higher.

Are there taxes or fees on property transfers in Thailand?

YES, there are taxes and fees to be paid to the Land Department on property transfers in Thailand. There are no set rules on who pays these taxes and fees as it is another part of the negotiation process on property purchased.The following are types of taxes and fees which both parties should be partly responsible to the cost.

  • Transfer fee. Transfer fee should be paid by the buyer by 2% of the registered value of the property.
  • Stamp Duty. Stamp duty should be paid by the seller by 0.5% of registered value. Stamp duty is levied when business taxes are exempted.
  • Income tax. Income tax should be paid by the seller, calculated between 1% and 3% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher and if the seller is a company). If the seller is an individual, income tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraisal value of the property.
  • Business tax. Business tax should be paid by the seller by 3.3% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher). This applies to both individuals and companies. Business tax levied against the property transfer registered to the possession of a property less than 5 years.

Are there taxes or fees on property transfers in Thailand?

YES, there are taxes and fees to be paid to the Land Department on property transfers in Thailand. There are no set rules on who pays these taxes and fees as it is another part of the negotiation process on property purchased.The following are types of taxes and fees which both parties should be partly responsible to the cost.

  • Transfer fee. Transfer fee should be paid by the buyer by 2% of the registered value of the property.
  • Stamp Duty. Stamp duty should be paid by the seller by 0.5% of registered value. Stamp duty is levied when business taxes are exempted.
  • Income tax. Income tax should be paid by the seller, calculated between 1% and 3% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher and if the seller is a company). If the seller is an individual, income tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraisal value of the property.
  • Business tax. Business tax should be paid by the seller by 3.3% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher). This applies to both individuals and companies. Business tax levied against the property transfer registered to the possession of a property less than 5 years.

5 STEP BUYING TIPS

STEP 1 : Finding What Kind Of Property Suit Your Need

Ask yourself these questions

  • How much would you like to spend on this property?
  • Where do you want to live or where do you think you should invest?
  • Would you like a garden and private swimming pool that could possibly be available with houses and land? Or would you prefer the convenient condominiums or apartments have to offer?
  • When do you want to move into the property? This means when you are ready to pay the full amount to purchase this property. Some pre-built developments in Pattaya accept small installment payments (50%-20%) during the construction and the balance of 50-80% payment is payable on keys.

Making a list of property features you would like to have is a good way to find out whether house, condominium or an undeveloped land would suit your need better.

STEP 3 : Negotiating The Deal

Once you have found the ideal property, negotiation should take place right away. This part is as important as searching for property in the market, if not the most important step. It is the most difficult part in the process and is the tricky bit since both the sellers and the buyers are going to try and keep their own best interests.

Negotiating the deal should be completed before paying any holding deposit/sales deposit or signing any property agreement. You should as well check on the legal document such as title deed/s and Thai company limited registrations to ensure paying the holding deposit or the sales deposit to the land lords of the properties, not to anyone with fake documents which could cause legal issues.

If the offer is accepted, make a writing acknowledgement to the landlord confirming the agreement that has verbally made. The agreement should cover not only the sales price, it should cover other terms and conditions of the sold property such as the payment amounts and its time frames, other costs arising upon the property ownership transfer for example, the electricity meter ownership transfer fee (paid to electricity company, after the property ownership transfer is done), income tax, business tax, stamp duty, transfer fee and/or lawyer’s fee.

Upon signing a Purchase Agreement, you will be asked to pay a holding deposit/sales deposit which is 10% at the minimum up to 40% of the sales prices at the maximum in some cases.

Many people don’t like the idea of making real estate deals through the real estate agents. They may also think that direct negotiation between buyers and the sellers allows them to look after their own best interests, this is not always correct. Finding a real estate agent with years of experience is second to none.

Most real estate agents whom have long years of working experience in real estate business in Pattaya or in Thailand, have also worked as a real estate brokers overseas. They as well have good connections to local people and the government departments. This is handy when it comes to legal documentation.
If you are not ready to take an extra risk and headaches you definitely need a real estate agent to work for you!

STEP 4 : Sealing The Deal

The buying process doesn’t end when you find verbal agreements. There are numbers of steps to be taken before you have the ownership of the property and think about putting them back into the market for sale or rent or even to start building your own home.

If you are buying a house and land you may need to register a limited Thai company.

The Purchase Agreement

The transfer process begins with examining the Purchase Agreement. Most of the purchase in most agreements are prepared by the seller or the seller’s representative. Whether it is a purchase of land and house, a plot of land or condominium, second hand/brand new or off plan, the Purchase Agreement should contain the following details.

  • Copy of title deed/s
  • Property address
  • Seller’s full name/s
  • Seller’s photocopy of ID card or passport
  • Seller’s mailing address
  • Seller’s phone number and email address
  • Buyer’s full name/s
  • Buyer’s photocopy of ID card or passport
  • Buyer’s mailing address
  • Buyer’s phone number and email address
  • Property sales price
  • Property detail such as land size, property interior size
  • Property condition
  • Furniture and fittings and electrical appliance
  • The buyer’s next of kin
  • Payments and handing over time frames
  • The penalty

The Purchase Agreement written between the individual seller and the buyer is adjustable. And should be signed once all the inspections are satisfied and the holding/sales deposit has been paid. The purchase agreement written by housing project developers or condominium project developers, mostly are not adjustable in the way to favor the buyer.

Each party will be signing two copies of the Purchase Agreement which is duplicated, then each party keeps one copy. Once both parties have signed the Purchase Agreement, it cannot be altered or adjusted.
However, there may be minor mistakes on the purchase agreement that may require some changes after the purchase agreement has been signed by both parties and is fully effective, provided both parties agree, there should not be reasons why changes cannot then be made.

Finalize the Financing

If you are buying a condominium, you will need to provide the Land Department the Thor Tor 3, covering the full sales price of the condominium. Thor Tor3 is Foreign Currency Exchange Transaction Form. Please refer to clause 3 “What is THOR TOR 3 ?”.

STEP 2: Start The Search

There are many ways of accessing information in the Pattaya property market or Thailand property market these days.

  • Local Medias. Popular sources for gaining information to the Pattaya property market or the Thailand property market are, local newspapers, local real estate magazines, television ads, brochures and signboards, for example, Pattaya Mails newspaper, Pattaya Todays newspaper, Pattaya People newspaper, Pattaya Blatts Newspaper, Pattaya Condo Guide, Pattaya Trader, Pattaya Business Supply and Pattaya Homes & Condos.
  • Online Searching. Online searching is one of the popular ways to find information these days. An online marketing has become a very useful and powerful tool in today’s world of technology including Thailand. Almost every websites set to be seen worldwide on search engines such as Google. You don’t have to be in the area to find the info of the properties.
  • Using Real Estate Agent. Using real estate agents is an easiest ways of searching for your ideal properties in Pattaya and every other area in Thailand because real estate agents invest a lot of money in to their staff and websites in order to assist their potential customers with their property searches. Dealing with landlords or real estate developers can be difficult, especial with the fact that Thailand doesn’t have an escrow like the western countries. Many times in Pattaya real estate market history, the landlords and real estate developers could not deliver the properties and have ran away with the buyers money. Most of Pattaya real estate agents share a wealth of experience and knowledge of the market and history of developers. They can provide you information that would benefit you the most.

STEP 5 : Settlement

Settlement is the completion of the property transaction. On settlement day, the balance of the purchase price is paid or to be paid to the seller. The title deeds (legal documents stating property ownership) are taken to the Land Department for registration of the transfer, as well as the keys to the property, and will be handed over to the buyer or the buyer’s representative.

The document and detail request on the settlement:

  • The buyer’s passport or a photocopy of it in case of giving power of attorney the representative
  • Buyer’s parents full names
  • Date of birth of the buyer’s parents
  • Place of birth of the buyer’s parents
  • All names request its Thai writing because the title deed is written in Thai language only!

Most landlords accept “cashier cheque” payment, although some request payment in cash. Always ensure of how to settle the balance payment and the amount in writing and digits and names are correct in the case of paying with “cashier cheque” and that you have got enough cash to pay for arising cost at the Land Department.

 

CONGRATULATIONS!!!
The property is yours by the time the 5th step is taken.

Our Team

Experienced agents with local expertise to help sell your home.

Pim Praphuangphan

Managing Director

Jira Praphuangphan

Marketing Manager

Maprang Soonjuntra

Accounting manager

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