Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), focus on foreign buyers
Can a foreigner own land in Thailand?
Foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. They can lease land for a maximum of 30 years, normally extendable by 2×30 years. If you are married to a Thai, they can own the land in their name and can register an usufruct on the property giving a lifelong rights to use and manage the land (but no rights to sell or own the property).
Can foreigners own a house?
Foreigners can register a house in their own name at the land office. Note, the land the house sits on must be leased to you as mentioned above or owned by a limited company with Thai majority ownership.
Can foreigners own a condo?
Foreigners can own a condo 100% freehold. Each condominium building has 51% of units allocated to Thai nationals; the remaining 49% of units are available to non-Thais as foreign quota.
Can foreigners get a mortgage in Thailand?
Banks typically do not give mortgages to foreigners, even if they are to a Thai.
Some developers offer private finance options based on individual cases. Such financing options typically requires minimum 50% self-financing and can typically only cover upto 3 years.
What taxes and fees are involved in a property purchase and who pays?
The following land office taxes and fees apply to the purchase of condos, land, land and house, and the transfer of a house separate from the land and are charged by the land office at the time of transfer:
o Transfer fee (2%) of property appraisal value.
o Specific business tax (3.3%) applicable for properties owned less than 5 years.
o Income withholding tax (fixed 1% for companies, at progressive rate for individuals).
o Stamp Duty (0.5%), unless specific business tax is paid.
In the normal case, all these fees are split 50/50 between buyer and seller. However, there are no fixed rules and the payment model has to be agreed between seller and buyer. Note that these taxes cannot be calculated exactly prior to due diligence at the local land office.
Should a lawyer be involved in a purchase process?
It is recommended using a lawyer. The process can be complicated depending on the type of property, the current ownership status and intended ownership method.
Can Thai property be applied in a will?
It is recommended to make a last will and testament in Thailand and properties can be left to your heirs. However, there are a lot of variables depending on the type of property and its ownership status so legal advice is recommended.
What is a chanote (Thai title deed)?
The chanote is often used as a blanket term for ‘title deed’ in Thailand. However, this is not accurate. There are several types of title deed in Thailand, and it’s one of the first things to get clarifies when buying a property.
A chanote is the highest level of title deed and therefore the most preferred. The next level of deed is the ‘Nor Sor Sam Gor (NS3G) – these are the only 2 title deeds that are viable for real estate investment.
There are numerous other title deeds in Thailand, but these should not be considered as valid.
How much does it cost to run and maintain a property?
o Condo common area fee is based on the condo size and usually paid yearly. The fee varies widely for different condominiums (30-60 Baht/sqm/month. This fee is for building maintenance, security, garbage collection and any other common running expenses.
o Villa maintenance fee varies greatly depending on the size of the property, type of development and services supplied. The fee is typically related to the land area. The fee spans in the interval 2-5 baht/sqm/month for 24 hour security, common area maintenance and garbage collection.
o On top of these fees expect to pay cost of consumption dependent on property size and usage:
• Water (100-500 baht/month),
• Electricity (3000-5000 baht/month)
• Internet (1000-1500 baht/month), depending