​​Chapter 1      Aliens (Foreigners) obtain ownership in Condominium unit

 

                    Aliens with ownership in a condominium, please read here ... there is a solution.

                    Thai Law Consult’s team lawyers always receive e-mail from foreigners in several legal issues such as Work permit, Immigration or Ownership in a condominium, etc.  TLC determined that the 3rd phase will be a detailed description of the alien's ownership in a condominium unit which will be continuously released to the public.

                    Condominium in Thailand is defined as a building or complex in which apartment units are owned by individuals and common parts (land on which the building sits, hallways, elevators, etc.) are owned jointly by the unit owners. The Thailand Condominium Act defines condominium as a building that can be separated into units for individual ownership which include personal and common properties.

                   A condominium in Thailand is usually a tall building divided into apartments but it may include a horizontal building structure or complex according to the definition of condominium by the Thailand's National Legislative Assembly.

                   A multi unit residential apartment block which is not registered under the Condominium Act is not defined as 'condominium', nor are condominium ownership title deeds issued by the land department. For a building to become a true condominium the building must comply with the Condominium Act and must be licensed under the Condominium Act as 'condominium' and in this case ownership unit title deeds have been issued by the Land Department.

Foreign ownership of condominiums in Thailand

Foreigners are permitted to own a condominium unit freehold in their own name in Thailand. The main requirements foreigners must comply with under the Thailand Condominium Act are:

  • Not more than 49% of the total floor area of all units in a condominium block combined  can be foreign owned.  
  • The money to purchase the condominium in Thailand must have been remitted into Thailand in foreign currency (not Thai baht). Any negotiable foreign currency is acceptable as long as it is transferred into Thailand as foreign currency and exchanged by the handling bank in Thailand into Thai Baht.  The handling bank in Thailand will issue proof of the conversion in the form of a FET-form or a bank letter confirming the exchange transaction by the bank. No remittance is needed in case buying a condo leasehold.

The legal process of moving ownership of a condominium from one person to another in Thailand takes place and is registered at the local Land Department's office where the condominium is located. The actual transfer of ownership of a condo unit is straightforward if all the paperwork has been prepared properly. Our services are:

  • Condominium transfer services, contract review, legal advice and lawyer representation at the land department
  • Drafting service or review of Thai/English condominium purchase agreements

 

                    Today, August 11, 2556 Tukta received call from foreigners who come to do business in Thailand and wish to purchase a condominium unit.  They asked for legally obtaining a condominium unit in Thailand.  Tukta (numaphon@gmail.com, tel: 081-759-8181) TLC’s lawyer would like to give details as follows:

Question -  Can Alien (foreigner) purchase a condominium unit in Thailand ... is there any law regarding this issue

Answer - Section 19 and Supreme Court Adjudication # 7500/2552.

Section 19

Alien person, or alien juristic person, may own condominium unit provided that such alien
person or alien juristic person of the following qualifications:

(1) Alien person permitted to resident in the Kingdom under Immigration Law.
(2) Immigrants permitted to enter the Kingdom under BOI law.
(3) Registered Alien Juristic Person under Section 97 and 98 of the Registered Land
Code to become Thai Juristic Person.
(4) Alien Juristic Person which has been qualified under the Announcement of The
Revolution Committee No. 281 dated 24 November B.E.2515 and the Certificate
of BOI granted under BOI Law.
(5) Alien or Alien Juristic Person who brought foreign currency into the Kingdom or  withdrew the money from their bank account in Baht currency of foreign residents, or withdrew their deposit bank account from foreign bank

Section 19 bis

Each condominium may have aliens and/ or juristic persons stated in Section 19 holding the ownership in apartments altogether not more than forty nine percent of the total space of apartments in such condominium at the time of applying for registration of condominium under Section 6.

Any condominium which have aliens and/ or juristic persons stated in Section 19 holding
the ownership in apartments more than the ratio specified in the first paragraph must be
located in Bangkok Metropolis, municipalities or other local administrative areas as
prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations. And land area where the condominium is located
plus land area provided for use joint benefits of joint-owners must not exceed 5 rais.

To obtain the ownership in apartments under the second paragraph by aliens and juristic
persons stated in Section 19 shall be in accordance with the rules, procedures and
conditions prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.

Section 19 ter

Transfer of the condo unit to alien person or alien juristic person under Section 19, the applicant of transfer shall report the name of the alien person or alien juristic person qualified under Section 19 and the ratio of ownership already held by the alien person or alien juristic person to the registration official.

The alien person or alien juristic person shall also be required to present the following evidences to the register official:
(1) For the alien prescribed under Section 19 (1), shall present the evident permit him to be the residents of the Kingdom under Immigration Law.
(2) For the alien prescribed under Section 19 (2), shall present the evident permit him to immigrate into the Kingdom under BOI Law.
(3) For the alien juristic person under Section 19 (3), shall present the evident of juristic identity registration under Thai Law.
(4) For the alien juristic person under Section 19 (4), shall present the Certificate of BOI under the BOI Law.
(5) For the alien person or alien juristic person under Section 19 (5), shall present the evident of bringing in the foreign currency or the withdrawal evidence of the Thai Baht Account from the foreign bank account of the Thai resided outside the Kingdom, at the amount not less than the value of condo unit being transferred.

Section 19 quarter

After the evidences required under Section 19 ter have been received, and proved to be correct, and provided that the ownership ratio held or to be held by the alien person or alien juristic person are not exceeding the percentage set forth in Section 19 bis, first paragraph, or within the principle of Section 19 second and third paragraphs, the official shall register the transfer of the condo unit there of according to the procedures under Title 4 to the alien ownership or to the alien or alien juristic person applying the registration.

Section 19 quinque

The alien person or alien juristic person under Section 19 may sell his condo unit under the followings:

(1) In case that the condo unit was devolved on the heirs to alien person or the unit
was devolved on other causes as the case may be, and the ownership ratio by alien is already exceeding the ratio as prescribed under Section 19 bis paragraph one, or Section 19 bis second paragraph, or second paragraph.
(2) If the alien under Section 19 (1) whose residential right in the Kingdom was revoked.
(3) If the alien under Section 19 (1) (2) and (5) was order to banish out of the Kingdom.
(4) If the alien under Section 19 (2) was not permitted to resided in the Kingdom.
(5) If the alien juristic person under Section 19 (4) whose BOI Certificate was revoked.

In case of selling the condo unit, the alien person or alien juristic person because of the law enforcement above, the condo owner shall report such sale to the official in writing within 60 days from the date of the must sale incurred.

The sale in (1) shall be only the condo unit in excess of the limit ownership ratio. The sale
in (2) (3) (4) and (5) must be made to all condo units in his possession.

The sale of condo unit under paragraph 3 must be made within the period of one year from the date of acquisition of condo unit ownership or from the date the residential permit was revoked or the person was banished, or the resided license is not valid, or the date that the BOI Certificate was withdrawn as the case may be. If the condo unit was not sold within the given time, the Director of Land Department shall have the right to sell the unit thereto. In this case the law enforcing to dispose land under Title 3 of the Land Act and other relevant laws shall be applied mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 sex

Where the competent official revokes the resident permit for the alien person or if it appears that the residential permit is not valid for the person referred to under Section 19

(1) or the official banishes the alien person under Section 19 (1) (2) or (5) or the official withdrew the residential permit to alien under Section 19 (2) or the BOI Certificate was
withdrawn from the alien juristic person under Section 19 (4) as the case may be, the
competent official shall report the Director of Land Department within 60 days from the
date of issue of the order or from the date of the fact was disclosed.

Section 19 septem

All aliens not prescribed under Section 19 who receives the condo unit either by heirs or by
any other ways, shall have to report the matter to the official within 60 days from the date
of receiving such property and must sell this property within one year from the date he receive it, otherwise, the provision under Section 19 quinque shall be applied mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 octo

The ownership of condo unit by the a Thai person who later on lost his Thai Nationality,
under the Section 19 of the Alien Act, and he wants to continue his ownership of the  condominium unit thereof, shall have to report in writing to the losing of his Thai Nationality to the competent official. He also has to present the evidences to verify his status under Section 19 within 180 days from the day of losing Thai Nationality. However, if the person under the first paragraph does not to possess the condo unit anymore, he shall have to report his possession of such condo unit to the official within sixty days after his Thai Nationality has lost. Otherwise, the provision of Section 19 quinque shall be applied mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 novem

Whoever acquires the ownership in apartments at the time he is of Thai national, if later the said person loses his Thai nationality because of forsaking Thai nationality, denaturalization or having been denaturalized of Thai nationality under the law governing nationality, and the said person is an alien as stipulated in Section 19, if wishing to continue holding the ownership thereof, shall inform the competent authority in writing of the lose of Thai nationality and shall produce evidence that he is an alien stipulated in Section 19 to the competent authority within one hundred and eighty days from the date of loss of Thai nationality. However, if the ownership in apartment of the said alien exceeding the ration prescribed in the first paragraph of Section 19 bis, or not being in accordance with second paragraph of the third paragraph of Section 19 bis, he shall dispose of the apartment that exceeds the ratio within one year from the date of loss of Thai nationality. If he does not dispose of the said apartment within the said period of time, the provisions of the forth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

If the alien under the first paragraph does not wish to continue to hold ownership of apartment, he shall notify in writing the Competent Official of the loss of Thai nationality within a period of sixty days from the date of loss of Thai nationality, and shall dispose of all apartments owned by him within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of loss of Thai nationality. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 decem

A juristic person which had Thai nationality and holds ownership of apartment, and subsequently the nature of such juristic person changes to become that regarded by law as an alien and is not a juristic person specified in Section 19, shall notify in writing the
Competent Official of change of its nature and the inability to continue to hold ownership of apartment within a period of sixty days from the date of such change and shall dispose of all the apartments owned by it within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 undecim

For juristic persons which is of Thai nationality and holds ownership of apartment, and subsequently the nature of such juristic person changes to become that regarded by law as an alien and may hold ownership of apartment as it is a juristic person as specified in
Section 19, if it wishes to continue to hold ownership of apartment, it shall notify in writing the Competent Official of change of its nature shall submit evidences showing that it is an alien as specified in Section 19 to the Competent Official within one hundred and eighty days from the date of change. But if the ownership of apartments of such juristic person exceeds the proportion specified in Section 19 bis, it shall dispose of the apartments in excess of the proportion prescribed within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

If the juristic person under the first paragraph does not wish to continue to hold ownership of apartment, it shall notify in writing the Competent Official of change of its nature within a period of sixty days from the date of such change and shall dispose of all apartment owned by it within a period of not exceeding one year from the date of such change. If disposition is not made within the said period, the provisions of the fourth paragraph of
Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 19 duodecim

An alien or juristic person regarded by law as alien who has the duty to notify the
Competent Official of the disposition of apartment under Section 19 quique or acquisition of ownership of apartment under section 19 septem or the loss of Thai nationality under Section 19 octo and Section 19 novem or change of nature of juristic person under Section 19 decem and Section 19 undecim, as the case may be, who fails to notify the Competent Official within the time prescribed, shall be imposed a fine of not exceeding Baht Five Hundred per day throughout the period of violation.

Section 19 tredecim

Any person who holds ownership of apartment as the owner for an alien or for a juristic
person regarded by law as an alien, whether such alien or juristic person has the right to
hold ownership of apartment under this Act or not, shall be imposed an imprisonment of
not exceeding two years or a fine of not exceeding Baht Twenty Thousand or both and the
provisions of the fourth paragraph of Section 19 quinque shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Where there is doubt that any person acquires ownership of apartment in violation of the
provisions of this Act, the Competent Official shall have the power to make investigations
and summon the concerned persons to testify or to submit related documents and
evidences for consideration as necessary.

Any person who violates or does not comply with the provisions of the second paragraph
shall be imposed an imprisonment of not exceeding three months or a fine of not exceeding Baht Six Thousand or both.

Please noted that there are other laws relating to aliens owning a condominium unit in Thailand.  TukTa would like to brief part of the 7500/2552 as follows:

"Foreigners who are not permitted to have residence in the Kingdom. They may not have the ownership transferable in the condominium unit.  If they wishe to obtain ownership of the condominium unit. They should be complied with Condominium Act B.E.2522 and the Immigration Act B.E.2522..."

Note:   If you are a foreigner and has trouble in ownership transferable of condominium unit(s), you should consult a lawyer.  Thai Law Consult is willing to help you, please feel confidence, comfortable, save, secure to contact us via our e-mail : numaphon@gmail.com, tel no. 081-759-8181 or submit your message here.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


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