Condominium Ownership in Thailand
The Condominium Act of 1979 as amended 2008 allows a Canadian or a non-Thai citizen on that matter to own a condominium in Thailand on freehold. This is possible as long as foreign ownership of the development or building in which the unit to be bought is a part of has not exceeded 49% of the total unit space yet apart from other requisites like the funds to be used for the purchase should be sourced from abroad.
The same section of the act, Section 19, also prescribes for the qualifications of the foreigner who wants to purchase and own a condominium unit in Thailand.
Even if, under the said law, a Canadian can purchase and own a condo on freehold, he must still proceed with his plan to purchase with caution as there can be pre-existing problems about the condominium development that he is not aware of such as the development is not allowed on the site where it was built upon per zoning ordinance. There can be a chance too that, if bought off-plan, the developer may actually be incapable of financing the construction of the development site.
However, these dangers can be avoided by an interested Canadian if he will enlist the services of a reputable property lawyer in Thailand as lawyers can do a lot of things that can be overly complicated for him as a foreigner or simply, the Canadian cannot do something because he has no authority to do so in Thailand such as checking court records.
The Thai property lawyer can also do the following:
- Title Search - this action provides the buyer a clearer view of the title of the development area and of the unit itself. It will also provide the buyer with an outlook on who was or were the original owner/s of the land.
- Review of Contracts - before signing any contract or paying any amount even if such is for reservation purposes, the buyer should first have the contract reviewed by a well experienced property lawyer to check whether what was agreed upon during negotiation are reflected on the contract or if the interests and rights of the Canadian are respected.
- Other Investigations - prior any condominium purchase, the buyer should know the background of the developer or the lot where the condominium is being developed. His property lawyer can dig up information about the developer, the title and other related issues even on court records. This will allow the person to know if the developer has been involved in a litigation or not.
Additionally, the Canadian condo buyer can also ask his Thai property lawyer about the related taxes to be paid.
The Canadian may have read about property lawyers as "additional expenses" but having one is among the best option the buyer can have to safeguard his purchase of the condominium. Property lawyers can even be his best defense and thwart any possibility of incurring more expenses in the future because of litigation costs. More than that, the lawyer can even check whether the buyer is qualified to purchase a condo in Thailand per Section 19 of the Condominium Act of 1979 as amended 2008.