Foreign Property Ownership In Thailand - Green Door Enterprises

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[Published on 2012-08-10 in Property Newsby Jesse Schule]

Foreign Property Ownership In Thailand

U.S. Amity Agreement

Large condominiumThe Kingdom of Thailand and The United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations on May 29, 1966. The agreement was designed to afford special rights and benefits to American citizens looking to do business within the Kingdom. Contrary to popular myth, this agreement does not allow American citizens to own land in Thailand, however in regards to condominiums, Americans are presently allowed to own 100% of the development itself (but not the land on which it stands), while other foreigners can only own a maximum of 49%.  The Amity Agreement with the U.S. actually expired back in 2005, however the policy is still in practice as of today. 

For all foreigners, according to Thai real estate law and the regulations that cover condominium law, foreign nationals can legally purchase units in condo buildings in all provinces of Thailand, granted that their purchase does not tip the foreign ownership ratio of combined units in the building in question, to exceed 49% of the total floor area. Select condominiums in the Greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area may not be subject to the 49% foreign ownership ratio restriction.

In order to legally purchase a condominium in Thailand, foreign nationals that do not have a resident permit, must show proof of funds in foreign currency to their bank account. The prospective buyer will be asked to transfer funds from abroad, into a Thai bank account in their name. Foreigners that do have legal residency within the Kingdom are not subject to proof of funding. 

Foreigners also have the option of leasing the land, and then owning the building that is erected on that land, whether it be an apartment, villa or house. The maximum length of the lease is limited to 30 years, however steps can be implemented to allow renewal of the lease after the 30 years has expired. 

Another option for foreign property ownership in Thailand is through the ownership of a Thai company, however there are strict rules as to what is deemed to be a Thai company when foreigners are involved. In recent years the government of Thailand has been cracking down on shell companies used by foreigners for the sole purpose of owning land. 

If you are a foreign national looking at purchasing property in Thailand, it is advised to seek the help of a respected estate agent or legal representative, and do your home work. You should be sure to get more than one opinion, and not rely on the advice of only one individual lawyer or realtor. Of all the people who have had negative experiences investing in property in Thailand, 9 out of 10 of these could have avoided their troubles by using due diligence and doing a little homework before committing to their purchase. 



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