The following piece is written with the intention that it be viewed as a brief overview of some of the issues which might arise in the context of the Thai property purchasing process. Those interested in further specific information are well advised to contact a licensed attorney in the Kingdom of Thailand.From the outset of any investigation, foreign nationals thinking of purchasing property in the Kingdom of Thailand should be aware of the substantial legal and regulatory restrictions imposed upon them. Thai law effectively prohibits foreign ownership of Thai Real Estate by foreign nationals. Even though alien nationals may own real property in Thailand clear Chanote (freehold) title is only granted to foreign nationals pursuant to express permission from the Kingdom of Thailand's Ministry of Interior. Such authorization granting permission to foreign nationals to own Thai property seems to rarely be granted. Thus, in real world terms, foreign nationals are not routinely granted the right to own Thai real property. That being said, the posture of this factual state of affairs exists with a few limited exceptions, most notably; the concession that alien nationals have with relation to ownership of Condominium units in the Kingdom of Thailand.In the Kingdom of Thailand, what in the English language are often referred to as "condominiums" or "condos," essentially apartments which are sold in freehold to occupants; may be acquired by alien nationals in the Kingdom provided that said ownership is in compliance with Thailand's Condominium Act. The substantial restriction imposed by this act often results in circumstances in which Thai Condominium Communities must have foreign freehold ownership of not more than 49% of the overall Condo community. In many cases, foreign proportional ownership never reaches this statutory ceiling, but the restrictions should be borne in mind by prospective condominium purchasers nonetheless.Some pose the question: "Can I use a Thai Company to circumvent the 49% foreign ownership quota?" In short: it may be possible, but it may be best not to do this as Thai law has strict provisions regarding "nominee shareholders" in Thailand and the obvious advantage of Condominium ownership: free hold title, might be mitigated by this type of scheme. From a practical standpoint, in virtually all cases involving a foreign national purchasing a Thai Condo the most advantageous position for the foreign national to be in is freehold ownership of the condominium as such ownership vests the most rights in the individual(s) concerned.Those seeking business and investment opportunities in Thailand's property market are prudent to have due diligence and research conducted with respect to all issues relating to Thai real estate and property law prior to making a binding financial decision.
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"Legal Issues Surrounding The Buying and Selling of Thai Condominium Units"Please download to view full document