Legal Issues Surrounding The Buying and Selling of Thai Condominium Units by anamaulida


									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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