Guide for Foreigners to Buying A Condominium in Bangkok

Decided with the country that you want to invest or live in? Great! Bangkok? Fantastic! Welcome to the vibrant city I must add! Buying a property in a foreign land is itself a very daunting task especially when one is still unsure and confused of the different areas and neighborhood of the foreign land. Throw in the law of the land which you know practically of nothing at all makes it even more daunting a task ever. Hence, the below is a brief but hopefully clear explanation which would help tremendously in understanding the local law when it comes to real estate market in Bangkok.

Foreign Purchasers of Condominiums in Thailand

Information for foreigner purchasers of condominiums in Bangkok or any part of Thailand for that matter. By foreigner purchasers, it refers to those whom are not Thai permanent residents.

Under the Condominium Act

Under the Condominium Act 2008 (amended) regarding non-residents of Thailand, foreigners who purchase condominium units in Thailand must remit in funds to pay for the unit from overseas. That means that the entire payment must be transferred into the country to buy the Thai condominium or Bangkok condominium as ‘foreign currency’ and not Thai Baht. The beneficiary bank will issue a ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certificate which should be presented to the Thai Land Department in Bangkok when registering the ownership of the Thai condominium.

Foreign Exchange Transaction

For each transfer, banks will only provide a ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certificate for amounts over US$ 20,000. For amounts of less than this, the bank will issue a credit note, which may be presented, with the confirmation letter from your Thai bank, to the Land Office in Bangkok order to register the condominium in Thailand. In case that you do not have a bank account in Thailand, you can remit the finds directly to the owner of the condominium you are buying or to a third party account, such as a Thai Lawyer or Legal Representative in Thailand. For the case in question, we thoroughly suggest you transfer the funds to your own bank account here in Thailand and obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate from the Head Office of the Thai Bank, the Bank’s Head Office is often located in Bangkok. Condominium related certificates and/or credit notes and receipts should all be kept safely, with the letter from the bank in Thailand until the date on which the ownership of the condominium units is transferred.

Payment Procedure:

1. To obtain a Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate in Thailand from a Thai Bank, you will have to ensure that all the following instructions are adhered to: a. The name of the remitter must be the same as the purchaser of the Bangkok condo (as indicated in the S & P agreement). Please fill in full name and address of remitter and the beneficiary. b. The money transferred as foreign currency. Please do not convert in Thai Baht before making a transfer. The conversion will be done by the beneficiary bank in Thailand. c. Please indicate in the transfer instructions that the purpose of the transfer is ‘To purchase a Bangkok condominium unit No:…….. at the (name of the Thai condominium building) Please use the exact wording in order to avoid any misinterpretation by the Land Department of Thailand. For example, the word apartment, a term which is frequently used in other countries, has a different meaning from condominium in Thailand. d. Please indicate overseas and beneficiary charges for each payment.

Transfer of ownership

Prior to the transfer of ownership, you should be informed of the total amount due, including any minor amenities or utility deposits. a. If the final payment is NOT financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be remitted into Thailand exactly like the previous payments. b. If the final payment is financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be paid by a cashier’s cheque which will be exchanged with the Thai condominium’s title deed on the date of transfer of ownership. With all these information in hand, I hoped it will be less daunting a task and more of a fun job. To relieve more of your headache, please do check out more of the articles on the different areas of Bangkok. Cheers to property hunting in Bangkok!