Transfer of Ownership Over Properties in Thailand Between Foreigners
One of the more peculiar features of the law of Thailand is their strict mandate on the transfer of ownership between and among foreigners over properties located in Thailand.
One very basic example is the method of transferring ownership over condominium units between foreigners. The same can not be done by virtue of a deed of donation like in some countries. For example, if a foreigner owns a condominium in Thailand, he can not validly “give” the property to his son by simply executing a deed of donation to transfer ownership thereof. What the law mandates that since there is no automatic transfer of ownership, the only mode of transfer is the sale of such property from the supposed donor to the donee.
Such “sale” to be effective must comply with the basic mandate of the law. In purchasing a condominium unit a foreigner must make sure that the total foreign ownership of the entire condominium building must not exceed 49 %. Another requirement is that the “buying” foreigner must provide evidence that the fund to be used to pay the purchase price is sourced from overseas. Therefore, the buyer must have an account in a local Thai bank. This local Thai bank will then issue a foreign exchange transaction slip which stipulates that this certain amount in foreign currency is sent from abroad in payment of the condominium sought to be bought.
There is no other way to transfer ownership over immovable properties inter vivos but to undergo the procedure on sale. This undertaking would require payment of transfer taxes and all other government fees just like any sale and purchase transaction to be paid upon actual transfer of ownership at the appropriate Land Office.
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