Foreigners can buy in their own name an apartment in a condominium.
According to the law, which came into force in 1974, in Thailand foreigners
can own up to 49% the total number of apartments (or living floor space, to
be more exact) in a condominium. That means that only 49% of the total
number of apartments in any condominium can be sold to foreigners; the
remaining 51% are to be registered in Thai name or in a Thai company's
When buying in their own name, a foreign citizen gets a chanote. It is an
official document of the property right and the passport of the property. It is
issued by the Land department of Thailand.
This document guarantees the unconditional right of possession, sale,
inheritance, etc. of the apartment mentioned in the chanote.
The transaction is registered in the Land department of Thailand.
When registering the transaction, the owner obtains a chanote: it is a
document, which certifies your property right of the apartment bought.
The chanote issued to foreign owners does not differ from the one granted
to the citizens of Thailand and guarantees equal property rights.
The front side of the chanote bears the national emblem of Thailand and
the detailed property plan and description; all of the transactions with the
property in question, which have ever taken place, are listed on the back
side of the document. The language of the chanote is Thai, and the name
of the owner is also spelled in Thai. It is possible to make the certified legal
translation into English or Russian.
Which steps are to be undertaken to buy a newly built home (from the
developer)? If buying from the developer, usually you have to proceed as
follows: choose the apartment you like and make the deposit (normally
from THB 20,000 to THB 50,000, depending on the price of the property).
The payment is done to the developer in cash or by a credit card.
After deposit is paid, the booking of the chosen apartment is completed.
A couple of days after the booking the developer sends you the contract,
indicating the room number of your apartment, payment schedule,
completion date, etc. The contract is signed by the buyer and the
developer, without any participating agency.
The language of the contract is English. As a rule, the majority of the
developers provide a Russian translation of the contract for your
Even if you have a Russian copy, you will sign the English one, and only
the latter is considered the legal document, which states the rights and
obligations of the parties. In case you decide not to sign the contract or not
to make the instalments, your deposit will not be reimbursed.
The contract signed, you proceed with the instalments as per payment
schedule. Normally, the initial lump sum varies from 15% to 25% of the
total contract value (depending on the project and the developer); further
instalments, amounting to 25%-50%, are done in equal parts during the
whole period of construction; and the remaining amount (from 25% to 60%)
is due when the project is completed and ready to move in. The payment
schedules vary and depend on the developer's decision. Our specialists will
clarify the specific payment schedules for each case.
Apart from the cost of the apartment, the buyer of a newly built home bears
the following expenses:
- Amortization; paid in a lump sum (only once). How much: approximately
THB400-600 per sq. m of your floor area. Paid prior to getting the keys to
- Installation of individual water and electricity meters. How much:
estimate THB5000-6000. Paid prior to getting the keys to the apartment at
the official current state tariff.
- Utility payments for the oncoming year; they are calculated as follows:
THB30-40 per sq. m of your floor area per month multiplied by 12 months.
Suppose you have bought a 40 sq. m apartment, the utility payments for
which are THB30 per sq. m. In this case you have to pay THB 14,400 (40
sq.m x THB30 x 12 months). The payment is due prior to getting the keys.
Utility payments do not include electricity and water bills, but cover
expenses for cleaning of common areas and a communal swimming pool,
security and concierge service.
- Last but not least, you also have to pay property registration fee. At the
moment it is about 6. 3% of the estimated (cadastre) cost of the apartment.
The cadastre value of a new apartment is normally 15-20% lower than its
contract value. In case of a newly built apartment, the majority of
developers attribute all the above mentioned payments at the expense of
the buyer; however following the current trend, more and more developers
choose to cover these expenses by themselves. The party responsible for
each of these payments should be stated in your contract.
The language of the contract between the seller and the buyer is English; if
necessary you can ask for a Russian copy, but in any case only the English
version has legal value. The contract should contain the information about
the seller, the description of the apartment, its value, payment terms and
property right transaction process, as well as the validity period of the
contract. The party, which bears the expenses for property right transfer, is
also to be indicated in the contract.
The service of an agency is totally free for the buyer and is at the seller's
The competent real estate agencies have direct agreements with
developers for official representation of their projects. There is no
difference in price, no matter whether you buy through an agency or
directly from the developer. The most important agencies can negotiate
discounts or more convenient payment schedules or payment by
instalments for their customers with the developers.
When a private person purchases an apartment in the secondary market,
i.e. not directly from the developer, the fees which are collected by the
Land department of Thailand, depend on several factors: the period of the
ownership during which the seller owned the apartment prior to the sale;
and the estimated value of the property, which usually does not coincide
with the sale price. As a rule, all the expenses connected with the sale are
divided between the seller and the buyer in equal shares. On average, the
expenses which the buyer bears, are about 2%-3% of the property value.
Get the more precise calculation done by our specialists for each chosen
The procedure of buying directly from the developer is described below.