Buying Thai Property can be an expensive and difficult proposition. Due to legal restrictions placed upon foreigners, Thai Property purchase could be illegal and cause a loss of investment if the transaction does not properly comport with Thai law. This piece is designed as a summary of steps that should be taken before making a property purchase in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Due Diligence in Thailand
Due Diligence should be conducted before purchasing any type of Thai property. As an example, in Thailand a Bangkok attorney would be hired to assure that the Thai real estate is titled to the party asserting that they will sell. Also, a proper due diligence search should be done in order to ascertain whether or not a Thai mortgage is on the property and what needs to be done in order to ensure that the Thai property passes to the new buyer unencumbered by this mortgage. A due diligence search would also look to see what type of Chanote (or Thai property Title) the owner of the Thai property has. Generally, where a lower form of Thai Title is being held it might be in the interests of the prospective buyer to ascertain whether this Thai Title can be upgraded.
A Special Note about Due Diligence on Thai Condos
For Thai condominiums, it should be noted that a due diligence search will also seek to ascertain if the Thai Condo in question comports to the standards of the Thai condominium act and if so, is the buyer purchasing a Thai freehold title. Those purchasing a condominium in Thailand are only allowed to take title freehold if non-Thai ownership is less than 49% of the total number of units in the condominium complex. A due diligence search can ascertain if a Thai condo building is in compliance with the rules and regulations.
Lawyer Accompaniment to the Thai Land office at the Time of the Property Transaction
It is also recommended to have a Thai lawyer accompany a prospective property purchaser to the local land office to make sure that the transaction is properly executed and the property is transferred in accordance with the parties' agreement. In Thailand, this phase can be especially important for the foreigner due to the fact that Thai is often not the native language of the prospective purchaser and therefore a lawyer can assure that all of the proper formalities are met.
No part of this writing should be used in lieu of advice from a duly licensed legal professional in your jurisdiction.
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For more information about Property and Real Estate matters in Thailand please see: http://www.integrity-legal.com/real-estate-thailand/real-estate-overview.html