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Thailand Property Buyers Guide

Hua Hin Property Partner
Written by Hua Hin Property Partner

Our Thailand Property Buyers Guide was created especially for our customers by our agents from Hua Hua Property Partner Co., Ltd. . We try to explain all important facts about the ownership of a property in Thailand. In our article ”Thai Law Property Ownership” we show you different solutions how a foreigner can own land as well.

With our “Thailand Property Buyers Guide” we want provide important informations to our customers and answer frequently asked questions about fees, taxes and ownership regulations of buying properties in Thailand in a foreign name. In addition to that we provide informations of running costs like water, electricity, internet and so on. This will help you to get an overview of important facts.

What kind of property in Thailand can I own

Can I own a condo in Thailand?

Yes, you can own a condo 100% freehold. Each condo building has 51% of units allocated to Thai nationals; the remaining 49% of units are available to non-Thais.

Can I own a house in Thailand?

Yes, you can register a house in your own name at the land office. Note, the land the house sits on will be leased to you as mentioned below.

As a foreigner, can I own land in Thailand?

This is one of the first questions that should be answered in our Thailand Property Buyers Guide.  First of all you cannot own land in Thailand but you can lease land for a maximum of 30 years and you can renew the lease 2 times – that will give you a total of 90 years. Any lease over 3 years must be registered at the local land office. If you are married to a Thai, she or he can own the land in their name and you can register an usufruct on the property giving you lifelong rights to use and manage it (but no rights to sell or own the land).

What taxes and fees are involved in a property purchase and who pays for it?

If purchasing a freehold condo in a project licensed under the Condominium Act or any real estate in a government licensed housing development, consumer protection laws specify the following. The developer may only pass on the transfer fee at a percentage of 50% to the buyer. However, there is no fixed rule in the law on how the land office fees and taxes are split between the seller and buyer in a private sale or sale in a private development. In conclusion this should be agreed early on by both parties as part of the sale and purchase agreement. In most of the cases the costs are shared 50 / 50. The following land office taxes and fees apply to the purchase of condos, land, land and house, and the transfer of a house separate from the land. These fees and taxes will be charged at the land office at the time of transfer:

  • Transfer fee (2%)
  • Specific Business Tax (3.3% and if applicable)
  • Stamp Duty (0.5% and does not have to be paid if Specific Business Tax is paid)
  • Income Withholding tax (for companies fixed at 1% and a progressive rate for individuals)

We feel the best case scenario is that all these fees are split 50/50 between buyer and seller. However, there seem to be some regional differences to this protocol, some and some would say that all taxes are the responsibility of the seller, and only the transfer tax should be split 50/50. Again, it is best to get this cleared in detail early on and recorded in the sales purchase agreement. Note that these taxes cannot be calculated exactly prior to due diligence at the local land office. We can just give you a roughly calculated amount to give you an idea.

Are there other property taxes in Thailand?

There is no general annual property tax in Thailand. For land and properties used commercially (rented out, company owned properties, used as storage, etc) an annual land and house tax is charged at a rate of 12.5% over the yearly rental or assessed yearly rental. There have been talks of plans to introduce a more general property tax and reform the system, though there is no concrete news on this yet. There is a small local maintenance tax on undeveloped land only.

Do I have to use a lawyer or do you recommend it?

We recommend you to use a lawyer if you want to buy a house. When buying a condo it is much more easy and a lawyer is not necessary – but if you want to employ a lawyer you should do it. It is important that you feel secure and we will support you in all your decisions. The process can be complicated depending on the type of property you buy, the current ownership status, and your intended ownership method. We can recommend several good lawyers in town but the choice is yours who you employ.

Can I leave my Thai property in my will?

You have to make a last will and testament in Thailand because a will from your country is insufficent. Your last will you have made in your home country is not valid in Thailand. However there are a lot of variables depending on the type of property and its ownership status so you should consult your lawyer to gain a full understanding of this.

What is a Chanote (Thai title deed)?

The “Chanote” is often used as a blanket term for ‘title deed’ in Thailand. There are several types of title deed in Thailand, and it’s normally one of the first things you should ask about when buying a property here. The “Chanote” is the highest of title deeds and therefore the most preferred. The next level of deed is the ‘Nor Sor Sam Gor (NS3G)’ – these are the only two title deeds that are viable for real estate investment. Below the NS3G is the Nor Sor Sam (NS3), land on this title has not yet been accurately surveyed and the area must be confirmed with neighbouring land. Note that NS3 land may be later upgraded to NS3G or later even to  “Chanote”, but you must have a lawyer conduct due diligence before proceeding with any investment. There are numerous other title deeds in Thailand, but we not recommend even considering them.

How much does it cost to run and maintain my property in Thailand?

Condos will have a flat fee based on square meterage and are usually paid annually. An average fee is around 30 to 50 Baht per sqm / month ( it can be higher as it is depending on the project ).

This fee is for :

  • Building maintenance
  • Security
  • Rubbish collection
  • Swimming pool running costs
  • Gym (if applicable)
  • Common area electricity + water + maintenance, etc.

On top of that comes the electricity and water that you use for your unit. All units have their own meter for this.

Villas will vary greatly depending on the size of the property, type of development and services supplied. A high level estate that offers

  • 24 hour security
  • Common area maintenance
  • Pool and garden maintenance
  • Rubbish collection
  • Shuttle service etc

This cost can be between 3000 – 7000 Baht per month for a 150 sqm house on 500 sqm of land.
In addition of these expect to pay water (50-500B per month) electricity (700-3000B per month) and Internet (700B per month).

We hope you have enjoyed our “Thailand Property Buyers Guide”. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Next Article
Buying a condo in Thailand – What you should know!