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Samui Villa Rentals and Sales

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How to buy a condo in Koh Samui

There are three legal acts relevant to the purchase of a condominium unit by an alien, being the Condominium Act B.E. 2522 (or 1979, the Condominium Act (No. 2), B.E. 2534 (or 1991) and the Condominium Act (N. 3) B.E. 2542 (or 1999) issued on 28th April, 1999.

Up until recently, foreigners could only own forty percent (40%) of the aggregate unit space. This has been amended to 49% of the aggregate unit space although the ministerial regulations governing this change have not yet been issued.

As an attempt to reduce the surplus number of condominiums, the new Act has made an exception so that aliens or alien juristic persons (majority foreign-owned companies) can own up to 100% of the aggregate unit space registered in a condominium up to 27th April 2004.  

There are a number of regulations related to foreigners who can own a condominium unit. Basically they boil down to any foreigner who can enter Thailand legally can buy a condominium.

An alien or a juristic person deemed by law as an alien may have ownership in a condominium unit in Thailand when 2 following conditions are satisfied. In the absence of either condition, the alien is not permitted to have ownership in a condominium unit.

1. Being an alien or juristic person deemed by law to be an alien under Section 19 of the Condominium Act in any of the following prescribed categories viz:

(1) Being an alien permitted to have a residence in the Kingdom under the law on immigration,  in this instance, the evidence required to be produced shall be a passport indicating the nationality of the alien, and the certificate of residence (either TM. 11, TM. 15 or TM. 17 Form, as the case may be) issued by the Immigration Division, National Bureau of the Royal Thai Police Force. In the case of an alien who possesses an alien identification card issued by the Police Station in whose jurisdiction the alien is domiciled, such card can be used as evidence for the purpose of applying for acquisition of ownership in a condominium unit in this case without production of a passport;

(2) Being an alien granted permission to enter into the Kingdom under the law on promotion of  investment, in this instance, the evidence required to be produced shall be a passport indicating the nationality of the alien, and a letter of the Office of the Board of Investment certifying that the person is an alien granted permission to stay in Thailand under the law on promotion of investment;

(3) Being a juristic person deemed by law to be an alien under Section 97 and 98 of the Land Code and has been registered as a juristic person under the laws of Thailand, in this instance, the evidence required to be produced shall be the evidence indicating the registration as a juristic person under the laws of Thailand, i.e. a certificate issued by the corporate Registrar of Department of Commercial Registration, Ministry of Commerce must be produced in the case of a limited company, a public limited company, a limited partnership or a registered ordinary partnership;

(4) Being a juristic person that is an alien under the Alien Business Operation Act B.E. 2542 (1999) and that is granted a certificate of promotion of investment under the law on promotion of investment, in this instance, the evidence required to be produced shall be a letter of the Office of the Board of Investment certifying that the person is granted promotion of investment under the law on promotion of investment;

(5) Being an alien or a juristic person deemed by law to be an alien, who brings a foreign currency into the Kingdom or withdraws the money from a non-resident Baht account or from a foreign currency account, the following evidence must be produced;

(5.1) The evidence for proof of the bringing of a foreign currency into the Kingdom for sale in order to obtain money in Baht currency to pay for a condominium unit is implemented in 2 manners:

(5.1.1) in the case of an alien selling foreign currency in an amount exceeding US$ 5,000 or its market-rate equivalent, if an alien himself brings the money for sale, the Form F.T.3 (B) provided by an authorized bank to an alien shall be produced for reporting on sale of foreign currency. If an alien sells foreign currency through transferring of that foreign currency to a transferee who has residence in Thailand to do the sale, the Form F.T. (A) provided by an authorized bank to the person residing in Thailand shall be produced for reporting on sale of foreign currency. In both forms, it shall be written “remit from abroad” as regard the remitter;

(5.1.2) in the case of an alien selling foreign currency in an amount not exceeding US$ 5,000 or its market-rate equivalent ,or the sale of foreign currency to an authorized agent or person, a financial instrument of sale of foreign currency to be produced is a credit advice issued by an authorized bank or agent or person to the alien bringing foreign currency for sale;

(5.2) In the case of evidence for proof of the withdrawal of money from a non-resident Baht account, either from an alien’s account or a foreign financial institute’s account, a letter provided by a commercial bank certifying that the withdrawal from such account is for the purpose of purchasing a condominium unit shall be produced;

(5.3) In the case of evidence for proof of the withdrawal of money from a foreign currency account:

(5.3.1) in the case of the withdrawal of money from a foreign currency account for sale to a commercial bank in order to obtain money in Baht currency in an amount exceeding US$ 5,000 or its market-rate equivalent, a copy of Form F.T.(B) provided by a commercial bank to the seller of foreign currency shall be produced along with the application for sale of that foreign currency;

(5.3.2) in the case of the withdrawal of money from a foreign currency account for sale to a commercial bank in order to obtain money in Baht currency in an amount not exceeding US$ 5,000 or its market-rate equivalent, a financial instrument issued by a commercial bank to its customer or a commercial bank’s letter certifying of its purchase of that foreign currency shall be produced;

In addition, the evidence as specified in 5.1, 5.2 or 5.3 or the combination thereof shall represent the amount of money that is not less than the price of the condominium unit intended to purchase.

2 The ownership in condominium units by the alien and juristic person in 2.1 shall not be in a higher proportion than forty nine percent of the total space of all units in that condominium at the time of the application for condominium registration under Section 6 with the exceptions that:

a. A condominium in which the condominium units are to be owned by the alien and/or the juristic person specified in 2.1 in a higher proportion than forty nine percent must be located in the area of Bangkok Metropolis, municipality or the City of Pattaya and the land on which the condominium is situated shall not, when combined with the land provided for common use or benefit of all co-owners, be more than five rai in area. Also, the condominium units in such condominium shall not be less than forty units and the condominium shall already be registered not less than one year prior to the date of application for the alien to own the condominium units in the proportion higher than forty nine percent, and such condominium shall not be situated in the area of military safety zone under the law on military safety zone.

b. It is provided in Section 9 of the Condominium Act (No. 3), B.E.2542 that at the expiration of five years as from the date of the entry into force of the Condominium Act (No. 3), B.E. 2542 (28th April 1999) the provisions as set forth in a. shall be repealed and the alien or juristic person having obtained the condominium units under a. or the alien or juristic person specified in 2.1 to whom the condominium units are transferred from the aforesaid alien or juristic person may continue to have ownership in such condominium units although in the higher proportion than forty nine percent of the total space of all units in that condominium.