provide an outhouse consultation at your Hotel if you require assistance
with any Business ideas, housing or legal advice with our foreign
Highly recommended if coming to live in Thailand &
We receive our commissions off the seller
or landlord and no added charges are imposed on you the buyer or renter.
What we make sure is you get a professional service with no hidden costs, plus
we help you with your lease agreements and oversee everything you need. You may have a Thai friend who says they can
get you a better deal. Unbeknown to you they may be getting a
commission or even 2 plus a scheme --can
you read Thai??. Using our services we guarantee that the lease and selling documents are in order as we have our own
Barrister at Law. Please do not ask us for mortgages as we cannot help unless
you are married to a Thai or own a Thai Company.
ARRANGE YOUR WORK PERMITS, PARTNERSHIPS, CONTRACTS, COMPANIES
& VISAS THROUGH OUR LAW SERVICE; Title searches, House
inspection reports so be safe. We are the oldest established Real Estate
in Chiangmai. We also have our own lawyers. If buying off agents please
safe and check www.chiangmailaw.com
NOW YOU CAN EVEN POST YOUR
OWN HOUSES ON THE NEW THAILAND CLASSIFIED / AUCTION WEBSITE to buy
or sell. Open to all businesses and private sales & buying advertise
here. Check out the forum and law service. The website is in Thai/Eng
language and its totally FREE.
The hottest Thai Classifieds
BEST OPTION FOR BUYING PROPERTY IS:
do not ring us from overseas wanting loads of info about a house. What
we list is what is available. It is pointless sending you info about a
house as you must view the house and the area where it is. In Thailand there is NO
zoning so a nice house could be beside a factory or
canal that you don't like. You need to supply us with info like how
close to schools you want to be, to Tesco, the airport, dept stores, where you
want to live, near town etc so the more info you can send to us the
easier is our job. We DO NOT show you multiple listings as again we are
not a tourism service but if you know what you want and budget then we
can assist you.
Thailand has so many different types of
properties for sale that whatever your dream home is, you can realize it
here if you do the paperwork right. Prices are a lot cheaper than
Western houses but some aspects need close scrutiny especially wiring,
water & most importantly the deed title. Now that you want to buy a
house what should you look for?
The first thing you need to do is obtain the services of a reputable
real estate agent or lawyer on your behalf. The Thailand Realty Industry
is not regulated so watch out for agents forcing you to sign contracts,
& check the title
deed to make sure the property is what it says. Do yourself a big
favour and obtain a House Inspection report which in effect pulls the holes
out of the property! Some buyers have bought
the house only to find the land is on a different title & visa versa
or the cracks have been disguised. Once you buy then its your problem. Many Estates will try to sell a house in a developing block which
has but one title with say 10-20 houses on it. They probably have 2
mortgages and want to unload the houses before they pay off the loan
& secure the titles for their owners. Or will they???--- we had
a case & saved the foreign buyer 2.8m baht that he would have
lost if he did not use our service. The same goes with the boundaries of the property which need to
be the same as the title deed. In Thailand there's no survey pegs as
such but they do use concrete pegs & it is an important point. Sometimes vendors deliberately
understate property area or move so called pegs. If the building is under construction or
the land is having a subdivision look carefully at the provisions for
issuing a title, and easement rights for say roadways. if you are a foreigner you can
lease for 30 years or form a company to hold the house. Remember also
do not start a company for the sake of securing your house. If you do
not carry out business and do not have employees ( and I mean NO
nominees that your law firm has provided) you will find yourself in hot
water. As at 2006 march Immigration and Company Regsitration are not
checking all foreign companies for employees and they will be
interviewed as well as what business you are doing????
Legal pitfalls of purchasing a brand new condominium
source: WERACHON LAW OFFICE / Pattaya Today June 17 2008
THERE are pros and cons of buying a condominium unit in a brand new project, a brand new product is always good. However, it is advisable not to use your brand new brain to buy a condominium in Thailand because a brand new brain means that it has never been used. In Thailand, you have to use your brain more than you normally used it in your own country.
The pros for buying the brand new project are
1. The starting price of a condominium unit in a brand new project is quite low comparing to the finished project. Many foreign buyers of a brand new condominium unit can easily make good speculative profits in the short term especially for a renowned project or well positioned.
2. Some demanding buyers feel obliged to check the construction from the foundation until finishing stage to see if the quality is in compliance with the specification.
The cons for buying the brand new project are
1. Some developers may have problems with their contractors which may cause a delay in construction, and some unscrupulously construct more buildings in the common areas.
2. Some developers hand over condominium units, which are defective or units where the quality has not complied with the specifications.
3. If you have to make a down payment for one or two years, it is risky that a change of the economic situation could adversely affect the high profile developer. As we are aware “Everything is impermanent”. The cost of construction depends on many factors which sometimes suffer from an “Act of God” or “Force Majeur” which are beyond our control. Many developers become bankrupt by the laxity of their financial management, and a project becomes a “Non Performing Loan” (NPL) with a bank, you will be involved in a time consuming judicial process. You may not draft a contract requiring the Developer not to become bankrupt. The good developer should have a good financial record, e.g., Rattanakorn or Viwtalay who always keep their promise as goodwill which is their great assets.
4. Some crooked operators in the guise of developers may easily set up a “paper company” and put banners in an empty plot of land with a cabin sales office. They may arrange for the classy grand opening parties with good food and wine with a fancy show and a rhetorical MC to get reservation money from gullible foreigners and then disappear. If the crooked developers are foreigners, you cannot find out their whereabouts easily, because they just pack their bags and clandestinely leave Thailand.
We strongly believe in the old maxim that “Forewarned is Forearmed”. To avoid a legal dilemma, it is advisable to comply with the following advice
1. It is advisable to have a due diligence search for the corporate and financial information of the company who is the developer of the project. In this regard, you may retain a qualified lawyer and accountant to check the corporate documents and balance sheets. You may verify who are the shareholders and directors, and some prudent buyers even check the credit background of each incumbent director. If the development project is financially supported by a bank or financial institution, you may discuss this with the bank or finance company concerned.
2. Most of good projects will have a signboard showing the details about the registration number of the land title deeds (Cha Nod) and a construction permit of the project. It is advisable to retain a qualified lawyer to check the details of the land with the Land Office to verify if the land for the project actually belongs to the developer. The mortgage on the land should be also checked.
3. With the title deeds and the construction permits, some prudent buyers check all the common areas and utilities to ensure that the developer will not use for its own commercial purposes, e.g., parking lots, recreation areas, club houses and swimming pool, etc. There are many developers using the common parking lots for the weekend market.
4. The developer of the project has to apply for the construction permits with the “Civil Works Office” (Sum Nuk Ngan Yo Tha) of the Pattaya City Hall. If the project is of more than 80 units, the developer will have to get a clearance certificate from the Office of the Environmental Protection, and it is advisable to check these permits have already been granted to the developer.
5. You should get a clear confirmation from the developer that the percentage of foreign ownership is not more than 49%. You cannot register the ownership of the condominium unit under your name if there is more than 49% foreign ownership in your project. This restriction is currently applied without exception. If the foreign ownership is more than 49%, many foreigners circumvent the restriction by setting up a Thai company to own the condominium. Incorporation of a company will be definitely burdensome for you to absorb expenses for incorporation plus preparation of annual balance sheet.
6. To register the ownership of the condominium unit under your name, you have to show the documents with the Land Registrar proving that the money you pay for the condominium unit is from your offshore source. Accordingly, you have to bring the foreign currency into your bank account in Thailand and convert it into Thai currency. The receiving bank will issue a “Certificate of Remittance” or “Thor.Tor. 3 (Sam)” if the remitted amount is more than $ 20,000. This Certificate of Remittance or Thor.Tor. 3 has to be produced to the Land Registrar for registration of ownership under the name of a foreigner and given to the Immigration Office for one-year visa. Many foreigners mistakenly transfer money directly into the bank account of the developer, and in this case, these foreigners cannot get the “Certificate of Remittance” or “Thor.Tor. 3” from the bank. Consequently, these foreigners cannot register the ownership of the condominium unit under their names. You should keep all remittance documents in good order to be able to justify all transactions with the “Anti Money Laundering Office” (AMLO) for repatriation of money to your country once you sell your condominium unit in the future.
7. The payment for the price of the condominium unit should be made by bank draft or cashier checque payable to the name of the developing company, and it is strongly advisable not to pay by cash.
8. The Consumer Protection Act requires that a contract to buy and sell a condominium unit must comply with the requirements under the “Announcement of the Consumer Protection Board” which ensures all clauses are fair for all buyers. There is a standard form drafted by the Consumer Protection Office.
9. The contract should be signed by with the authorized director of the developing company. However, as most of the authorized directors do not sign the contract in your presence. How do you know that it is the real signature? This problem can be solved if you make every payment by cashier checque or bank draft payable to the company who is the developer. If the company cashes the checque, the company cannot deny or raise the point that the signature in the contract is not the real signature of its authorized director.
10. The standard contract specifies that the buyer should share with the developer only the transfer fee of 2% from the appraised price. The income and business taxes including stamp duties should be solely absorbed by the developer. Most adhesion contracts drafted by developers always contain clauses in favor of the developers for their non-liabilities for breach of contract. You should have a proper English translation of the sale contract to compare with the standard form drafted by the Consumer Protection Office.
11. Once the construction is completed and approved by Pattaya City Hall, the developer will have to register the Condominium Juristic Person with the Land Office to separate title deeds (Cha Nod) for all units. At this stage, you will make a final payment by cashier checque or bank draft to the developing company at the Land Office in exchange for the title deed (Cha Nod) and house register book (Tabien Ban).
12. After the transfer of ownership, the co owners of condominium units in the project may join together to set up a committee to look after the management. The committee should control all the common areas and utilities to ensure that the developer will not abusively use these common areas for their own purpose. The committee may call for the general assembly of all co owners to draft a constitution and by-laws to protect the rights of all co owners.
The above protective measures are the minimum prudence you should have if you wish to avoid the legal dilemma in this land. You should not be fatalist to believe that your fate is dependent upon only an “Act of God” or “Force Majeur”.
We believe in the axiom that the “Power of Knowledge” can save you from all dilemmas in this land.
By: Mr. Ponthep Werachon, Thai Solicitor & Mrs. Darunee Werachon, Thai Solicitor & Accountant of WERACHON LAW OFFICE, 448/17 Thepprasit Rd, Pattaya, 038 300 967, 081 423 4255
Reading room about Thai laws www.thaisolicitor.com
A foreigner can ONLY own a condo in
his / her name OUTRIGHT. You cannot own a house and land in your name unless you
invest 40m baht = 1 Rai of land. Bank's do not lend to foreigners;
only Thais or Companies and you must lease, or have a Thai Company to own
a house in your name. Ask us if you wish to borrow (must have
Just a note about buying Condos. ---Find out what the monthly maintenance
costs are from the managers. Ask for this in writing. Avoid unfinished
projects as they may run out of money or be over mortgaged. If very few condos have been
sold in a building with good amenities like landscaped grounds, security
Guards and a receptionist and office have the title searched but most of
all someone has to pay for all this, plus
the electricity for lighting and lifts. The total cost (often inflated) has
to be divided up among the condo owners, which can be a lot if only a few
units have been sold. Ask for an exact statement of maintenance costs and
how they are paid. If the project has different size condos in the same building, large units will pay more towards maintenance costs than small
units. If you are a legal resident you can obtain a mortgage but you
need to check with your bank and credit. The best idea though is pay
cash as you can negotiate but you must remit from abroad. In Bangkok look at around 25,000 -100,000
baht per sq m. A foreigner can only buy max 40% of a condo unit so if
that 40% has been taken up and you are the 42% person you may find you
are buying a lemon so to speak. If the developer owns a majority of
units you may not like his manager but if the owners have majority votes
than they can remove him.
The Condominium Act has been
amended. Now 49% of units in all condominiums and 100% of units in
condominiums in a total development area under 5 rai located in Bangkok,
all municipal districts and such other areas as shall hereafter be
announced by the Minister of the Interior (which is expected to include
rural Phuket) can be foreign owned. Funds used to buy a condominium
& remitted from abroad are recorded by a Thai Bank on a Tor Tor Sam.
Purchases of condominiums by foreigners come under the Condominium Act
B.E. 2535 (1992). The owner of each condominium is issued with a
certificate of unit ownership. The certificate also has a statement with
percentage rights over the common areas of the building each owner has.
[ Check more Condo tips ]
Are normally levied on the seller rated
at between 3 & up to 6% of the asking price. Some agents are known to
charge a commission from both the buyer and seller while we are told 10%
is being levied by some. Due to the
unregulated realty industry you must use discretion when buying off any
agent or person. Ask how long they have been in business & look at
their company papers for proof. If they say the price of a house does not include their
commission, chances are this company is getting a cut both ends. Our
company levies a commission solely on the "seller" & makes
sure the person buying is getting the best deal for their money. We
normally only sell houses that have a chanote (clear title).
If you want to make sure your house is
safe and has what it should have & hasn't had recent false
renovations, hidden maintenance, then we also conduct a professional onsite inspection house
appraisal of the home you want to buy or sell. This inspection is over and
above your title search but compliments the title search as we work in with
our own lawyer. This 5-8 page onsite
inspection report covers everything from electricity, inside and outside structures,
water supply, plumbing, and general condition of your house & land,
elevation etc in a check list report. Added to this we give you the
buyer, a full written maintenance report plus our suggestions
and recommendations all in
English. We even oversee the recommendations on your behalf. Cost for this Inspection ranges from
5000 baht for new houses under 2 years old to 6-8000 baht for a
standard 3-6 bedroom older house, condos 5000 baht as we look at the
entire building ( This does not including away travelllng
expenses). eg. cost to inspect in Bangkok is 12,000 baht to start and
extra if we have to travel.----takes 3-4 days
----report printout. We do not conduct land area searches as survey pegs are not
shown. For this you need a surveyor which we can obtain for you. Other buildings like Commercial
properties we can quote you. PLAY IT SAFE-- WHY HAVE A HOUSE THAT WILL
NOT LAST!!!!!! As of August 2005 we have managed to assist foreign clients
before they buy with the knowledge that the seller will initiate our
recommendations & saved money for our clients. It is worth it
to have these houses inspection reports.
recommend you obtain a Title search and House Inspection report before
you purchase ANY property in Thailand. Cost Title search = 7000 baht
Title search as well as House Inspection fee starting at 3000 baht.
& AIR CONDITION INSTALLATIONS:
When buying an existing
home or new house you may want to have a new western style kitchen
installed or maybe air condition units. If we carry out a Housing
Inspection then we also in our report have a free quotation for air
condition units and kitchen joinery for you with FREE installation or
arrange on your behalf. We can help you with the top Kitchen
to Kitchens ]
Ask no further as we use
Khun Da in ChiangMai recommended to us who speaks excellent English and
whom one of our partner's Dr. Harry Gair is presently using. We can
arrange for you as many foreigners use her services.