Frequently Asked Questions
Can a foreigner own property in Thailand?
- Yes! Thailand’s Condominium Act allows foreign nationals to own condominium units under direct freehold. Acquisition of land or landed properties is possible under leasehold or Thai company structure. Read more>>
What are the taxes for real estate purchase in Thailand?
- It depends on property type. If you are buying a condo from developer, you will pay specific business tax, withholding tax and transfer fee (total of 6.3%, which is normally split between the buyer and seller). If you are buying house or condo under leasehold, only 1.1% lease registration fee is payable.
Are there any recurring property taxes?
In 2019 Thai government introduced an annual land and house tax, it currently caps at 0.3%. Properties below certain price range used as a primary residence can be exempt.
What are sinking fund and maintenance fees?
- Sinking fund is a special emergency fund for any one-off capital repairs or improvements that the project might require during its lifecycle (for example, if common swimming pool pump breaks and needs replacement, it will be paid for from sinking fund).
Maintenance fee is a payment that owners of a condo or villa in the project pay for ongoing expenses required for day-to-day running of the projects: common area cleaning, security guy salary, electricity costs for the lighting in common areas etc.
Sinking fund is normally a one-time payment paid on handover of the property. Maintenance fees typically are payable annually, 1 year in advance. Both are normally calculated based on the unit size (for houses land plot size can be used); however sometimes a fixed amount is set.
Can I rent out a unit I purchased for investment?
- Yes! You can do it yourself, if you prefer, or for hands-off management you can use a rental agency. Many developers also have in-house rental service - especially in resort cities where you can find hotel-managed projects with rental pool programs. Read more>>
What is leasehold?
- In cases when direct freehold ownership of property isn’t available or practical, developer can offer the buyer to lease the property for long term instead. The duration of a single lease cannot exceed 30 years, however the buyer can extend the lease, normally twice for the total of 90 years. This allows foreigners, for example to purchase land (which foreigners cannot directly own) or villas, houses and other landed properties. Leasehold also provides a way to purchase condominium units in a project over allowed 49% foreign quota
Can a foreigner get mortgage in Thailand?
- Normally mortgage isn’t available for non-residents. However, some limited exceptions and alternatives exist.
Do I need Thai bank account to buy property in Thailand?
- No. It’s not required and in most cases, when you are buying new property, you will be paying directly to developer’s account (especially in case of freehold purchase).
What’s the deal with ‘foreign’ and ‘Thai’ quotas in condominiums?
- Thai law (specifically Condominium Act B.E. 2551 (2008)) stipulates that the foreigners cannot own over 49% of sellable floor area in any given condominium project. This is ‘foreign quota’. When you are buying a resale unit from Thai owner, it’s usually a good idea to check if there is still foreign quota left in the project - otherwise it might not be possible to complete the handover (the same applies if you want to convert leasehold unit into freehold).
Does property ownership grant me any long-term visa or residence permit?
- Unfortunately property ownership doesn’t grant any special privileges when it comes to visas and immigration. However, there are multiple long-stay visas available for foreigners, property buyers or not. Options include retirement visa, work visa, education visa, marriage visa, business visa, new SMART visa, Thailand Elite visa. You can learn more in our dedicated article.
Can I purchase a property in Thailand without being physically present in the country?
- Yes. Contract signing can be done remotely (via mail), payments don’t require physical presence. Handover can be done via appointing your lawyer or another trusted person via power of attorney.
Should I use a real estate agent or try and navigate a market by myself?
- In Thailand there is no buyer side commission (i.e. agent’s fee is payable by the seller), so there is no downside to using a good agent. Choosing a good agent is a different story.