Frequently Asked Questions

A Key-money is a sort of ‘Goodwill’. Key-money very often applies at commercial lets. Charging key-money protects the landlord avoiding that the tenant vacates the property, just loosing 2 months deposit, before the contract term expires.

When key-money is being charged, the monthly rental fee is often relatively lower then in cases whereno key-money is being charged. It is strongly advised to make a firm understanding what will happen AFTER the contract term.

Often tenants assume that nothing will happen and the rental contract will simply extend; unfortunately the landlord often only renews the contract only if another term of key-money is being paid. This could seriously jeopardize the tenants’ cash-flow position and harm or even vanishes complete businesses.

If the tenant wishes to assign his contract to another tenant (basically when he sells his business), the landlord very often totally neglects the existing contract and will try to charge key-money to the new tenant. Renting commercial property in Thailand really requires a specialist agent with expertise and strong negotiating skills to handle the deal for you.

Yes, you can transfer payments directly to your developer. Most of the real-estate developers are genuine and reliable.

However, there are still quite a few that are not very efficient- and reluctant parties to deal with. If you want to ensure smooth proceedings you should at least engage a professional real-estate agent that is familiar with the market and able to assist you in case of any problems. Checking the track-record of both the developer as well as the agent that you are dealing with is advised.

Yes you can. However our advice is to make the purchase decision when you are here in Thailand or otherwise only to make a decision if you are very familiar with the product and all parties involved. “Buying in the blind” (e.g. through Internet) is not recommended.

All required documentation can be signed and sealed abroad and/or assigned by a power of attorney. Remember that any property transfer, assigned by power of attorney, can only be handled by a Thai national. Always request for copies of documents by post, email or fax so you are able to monitor the progress.

Yes, a foreigner can own properties in Thailand. The Condominium Act (No. 3) B.E. 2542 (A.D. 1999) provides “freehold” registration of apartments or condos directly into foreign nationals.

Any registered condominium development is allowed to allocate 49% of the total sellable area into foreign ownership. A foreign registered condo can always be sold and registered into another foreigner’s name. At the transfer of ownership the buyer must always be able to show his “Foreign Exchange Transaction Form”. Land and house cannot be registered directly into foreign ownership; only in Thai juristic persons.

Foreigners are allowed to form a Thai registered company and become shareholder (maximum 49%) of this company together with 7 Thai nominees (holding a minimum of 51% shares). Having formed a Thai registered company whereby your interests are protected by e.g. directorship holding binding signatory rights and, preferably, preferential shares (against ordinary shares); this company then could register any assets into the company. Assets held by the company automatically belong to the rightful shareholder/owner of this company. In this way, thousands and thousands of foreigners ‘own’ land and houses into their ‘own name’.

For more detailed information and registration of companies we would like to refer you to professional law firms able to guide you through this process. It is really quite easy and affordable to form a company and maintain it. Selling your assets could simply be established by transferring the shares of the company to another person. Not having to transfer the assets of the company through the Land Office department saves a considerable amount of transfer taxes at the same time.

First of all it is important to familiarize with the region of interest and the lifestyle of Thailand in general.

Many property investors simply fall-in-love with Thailand after a couple of holidays in this region of South-East Asia. How to familiarize? It is easier to select the property of your dreams if you would first of all qualify your inquiry: How many bedrooms do you need; what is your budget; what are the areas of interest (make sure you ‘know’ them all); when do you want to purchase (a booming property market changes rapidly, if not on a daily bases); do you prefer a house, condo or land parcel to build; are you looking for own use or an investment? Etcetera, etcetera. Consider to ‘browse’ through the region and visit developments and areas that seem interesting. Probably faster and far more reliable is to engage the help of any professional real-estate agent in town.

It is their expertise of the property market in general and areas in specific that make the difference. Agents do not charge you any fee or commission and are very often able to find you those ‘hidden jewels’ that otherwise slip to your attention.

Selling of property needs professional assistance from a broker. Of course you can overhear ‘success-stories’ from those that sold their property within minutes enjoying a beer at the bar. Very often though these stories are fairytales and just happen once in a lifetime.

If you are looking for a win-win situation you ask for brokers’ assistance. Selling your property in Thailand is easy. Agents only charge you their fee if they are successful in selling your property. Usual commission is 5% of the contracted sales price, payable at transfer. You may list your property amongst several agents if you want; there is no such thing as an exclusive realtor here in Thailand.

First comes first goes. You should instruct all of them however to list your property for the same sales price. (Some agents try to cheat you and muck-up the price to gain a bigger commission. Beware.) Dedicated agents will appoint you for an inspection of the property before they will list it.

All relevant details of the property will be discussed and you are able to ask for a ‘street-wise’ assessment at the same time. Forget brokers that immediately ask you for your net-net price because chances are that they will play a game between you and a buyer’s bid. Up-selling on their own-behalf is the end-result. It is often up to the discretion of the agent to advertise your property or list it on their website (if they have one). Only if your agent feels that your property is ‘hot’ (sellable) he will probably advertise it.

Do not forget that you don’t pay your agent for his marketing efforts. Any inspection with a prospective buyer should be announced by the agent so he is able to access your property in your presence.

If you are not available for inspections you might consider allowing key-access (we never heard of abuse having keys at any agency). If your broker assessed his client properly (qualified); chances are big that he will sell your property. Good luck.

Providing proper documentation (sales contract or agreement) to sell your property is the responsibility of your agent. Of course you will need to have access to all paperwork relevant in this case (house registration book, company registration documents, land title deeds, annual maintenance fees, receipts, manuals, warrantee documents, copy of passport(s) etcetera).

Professional agents will conduct a legal evaluation of all documents avoiding that there is anything missing or corrupt which could obstruct a transfer without any problem. Experienced realtors are familiar with all rules and regulations of the Land Office Department which will become obviously if they would be handling your transfer.

Less experienced agents could cause serious problems if they don’t know what they are doing. Please be reminded that you are still in Thailand.

Normally, you can rent and enjoy your stay as long as the contract-duration stipulates. In rare occasions the landlord breaches the contract by selling the property.

Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about this. Thai law and legislation is not really firm in protecting tenants’ interests. Long term lets or leases can be officially registered at Land Office Department (3 plus 3 years only).

Once registered at the Land Office Department your lease term is pretty safe and solid. This often applies with commercial leases.

Key-money is a sort of ‘Goodwill’. Key-money very often applies at commercial lets. Charging key-money protects the landlord avoiding that the tenant vacates the property, just loosing 2 months deposit, before the contract term expires.

When key-money is being charged, the monthly rental fee is often relatively lower then in cases where no key-money is being charged. It is strongly advised to make a firm understanding what will happen AFTER the contract term.

Often tenants assume that nothing will happen and the rental contract will simply extend; unfortunately the landlord often only renews the contract only if another term of key-money is being paid. This could seriously jeopardize the tenants’ cash-flow position and harm or even vanishes complete businesses.

If the tenant wishes to assign his contract to another tenant (basically when he sells his business), the landlord very often totally neglects the existing contract and will try to charge key-money to the new tenant. Renting commercial property in Thailand really requires a specialist agent with expertise and strong negotiating skills to handle the deal for you.

The value of ones property is very often determined by your ‘neighbors’. If you are living on a development with similar type of properties, chances are big that re-sales occur. These re-sales will give you a good guideline of what ‘the market’ is prepared to pay for your property.

If you remodeled your property and spend quite a bit money on it, obviously the sales-price could be higher; especially when the remodeling adapts to what the majority of buyers is interested purchase.

Some house-owners spend fortunes on very specific renovations, not realizing that they are creating a product for a “niche market”. In those cases, your market value could even be lower.

Having a ‘unique’ property virtually allows you to ask ‘anything you want’ for your property. Yet, if you become too greedy, you might risk that your property will not sell. In the case you want to sell your property, you should ask an experienced realtor for a second opinion.

Eventually you are in control of the desired sales-price, but it is strongly recommended to listen what realtors have to say. They are the right ones to sell your property.

“Better save than sorry”; this applies to all contracting jobs you consider to assign. Whether it is a building contract for your own private residence, a simple remodeling job, renovation or interior decoration. There are many so-called contractors out-there and not all of them are as good as they say.

It is good to check their portfolio with references they can show you of previous jobs with their involvement. It always helps if you find a contractor that communicates in English, so he understands what your intentions are. Credibility and reliability are crucial; if the contractor has been established in the region for many years, you might be better of than when he just started.

We have heard from cases whereby the contractor disappeared after the first contract payment was made. Asking and checking for his home- or office address and requesting a copy of the contractor’s ID-card always helps.

Any job you need to have done should commence with proper and clear instructions or, even better, detailed plans. Material specifications or material allowances need to be sorted before any job starts; if the specs aren’t clear at the very beginning of any project, you might end up paying a considerable bigger amount of money than you anticipated. Contractors not able to present their quotation in a detailed BOQ-format (Bill of Quantities) are often not that experienced.

Presenting a lump-sum quote allows for many loose-ends and questions to be answered; those questions often come-up during the project, which is than too late. Keep your cool if things go wrong; Thais often feel offended if you loose your temper.

If you require arbitrage during the project you might as well consider changing contractors. Even if you introduce ‘experienced’ arbiters. If worse comes to worse you may find yourself in a lawsuit which is not a pleasant and definitely not a fast experience here in Thailand.

Buying off-plan is certainly not unusual and often even allows pre-construction conditions.

Apart from that; the first choices are yours, so you could find yourself in a position whereby you can select the nicest properties available on the project. It is advised, before you sign-up a contract at the pre-construction phase, to ask for a copy of the developer’s land title deed (Chanoot) whereby it clearly shows that the project’s land parcel is owned by the developer or one of his nominees.

It rarely happens that pre-sales started before the land purchase is completed by the developer: In such case you better turn around and walk away.

It is also good to ask a copy of the building license; in theory the construction may only start if the licenses are issued. If you sign a contract, please make sure that any deposits are fully refundable in case the project will be canceled or seriously delayed (starting date as well as completion dates).

Buying property in Thailand is often a pleasant experience if you deal with professionals.

Not at all. Forming a Thai registered company can be established in the ‘blink of an eye’. Make sure that you use a capable solicitor or administration office with the knowledge of all procedures involved. It will become handy if the formation of your Thai company is done by a party that is also able to process the required annual audit report of your company.

Keep all of your company documents on a safe place within reach if you need them. If there are any properties owned by your company you might consider registering a separate company for each one of them.

In the event that you ever want to sell your property you might as well transfer the shares of your holding company into the buyers’ name which saves you a reasonable amount of land transfer taxes.

Imagine that you find the property of your dreams and you are not able to make an immediate payment on it; do not think that the property is still there if you go to the bank within days to make a payment.

It happens ever so often that all of a sudden disappointment strikes when the property is no longer available because it is sold! If you are more or less sure that you want to buy or rent, you really should make a ‘security deposit’ to ensure that the offer will be taken-off the market and not being sold or rented to another person.

Even when you are not able to complete on the deal immediately or meet the datelines as stipulated by the seller or landlord (let’s say you want to start a rental period after 2 months.) you could still try to negotiate if the seller or landlord is willing to accept your terms rather than start looking for another proposition. Offering to pay a security deposit often helps the negotiations. In some cases the security deposit is refundable.

If you make a clear understanding regarding how and when you could claim your deposit, there is no risk that you loose it (e.g. when the seller or landlord cannot meet the terms.).

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact our office. You can call us at: (66-38)-251481 or fax (66-38)-251482 or simply send a direct email with your inquiry.

Our team will be more than happy to assist you with any question you might have.

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