Property Services in Thailand
Conducting a Title Search is important before purchasing land or condominium in Thailand. This process involves checking to the Land Office all about the property you are purchasing. This will confirm that the property is free to be sold. Title Search reports about the specific description of the land or property that you are purchasing such as specific dimensions of the land, the type of the title deed, the title’s history for all previous and current owners, and whether or not the property is free to be sold.
Due Diligence in Thailand is a thorough investigation of a commercial or private real estate property which must be done prior to signing a sales contract. Through due diligence, the target land or building is evaluated in a thorough manner before its acquisition. This is like an investigation done prior to your intended purchase of land or real estate in order to provide the potential buyer more information about the property he is interested in buying. Due diligence provides information about the land such as: the restrictions on land use; whether or not permits are legally issued and accurately reflects for what it is declared; whether or not the type of development you want is allowed on the land.
Due Diligence involves visual inspection of the property. It will show pictures of the land and a clear snapshot of the legal parameters of the property. It will determine if development has started; if the land is connected to a public road; if the boundaries of the land are clear; if there are relevant local zoning ordinances; so as the ownership of the parcels of land around the one you are interested in.
If you are acquiring a building that is not yet built, due diligence will provide you report if the developer has all the required permits for the pre-construction project in addition to ownership of the land. There will be a review of building systems to evaluate deferred maintenance items that can materially affect the operation and value of a property. In addition to this, due diligence helps determine the lease terms currently enforced; the zoning laws applicable to the property; building code compliance of the premises; the existence of any special assessments of property taxes applicable to the property; and the sales price history of the property.
A Contract of Sale or Sales and Purchase Agreement is issued by a seller before closing the deal on property purchase in Thailand, usually after the buyer has paid the initial deposit. Sales contract is written in Thai language but can be translated in English if the purchasing party is a foreigner. Before signing the sales contract, the buyer must read it thoroughly to make sure it reflects the basic rights of the consumer, and that it provides legal, complete, enforceable provisions on the land.
Sale and Purchase Agreement usually contains the following information:
- when and how the seller will sell you the property;
- who will pay the taxes on the sale of property;
- what will happen to the initial deposit and any other payments if the seller does not transfer the property to you.
Aside from the content of the Sales Contract, the buyer must make sure that the contract is is properly translated and reviewed by competent Thai lawyers. Not only that the Sales Contract must meet the needs of the buyer, it must also describe the seller’s duties in adherence to consumer’s rights. Well-reviewed sales contract is important in making sure that your investment will be protected.
Last Will and Testament protects a foreigner’s estate, assets and immovable properties in Thailand, in the unfortunate event of his demise. This document details the bearer’s assets in Thailand such as property, bank accounts, vehicle, and personal items for so it will be distributed accordingly after his passing.
Thai will is important because in the event of a foreigner’s sudden death, his properties in Thailand will be governed exactly how he would like it to be distributed after his death. With a Thai will drafted, an executor of the foreigner’s estate in Thailand is assigned, who will deal with administrative burdens after the foreigner’s death.
Drafting a Thai Will for Properties in Thailand or Abroad
In drafting a Thai will, you may do so according to the law of the country of your nationality or the country where your will is made.Thai will protects the bearer’s assets in Thailand.
Without a Thai will, upon the foreigner’s sudden demise, his assets must be distributed in accordance with the classes of relations as stipulated in the CCC Article 1629 which are, in order of priority:
- brothers and sisters of full blood
- brothers and sisters of half blood
- grandfathers and grandmothers
- uncles and aunts
Before any distribution of the estate to the relatives, half of the estate, known as Sin Somros, will belong to the spouse, if any. The rest will be equally distributed accordingly. If there are no living relations and no Thai will, the estate will devolve on to the State.
If a foreigner owns a condominium under his own name, under the Thai law upon his demise his property would not simply be passed on to his heirs. Immovable property in Thailand will pass via Thai succession laws unless he has a Thai will.
If a foreigner own land rights (under a company on a freehold basis), with the Thai will it would be passed on in the form of shares. His heir will receive shares of the company (shares are inheritable and transferable).
Succession to movable property is governed by the bearer’s domicile at the time of death.