Transfer of ownership of a condominium in Thailand

transfer-ownership-condo-thailand

The transfer of ownership is the last step of the buying/selling process of a property in Thailand. This is usually when the payment is done and this is the moment when the property will officially be registered under the name of the new owner. Although the process is pretty simple, straightforward and usually you will be assisted by your real estate agent (if any), it is by the way good to have in mind a few information prior to the transfer in order to be ready for d-day!

Where is the transfer of ownership done?

The transfer of ownership occurs at the Land Office (or Land Department). For larger cities, there are usually several land offices and the one in charge of your property will depend on the location of the property itself. For example:

In Bangkok, most properties located along Sukhumvit Road are taken care of by the Phra Khanong Land Office, while properties located north of Sukhumvit Road (Phetchaburi, Rama 0, Ratchadaphisek, etc.) will be taken care of by the Huay Kwang Land Office.

In Pattaya, most properties located in downtown Pattaya, Pratumnak, Jomtien, etc. will be taken care of by the Pattaya Land Office, while properties located more south (Na Jomtien, Bang Saray, etc.) will be taken care of by the Sattahip Land Office.

When does the transfer of ownership occur?

The transfer of ownership being the last step of the buying (or selling) process, it will therefore occur once all terms and conditions have been agreed on and the sale and purchase agreement (contract) has been signed. Usually, the sale and purchase agreement also binds the parties to prior arrangements such as the payment of a booking deposit for example. The transfer will therefore happen once all the prior arrangements have been fulfilled. It is also important to note that an expected date of transfer of ownership will be stated in the sale and purchase agreement (usually approximately a month after the booking deposit in order to give time to all parties to gather all the necessary documents or to prepare the payment of the property).

* Note: if the property is under construction (for example an off-plan residence bought from a developer), the transfer of ownership will only happen once the property has been completely built.

What documents are needed to proceed to the transfer of ownership?

In order to proceed to the transfer of ownership, it is necessary to prepare the following documents:

1. From the buyer’s side:

  • Original ID card or passport + signed copies (if the buyer is a Thai national, it will also be necessary to bring his/her original household registration as well as signed copies).
  • Full names and birth dates (in Thai) of the buyer’s parents in order to identify possible homonyms.
  • Cashier cheque for the full payment of the property (if not already paid).
  • Cashier cheque for the payment of the fees and taxes related to the transfer of ownership + complement in cash.
  • Foreigners are also required to bring their Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (document delivered by the bank and attesting the funds used to buy the property come from a foreign country – click here to learn more about the conditions for a foreigner to purchase a property in Thailand).
  • If the buyer cannot present himself/herself at the Land Office for the transfer of ownership, he/she can make a power of attorney in order for someone to represent him/her. This power of attorney needs to be certified by a lawyer (or a public notary or an embassy if the buyer is not in Thailand).

2. From the seller’s side:

  • Original ID card or passport + signed copies (if the seller is a Thai national, it will also be necessary to bring his/her original household registration as well as signed copies).
  • Full names and birth dates (in Thai) of the seller’s parents in order to identify possible homonyms.
  • Cashier cheque for the payment of the fees and taxes related to the transfer of ownership + complement in cash.
  • Original title deed of the property.
  • All keys and access cards to the property.
  • If the buyer is a foreigner, the foreign quota status and list of foreign owners in the residence (provided by the condominium’s juristic person).
  • A non-debt certificate for the property (provided by the condominium’s juristic person).
  • If the seller cannot present himself/herself at the Land Office for the transfer of ownership, he/she can make a power of attorney in order for someone to represent him/her. This power of attorney needs to be certified by a lawyer (or a public notary or an embassy if the seller is not in Thailand).

How do things work at the Land Office?

Although the process might slightly vary according to the Land Office you present yourself at, the usual process is as follow:

  1. Get a queue number and wait for your turn.
  2. Once you are called, present all the documents to the officer in order to check them.
  3. Once all documents have been checked and approved, pay the corresponding fees and taxes for the transfer of ownership (usually at a different counter).
  4. Once all taxes and fees are paid, present the receipt to the office who will then update the title deed with the new owner’s name.
  5. The property officially has a new owner.

The timeline to complete the process might vary according to the Land Office you present yourself at and of course according to how busy the place is but the whole process usually takes between one and two hours.

How much does it cost?

property-taxe-thailand

It is during the transfer of ownership that all taxes and fees have to be paid:

  • Transfer fees: 2% of the Land Department appraised value of the property.
  • Specific Business Tax*: 3.3% of the Land Department appraised value of the property or of the selling price (whichever is higher).
  • Stamp Duty**: 0.5% of the Land Department appraised value of the property.
  • Withholding Tax: 1% or more, depending on the evolution of the Land Department appraised value of the property and the length of ownership.

* The Specific Business Tax is only payable when the apartment is sold less than 5 years after having acquired it. It is not payable in the case of an inheritance, even if it occurs less than 5 years after the acquisition.

** The Stamp Duty is not payable if you have to pay the Specific Business Tax.

Click here to learn more about the property taxes in Thailand.

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