Property Title Search
Before purchasing any property in Thailand, you should know the history of that property by doing the title search. This search is essential, as it does the following:
- Seeing if the seller is the actual owner of the property;
- Determining the original ownership (all land in Thailand goes back to royal ownership); and
- Seeing if the real estate has any encumbrances, liens, or mortgages attached to it.
Past problems about the property may surface if there are any, which prevent you from owning the property.
Property Claims in Thailand
Some paperwork will not permit that land can be leased or sold. However, certain allowances may be made for older claims. Certificates that relate to these kinds of claims include SK-1, NS-2, and Por Tor Bor 5 property certificates.
Title papers may be represented by NS-3, NS-3K, or NS-4 (Chanote) documentation as well. Of these types of deeds, the NS-4 deed is considered more reliable.
You may also find that the property is represented by a condominium title, also known as Or Cor 2. If you are from a foreign country, this is often the simplest way to buy property in Thailand – by purchasing a condominium.
The building of high-rise condominiums in the country have enabled Westerners to own property in Thailand – both for investment and living purposes. Remember – the title for the land for a condominium development is separate from the title for the condominium development. The title for the building typically is granted in the property developer’s name.
Revocation of a Title
The Land Department will revoke a title if the land is not claimed legally. This may take some time to discover. In this circumstance, the holder of the title, or the current owner of the land, will not receive any money for the property. That is why you need to have a title search performed. Doing so can prevent this type of discovery.
Property Due Diligence
Think of due diligence as an extra measure performed so that a property transaction can be made without problem.
Due diligence involves the following two main steps:
1. Performing an Inspection
An inspection of a construction project, for instance, may assist a developer in making sure the property boundaries are the same as the boundaries that are indicated on the deed’s title. This allows the purchaser to confirm that all the details on the deed of title.
2. Reviewing Property Permits
If you are building a new building, you will need to make sure you receive government authorization. Performing due diligence can help you in this respect. Doing so will help you make sure the project can proceed and that you will not run into any unforeseen problems. For example, performing due diligence or reviewing permits will ensure that the drainage is good and that the development can proceed.
Reviewing property permits also ensures that that the property will be built in accordance with the project plans and that the property’s IEE (Initial Environmental Examination) paperwork was filed and approved accordingly. This paperwork is submitted to the Office of Natural Resources and Environment.
Review of Sale and Purchase Agreement
The sales contract or sale and purchase agreement enable you to find out what you need to do to legally purchase real estate. You should always have a review made to ensure:
- That you understand the terms of the contract.
- That you can add any amendments that are not currently listed in the contract.
- That you establish the proper standards for developing a property.
- That you can proceed with building a building on the land you have purchased.
Make sure you always have an attorney review your contract for sale to make sure your rights are protected as a real estate owner.
Advantages of Reviewing a Sale and Purchase Agreement
When a sale and purchase agreement is reviewed, you can realize the following:
- That the contract is correct and that you will not have to pay any unanticipated fees or hidden charges.
- That you are protected financially and legally.
- That your deposits and related costs are properly managed. That way, you won’t run into problems with refunds if the title cannot be transferred.
After the sale contract is reviewed, your layer will notify you, as the seller, if amendments need to be made or provisions added. After the amendments are made and the provisions are included, you and your lawyer will go over the contract one final time.
Property Title Transfer
Generally, a buyer pays a transfer fee as well. You can always lower what you pay by negotiating these fees with the seller. Usually, the buyer must pay the following taxes:
- A business tax must be paid if the real estate is sold inside the initial five years of property ownership. This tax is currently around 3% of the real estate’s appraised worth.
- Transfer taxes in an amount of 2% of the property’s value.
- A stamp duty, levied at 0.5% of the registered value of the property.
It is recommended that you go over this section with a Thai property lawyer.
Why you always should contact an attorney when purchasing or selling a property
You should always rely on an attorney’s guidance when you are faced with any type of real estate transaction. A lawyer can be your representative and advocate. Use his or her services for transferring a title when you cannot appear at the land office yourself. You can also easily get the documents you need and pay the related administrative fees and taxes when you use legal services.
You should know where you stand legally when you buy or sell a property. A lawyer can help you with all the details.