Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Risks of Buying A Condo In Thailand

There are many reasons why expatriates end up living in Thailand – be it placement by their companies, retirement, or simply feeling Thailand offers a better quality of life than their home country.

Buying a condo (apartment) in Thailand is an attractive option for many foreigners predominantly because there are less nationality restrictions with Thailand condominium laws than with land ownership.

Thailand real estate laws do not provide as many consumer protections as with most western jurisdictions. Thailand is very much a "Buyer Beware" jurisdiction. For example, in Thailand, real estate agents are not licensed and title insurance is not commonly used.

There are many skeletons of unfinished constructions in Bangkok. One of the most famous ones is on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, which was left unfurnished after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  

Stories about property fraud, scams and inequitable property agreements are more frequent. A few years ago on Koh Samui. Government investigations into land companies on the island revealed that thousands of plots of land had been illegally issued title deeds. Deeds for measurements of land exceeded the amount of land on the entire island, and encroachment and development of state-protected reserves was revealed.

Less dramatic cases of real estate misrepresentation and fraud can involve foreign clients discovering that their purchased property lacked promised (and paid for) amenities, including water pipes and sanitation systems. 

If you are thinking about buying “off plan” i.e. a condo that has not yet been built then again think very carefully. Although you are more likely to secure a better price, such purchases carry far greater risk

Therefore if you are looking to buy a condo in Thailand, you would be well advised to seek legal advice from a qualified Thailand real estate attorney. A thorough due diligence by a qualified attorney offers potential purchasers a good measure of protection from real estate fraud and misrepresentation.

Relevant Video:

Related Articles:
Thailand’s Condominium Bubble a Reality or MythThailand Real Estate Overview

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