Thailand Real Estate & Conveyancing: The Legal Aspects of Owning Property in Thailand
Update: Foreign Inheritance of Foreign-Owned Condominium Units
Good news for foreign owners of Condominium Units in Thailand –
As observed in Pg. 5 of our previous write-up Condominium Foreign Purchase Guide titled “Inheritance of Condominium Units by Foreigners” the long-winded, cost incurring modus for the foreign inheritance of condominium units – particularly addressing inheritance by a foreign heir / inheritor / legatee from a foreign owner, the latter of which which had purchased the condominium unit, legally owning it by means of producing a Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate (“FET Cert.”) showing that the said purchase monies were remitted into Thailand in foreign currency and thereafter inheritance the practice of ‘re-purchasing’ by the foreign heir / inheritor / legatee – is no longer necessary.
Previously, failure to ‘re-purchase’, thereby reproduction of a new FET Cert. and paying reimposed taxes was often deemed to attract application of Section 19(7) of the Condominium Act which in effect mandated the disposal of the inherited property within 1 year.
Subject to official inquiries with regard to the matter – the Thai Department of Lands has now resolved this legal discrepancy by proper construction of the Civil & Commercial Code clarifying that the right to foreign legal ownership by way of producing a FET Cert. is also inherited by the foreign heir / inheritor / legatee – a second FET Cert. from the foreign heir / inheritor / legatee is therefore not necessary nor does Section 19(7) apply.
This is good news to foreign owners and future foreign owners of Condominium Units in Thailand that own or are to own the same by the FET Cert. exemption – able to rest assured that their foreign heirs / inheritors / legatees of their property will not be subject to the duplicated taxes, exchange rate fluctuations and other costs that would otherwise be incurred.
For more information on the foregoing, please contact the author JOEL LOO SEAN EE, the Bangkok-based Senior Regional Counsel at Kelvin Chia Thailand and a member of Kelvin Chia Partnership’s Regional Practice Group at Joel.Loo@KCPartnership.com.
This article is published to provide general information only and is not offered as specific advice on any particular matter – This information is to be taken subject to proper consultation with a lawyer.