Property Conveyancing Thailand

Property conveyancing is the legal process that takes place when lawful ownership is obtained of immovable property. Each time a property is sold, a new transfer deed must be drawn up and registered. This ensures the security and certainty of an owner's title to their property.

If you are trying to settle a property dispute, need help with litigation regarding a property, or want to take over a property, it is advised to hire a property lawyer to help you navigate the property conveyancing process. A lawyer will help you understand the terms and conditions of a contract as well as make sure the contract conditions are respected. Additionally, if a client is dealing with a problematic tenant or landlord, a lawyer can offer advice on how to resolve any issues.

The Civil And Commercial Code Of Thailand.

Before going into the property conveyancing process, it is worth mentioning the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCC). Because Thailand is a civil law country, the Thai Supreme Court opinions have a strong persuasive value as the source of all areas of Thai law, including real estate.

The Civil and Commercial Code is perhaps the single most crucial law when it comes to real estate sales in Thailand. Besides governing contracts, the CCC also creates ownership of immovable property and dictates its transfer. It also makes and controls the various rights that may be registered over immovable property, such as mortgage, lease, superficies, usufruct, charge, and servitude.

Employing The Services Of A Thai Property Lawyer.

The Conveyancer will be responsible for always protecting the interest of his client. Keeping the client up to date with the conveyancing process and informed of the progress of the transaction

Advice on the content of the Offer to Purchase and advise on the cancellation of his bond, any penalties, notice periods, and other administrative charges which may affect the settlement figure

Obtaining the client's instruction before issuing any guarantees regarding the transaction and registering the transaction on or as close as possible to the date agreed to in the offer to purchase.

Advise the seller on his obligations regarding the offer to purchase to ensure that the transfer is not delayed.

Explain and have the client sign the necessary documentation to conclude the transaction, including the deeds for lodgement to minimise the risk of rejection of the documentation by the Deeds Office.

Inform the client of the transfer on the day of registration and inform them of the finances relating to the transaction within two days after registration.

The Property Conveyancing Process.

The first thing a property lawyer is responsible for is doing an accurate property title search. This ensures that the potential purchase is legal and prevents fraudulent and illegal real estate transactions, leading to fines and or jail time. The lawyer must complete due diligence of the property.

Due diligence means that the lawyer must confirm that the sale of the property is legal. In that, the seller is allowed to sell the property before a purchase is made. This includes gathering information about the chosen property by physically inspecting the land, building permits, and any other relevant documents. The lawyer should also contact local courts to review any property buyer and seller records.

The next job of the property lawyer is to facilitate the transfer of the property title correctly, as errors may delay or even lead to the transaction being cancelled. Specifically, the lawyer will be supervising the following when transferring the title by ensuring all the required fees are paid to the Land Department. The taxes and transfer fees needed are paid directly to the Land Office in Thailand. Should the buyer not be able to do this in person, the lawyer can be authorised to do so by power of attorney.

The Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate.

When a foreign individual decides to purchase a property in Thailand, the funds usually come from a foreign source and not from within Thailand itself. One of the reasons for this is that the Thai government wants to increase the amount of foreign currency in the Kingdom. Due to this, there is a need for a Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate (FETC).

The FETC is precisely needed when the property will be transferred to and registered under the name of the foreign national.  This certificate provides proof that the funds required to purchase the property have come from abroad and that the foreign buyer is complying with the requirements for bringing funds into Thailand.

To be considered valid, the form must contain the amount in foreign currency, the amount converted to, and in Thai Baht, the names of the fund’s sender and receiver, the intended use of the transferred funds.

A summary of the process:

  1.       The buyer starts the process by informing the lawyer.
  2.       A draft of the sales agreement is drawn up.
  3.       Due diligence is carried out on the property, seller, and buyer.
  4.       Report back to the buyer.
  5.       The agreement between buyer and seller is signed.
  6.       The Foreign Exchange Certificate and money are obtained.
  7.       Conveyancing is now complete after payment and transfer.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, property conveyancing in Thailand is similar to the rest of the world. However, just like in the rest of the world, it can be tricky for those unfamiliar with it, especially if the buyer is not a Thai native. A Thai property lawyer will ensure that the client follows all the requirements laid out by the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand are carried out correctly, and everything is done in accordance with Thai law, including due diligence is conducted, drawing up sales contracts, and the transfers of foreign currency.  Keeping the client up to date and informed throughout the process. 

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