Even as Thailand's popularity as a tourist destination has seen steady growth over recent years, the number of foreigners looking to invest in real estate has also gone up.
This is evident from the many new condominium projects being developed not only in and around Bangkok, but also in popular beach-front areas of Hua Hin and Phuket.
These developments promote high-quality lifestyle and affordable prices, which Thailand is able to provide. These factors are attractive to foreigners and, in turn, benefit the local economy.
On February 27, amendments to the Condominium Act (No 4) 2008 were issued to protect buyers of condominiums and to make the existing Condominium Act more efficient and up-to-date.
In the amendments to the Condominium Act, the rights of foreigners who are permitted to own condominium units in Thailand (up to 49 per cent of the aggregate unit space in a condominium building) are specified.
The amendments are designed to provide protection for the buyers. Developers must prepare agreements to sell and buy condominiums in a standard format prescribed by the Interior Ministry.
The amendments also say that the material used to advertise and promote the sale shall be deemed an integral part of the agreement to sell the condominium. The developer must keep copies of all advertisement-related material until all units in the condominium have been sold. This will ensure that the developer delivers as promised.
In addition to pre-purchase measures, the amendments also provide protection for buyers who have taken delivery of the unit. These include provisions regulating how the condominium juristic person operates and manages a condominium building and how the co-owners control and protect their rights in the units and the common property.
These amendments will be effective from 4 July 2008. The Nation