Condominium ownership is soaring throughout Thailand as a glimpse through any newspaper classified section and billboards throughout the city attest. This is part of a series of articles examining the more important aspects of condominium law in Thailand from the perspective of local, expatriate and overseas purchasers.
To start we will look at exactly what a ”condominium” is.The definition of a condominium under Thailand’s Condominium Act 2008 is broadly consistent with the corresponding definition in many other countries: a building that can be divided into units for individual ownership and in which owners will have ownership of common property.
In effect, this describes an adjoined group of townhouses or flats in which the individual owners own their discrete unit outright and have a joint ownership interest in, and responsibility for the common property. There are no specific requirements regarding the number of units or the dimensions of the building or its units.
The Condominium Act includes in its list of common property the land on which the condominium is situated, the land provided for common benefit and the building and its parts that are provided for use or for common benefit.In layperson’s terms, this incorporates the underlying lands, the building’s superstructure, the hallways, the lifts and the stairwells, among other things.In up-market developments, common property may also include perks such as sheltered parking areas, landscaped gardens, a private playground, a pool and a gymnasium.
The joint ownership of common areas is a distinguishing feature of condominiums, as can be seen in the derivation of the word from the Latin words com together and dominium domain.The proportion of a co-owner’s ownership interest in the common property is based on the proportion of the area of the co-owner’s housing unit to the total area of all housing units of the condominium at the time the condominium is registered.
It is this ”joint ownership” of common property that is the key distinction between apartments and condominiums. Structurally, an apartment will be indistinguishable from a condominium, but legally it will not have been registered under the Condominium Act.
Therefore, foreigners will not be able to own freehold ie in perpetuity and owners will not own the common property or be able to participate in the management of the building. Owners of a condominium will get an ownership certificate issued by the Land Department certifying their ownership of their individual unit and their ownership ratio in respect of the common property.
In contrast, with an apartment in effect an unregistered condominium, the developer retains title to the building and all units within, and individuals lease their units for defined periods of time. It is the joint ownership and control of condominiums that are a common source of financial and legal difficulty for condominium owners. All owners are responsible for their share of common expenses irrespective of their ability to pay those expenses at the time. Usually these expenses will be covered by the monthly maintenance or ”condo” fee charged to condominium owners, but occasionally larger expenses may arise that result in the need to access funds from the condominium’s sinking fund or, where that is insufficient, directly from the owners.
Bangkok falls 19 places to 49th most expensive location worldwide
Locations reliant on international tourism have seen their rental markets hit especially hard during the pandemic, resulting in some major drops in the rankings. Bangkok has fallen 19 places to 49th, while Hanoi saw a similar drop of 12 places to 81st.
Is There a Silver lining amid COVID-19?
Thinking of the future impact of this pandemic on office buildings, it may have already dawned on many of us that a majority of potential long-term trends and health measures will become permanent work-life features in the times to come.
Can border reopening revive tourism in South-East Asia?
In Thailand, where pre-pandemic tourism accounted for 11-12% of GDP, the country lost an estimated $50bn last year as Covid-19...
Thailand dropped from UK’s tough covid-19 travel ‘red list’
Earlier, Thailand was listed among countries with high infection levels that were put on a ‘red list’, requiring arrivals to...
The ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Program
ASEAN and Russia recently agreed to enhance and widen economic cooperation at the 10th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-Russia Consultations held...
Flexible Workspace Startup Worklounge Debuts with 20+ Luxury Member Lounges in Thailand
Worklounge launches a premium membership granting remote professionals and executives access to exclusive hotel lounges across Thailand. Their platform is...
5 insights to guide ASEAN’s digital generation in a post-pandemic world
We surveyed 86,000 people from six ASEAN countries about their views for a post-pandemic world. The ASEAN Digital Generation Report...