The Thailand Condominium Act divides foreign heirs of condos in qualified and unqualified for ownership of the inherited condominium unit. Unless the foreign heir or legatee is qualified for ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act; any foreigner who acquires a condominium unit by inheritance in Thailand must dispose of the unit within one year of acquisition of the unit (section 19 septum Condominium Act). The fact of heirship, either under will or as a statutory heir, does not qualify the foreigner for registering of ownership at the Land Department. Under the Condominium Act the successors and assigns of a diseased foreign condominium owner must meet the same criteria as any other foreign purchaser (i.e. a foreigner must qualify under section 19 of the Condominium Act for ownership).
The following foreign natural or juristic persons are qualified to register ownership under section 19 of the Condominium Act:
(1) Aliens permitted to have residence in the Kingdom under the Immigration law;
(2) Aliens permitted to enter into the Kingdom under the investment promotion law;
(3) Juristic persons as provided in Section 97 and 98 of the Land Code and registered as juristic persons under Thai law;
(4) Juristic persons which are aliens under the Announcement of the National Executive Council No.281 dated November 24, B.E. 2515 and have obtained promotion certificate under investment promotion law;
(5) Aliens or juristic persons regarded by law as aliens who have brought in foreign currency into the Kingdom or withdraw money from Thai baht account of the person who have residence outside the Kingdom or withdraw money from a foreign currency account.
Only the above foreigners are eligible to register freehold ownership of a condominium unit in Thailand, as long as it remains within the 49% foreign ownership quota as specified in section 19 bis of the Condominium Act B.E.2522.
Generally foreign heirs are not eligible under section 19 of the Condominium Act and are required by law to dispose of the unit within 1 year of acquisition. It is not unusual for foreign heirs obtaining ownership of a condominium by inheritance to encounter problems having to deal with transferring ownership of the condominium at the Thailand Land Department or even selling the unit in time. Foreigners owning a condominium could prevent problems by planning succession of their unit in a Thai last will, and foreign heirs of a condo unit should obtain legal advice and assistance to have their rights and duties under the Thailand Condominium Act explained in an early stage of obtaining ownership of the unit by legal professionals familiar with condominium conveyancing procedures