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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 17 November 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

17 November 2017

Transferring property title from one family member to another

Question 1:
I am trying to find out how much it will cost for my Thai Wife's sister to transfer the Title of their house into my wife's name. The house it located in Bangkok. Basically looking for any info on what it will cost do the paperwork and are there any other fees or taxes that will need to be paid in Thailand. My friend who is a realtor here in the USA, says it is a simple transaction here (in the USA) that will cost about $50 to do a "Quit Deed" ….so just trying to find out what a similar thing in Thailand will be. NO money is changing hands at all between my wife and her sister. If need be, do you have, or can you recommend a legal person who could make sure this transfer of Title is done legally and correctly?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
To change the owner of house between siblings. the following is needed;

1) Chanote of house
2) ID card of both
3) House registration book (blue book or tabian ban)
4) If married then the marriage certificate of both or divorce certificate or death certificate if the spouse has passed away
5) Letter of approval of the spouse of the sister who is transferring the house
Fees will be applied and include

  • Transfer Fee 2% over the appraised value of the property
  • Business Tax 3.3% over the registered (sale) value or appraised value (whichever is higher).

However, the Business tax 3.3% is exempt if the seller is a person and the property is transferred to a legal heir or heir in a will in an estate; and the seller has had the property for more than 5 years and it was the seller’s principle place of residence and the seller’s name is in the house papers for at least 1 year before the sale.

  • Stamp Duty 0.5% over the registered value; If the Business Tax needs to be paid then the Stamp Duty is exempt
  • Withholding tax; if the seller is a company withholding tax is fixed at 1% over the registered sale value or appraised value (whichever is higher). In this case since the seller is a private person the withholding tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraised value of the property

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist in the legal transfer of the title, as you can see – it is not as straightforward as the United States.

Short term rental concerns

Question 2:
As I am staying for 2 months plus , rather than stay at a hotel at tremendous cost I rented an apartment through the popular website and start up Air BNB. I rented one apartment in rachada for the first month and this being the second month I am staying in the an apartment in Sathorn. Everything has been great here so far. However, about two weeks into my stay, a notice appeared in the elevator that reads verbatim:

For Traveler Tourist Backpacker Day/week/Month Rental

This place is for residents only.


Day / week / Month Rentals are not allowed and illegal. If you are honestly Not familiar with Thai law, Please contact the Juristic person office. Travelers who do not report to the juristic person will be arrested by the police as trespassers and prosecuted to themaximum extent of the law.

NOTE: Residents who find or suspect people who might be day/week/month renters, Please report them to the juristic person office immediately." (SIC)

Now, I don't want to report myself , because if I get kicked out it is highly unlikely I will get my money back from the website. So I feel freaked out, I lay low, I don't want to use the pool and I try to wait till the juristic office is closed before even going out of the apartment. All the same, The guards all smile, salute me, and say sawadee krap, and I've had no issues or any negative attention for being here whatsoever from the staff or the Juristic person (whoever that is.)
So  what should I make of this? Could I really be put in jail for renting an apartment? I have my doubts but of course I'm not in Kansas anymore either. Interestingly enough the sign is only in English, if they were looking for snitches to report us, you would expect them to post it in Thai also. Is it possible this notice is just a show for insurance companies, the police, and cranky condo owners? Also could I get my money back somehow through the courts if I got booted before the time I've paid for is past? The land lady certainly represented that she had a clear and legal right to rent this apartment to me.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:

The reason the apartment would put out such a sign is because they have not got a hotel license which they need in order to rent out rooms for only a short period of time, since they have an apartment license they cannot let a short time tourist stay there. You will not be arrested for staying there but if there is a control by authorities then you will have to pay a fine and the management of the apartment could have serious problems. Staying at an apartment is only permissible if a lease of at least six months is signed and the resident has to be reported to immigration.

Filming in public spaces

Question 3: 
Recently I was in Bangkok on business after a long absence. At the end of my trip, I asked my expat colleagues that live in Bangkok why we hadn't gone to any gogos or gentlemen's clubs on this trip. I told that the proliferation of social media and people posting on common social media sites, and showing peoples' identities was now not a very good idea to attend these establishments. I concur. Having had fun in several of those establishments over the course of a decade and a half, and me and my colleagues never having more than a few beer in a fun environment, it struck me that being placed in such an establishment for the whole world to see is very risky behavior on several levels, regardless of the intent.  Can one expect any form of privacy in private businesses in Thailand?   Are these people filming in those establishments breaching any part of the civil or criminal code? What legal recourse can be sought against entities such as YouTube and the creators of such material should loss of income or other hardship be realised by the publication of a video placing someone at "time and place"?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
According to the Computer Criminal Act it is forbidden to publish content if it brings loss of reputation to the individual who is published and a criminal complaint can be filed and the video or photos can be asked to be removed. However, since bars are public space there is no law that prevents the person from taking photos or filming as this is considered as permissible unless the owner of the establishment does not allow it on his premises. 

Common fees due notice from condo juristic person

Question 4:
In November 2014 a condominium unit was transferred to a new owner. The usual declarations were made by the Juristic Person of the condominium that there were no debts associated with the room and the declaration was accepted by the Land Office and shown on the transfer papers.  About the same time a management company was appointed to run the Condominium.
Shortly after the room was transferred in 2014 the Juristic Person and an office worker were dismissed after money was found to be missing.   These people were ordered by a Thai Court to repay the money in instalments, but I understand that they have defaulted on the payments.

In January 2015 I signed a lease on the room, the lease does not specify who is responsible for paying the common fee.
I then started receiving debit notes to the effect that I owed the common fee that was due in 2012 - 2013.  The total demand, with interest, is now some 20,000 baht.
I have made representations to the management company and the committee, but the debit notes continue to be issued in my name.  The office manager has told me that ‘it is their accounting system and when the ‘borrowed’ money is repaid the debt will be cancelled’.

Please could Sunbelt Asia tell me who is legally responsible for payment of the 2012 – 2013 common fee under these circumstances.  If I am not responsible for the debt then what can I do to stop the debit notes being issued in my name?    Thanks.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
The tenant is usually not responsible for common fees that were incurred prior to the lease agreement. The common fees would normally be owed by the owner, but you would need to check your current lease agreement and check with the new owner as to his contract with the previous owner. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can review these documents for you and write a letter for the condo juristic person informing them to remove the debt notices.

Government officials are confident that the construction of the Thai - Chinese high speed railway between Bangkok and Nong Khai will begin next month as scheduled as the Environmental Impact Assessment report has already been completed and will be forwarded to the Cabinet this month for approval. Construction on the first leg between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima on the 3.5-km section of the railway between Klang Dong and Pang Asok stations in Nakhon Ratchasima is expected to begin by mid-December. Further portions will see designs submitted by the Chinese in the next six months. The second phase will link Nakhon Ratchasima with Nong Khai and bidding on those sections is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

The Department of Business Development (DBD) reported last week that 6,003 new companies were established in October, an 18 percent increase from the same period last year. Total registered capital for the month was 40 billion baht. The department attributes the growth to government stimulus and growth in the tourism industry, real estate sector and restaurant industry, which were the three sectors with the highest rates of registration in October. In total 61,615 new businesses registered so far this year, up 14 percent compared to the same period last year.

The government plans on beginning light rail projects in four key cities in Thailand next year; Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kaen, and Nakhon Ratchasima are all slated to start construction next year. The feasibility study has already been completed for Phuket; the system will link Tha Nun in Phang Nga province to Phuket airport and Phuket airport to the inner city covering 60 kilometers. The completed design will be submitted to the Transport Ministry this month. Chiang Mai University has also completed a design plan; one with three lines covering 35 km or a second option with three lines covering a little over 40km. The system will be both above and below ground and is scheduled to propose the development project for Transport Ministry approval this month before submitting it to the Commission for Management of Land Traffic. Khon Kaen has also completed a design for a system that will cover 22.6 km and Nakhon Ratchasima, which is undergoing the EIA, has yet to be submitted.

Qatar Airlines is expanding in Thailand with new direct routes to Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Krabi planned for January 2018 and December 2017 respectively. The airline will begin flights to Chiang Mai four times a week starting December 12 and is the first five-star Middle Eastern airline to start flights to Pattaya. The airline is also starting daily flights to Krabi starting December 1. The airline plans on offering four flights a week from Doha to U-Tapao International Airport starting January 28, 2018. The airline hopes to tap into the huge Russian and Ukrainian markets that visit the beach resort town. The airline currently operates 35 flights a week to Bangkok and 14 flights a week to Phuket. Bangkok Air has strengthened its partnership with the airline by pairing their frequent flyer mileage programs. The tie -up, which started November 1, allows Bangkok Airways' Flyer Bonus members to earn points when travelling on Qatar Airways flights and Qatar Airways' Qmiles members can earn and redeem their miles when travelling on Bangkok Airways operated flights.

Business news on Sunbelt Asia

Special Sunrise Tacos offer for holiday dinners

For our guests in Bangkok who would like us to prepare your hot turkey dinner we offer several packages with traditional sides and fruit pies so that you can dine at home with family and friends in Bangkok.

Call 089-887-8130 or email to [email protected]

Special offer on serviced offices extended through November!!

We are offering two types of serviced offices available at a special promotional deal

Office with space for two staff at 9,500 baht a month
Office with space for three staff at 11,000 baht a month
Happy anniversary from all of us at Sunbelt Asia!!

A "Thank you" gift for our clients new and old!

Sunbelt Asia has been offering our excellent service to our clients for 15 years! As our 15th anniversary gift we would like to offer our professional services on retirement and marriage visa extensions at the very special reduced rate of 7,500 baht as a thank you to our clients new and old for their support over the years.


Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can handle all your legal and business needs; from visas to work permits, prenuptial agreements to divorces, condo purchases and wills.

Be sure and contact our English speaking legal advisors for all your legal needs


We at Sunbelt Asia see many of our clients regularly ask us legal questions regarding living and running a business in Thailand. To help out we have set up a FREE Expert Answers for Your Questions in Thailand Facebook page; Sunbelt Asia Facebook Expert Advice Page


Serviced Offices for all your business needs

Sunbelt Asia is offering first class Serviced Offices in a prestigious office building in a prime location starting at 10,000 Baht. The first month is free for a six month contract! 

  • Telephone answering service (using your company name)
  • Reception/Receptionist
  • Secretarial assistance
  • Internet Connection (Broadband Internet available at certain locations)
  • Personal Computers (extra cost)
  • Free WiFi
  • Interview rooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Catering
  • Complimentary water and European coffee
  • Paperwork for you to register your address - We know the process so no need to wait 2-3 weeks for it to be processed.

Have your own three to twelve month office priced between 10,000 baht and 20,000 baht per month. The location of your new office in Bangkok is prime as it is connected to the Rama 9 Mrt Station. First month free on a six month contract! Two month deposit required.

Please contact Khun Ron at 02 - 642 02 13 or email [email protected]

Please feel free to contact us if you are in Thailand on +662-642-0213 to discuss any of these listings.


Fitness studio in great central business area

This busy fitness studio offers Pilates, yoga fly, Zumba dance, and a boxing studio in the heart of Bangkok. Surrounded by condos, office buildings in the heart of the central business district the studio has 130 active members and was established in 2015.

Rent on the 285 sqm space is 179,550 baht a month and there are four full-time and two part-time employees with a total monthly payroll of 84,200 baht including commissions. Sales last year reached 6.5 million baht. There are 7 Pilates Reformer machines, twelve Yoga Fly stations, and a room for boxing and Zumba.

The owner is selling as this is not their area of expertise and is looking to sell it to someone who understands the business and is interested in coming in to an already thriving studio with a great location and strong customer base.

ASKING PRICE: 3 million baht (BKK15800)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Beautiful Thonglor day spa

Near the popular Thonglor neighborhood, this stunning modern day spa has been in business since 2013. The spa has four VIP rooms with a shower in each room, and four Thai massage beds and three foot massage chairs. Well reviewed on Trip Advisor and featured in a popular online magazine, this full featured spa also offers Swedish massages and aromatherapy treatments as well as body scrubs and facial treatments.

Rent on this gorgeous space is 100,000 baht on a 3 +2 year lease. There are eight staff with a total monthly payroll of 80,000 baht. Sales last year reached 2.8 million baht and broke even, with an active busy owner this business can easily grow.

The owner is selling as he is starting a new business.

ASKING PRICE: 2.5 million baht (BKK15727)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Craft beer bar in great location surrounded by condos and offices

This popular craft beer bar was established in 2015 and has earned many good reviews and press coverage for its selection and cool atmosphere. Located in the Sathorn area, the bar is surrounded by condos and offices in a busy expat neighborhood.

The 70 sqm bar seats 50 with a monthly rent of 30,000 baht on a 3 year lease. There are three full time staff and one part -time with a total monthly payroll of 32,000 baht. The business is open 6 days a week from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. and last year earned a net profit of 245,000 baht on 1.9 million in sales.

The owner has another business that takes up his time and so is looking to sell this one.

ASKING PRICE: 1.5 million baht (BKK15794)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Old city Chiang Mai guesthouse near Sunday Walking Street Market

Located in the heart of the old city in Chiang Mai, this charming guesthouse is walking distance from all major old city attractions including the Sunday Walking Street Market and the many beautiful temples found in the old city. Chiang Mai continues to see tourism grow and this guesthouse has taken advantage of that growth. The guesthouse has contracts with all the major booking agencies and has earned five star reviews on Trip Advisor and Airbnb for its friendly staff, comfortable rooms, charming décor and central location.

The business was established in 2011 and has 560 sqm over four floors. Land with a chanote title is included in the sale, a rarity in this location. Each room is a large suite type room with minibar, en-suite, air conditioning and free WiFi throughout.

The business has six full time staff with a total monthly payroll of 60,000 baht. The guesthouse and restaurant saw total sales reach 4 million baht in 2016 with a net profit of 2.7 million baht.

The owners are relocating and so are selling the business, the building and the land.

ASKING PRICE: 18 million baht (BKK15758)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Turnkey construction business in Rayong

This construction contracting business offers services across the board including metal fabrication, insulation, construction and manpower. The company has been in business since 1997 and has earned a good reputation for quality work and has many large companies as customers including those in the gas, oil and chemical fields. This is a good business for someone looking for a turn key business that has a steady stream of customers.

The business is well-run and has 40 experienced full time employees with a total monthly payroll of 900,000 baht. Sales last year reached 50 million baht and net profit is around 10 percent. The company is established in the busy area of Rayong and the 10 rai of land the business is on is included in the sale. The land is market valued at 15 million baht.

The owner is moving back to his home country and so is looking to sell this well-established ongoing business.

ASKING PRICE: 33 million baht (BKK15703)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

High end furniture factory, showroom, & design center in Pattaya

Located in Pattaya, this high end furniture factory offers not just top quality fine furniture but also full service interior design for residential and commercial projects. The company has earned a reputation for attention to detail, unique and interesting design solutions and high quality products. Offering a wide variety furniture, including stand alone and built-ins, the company has a full - service interior design solution for its customers.

The business has a 600 sqm showroom in a busy Pattaya area and a 2500 sqm factory on the outskirts. The company owns the land and showroom in town. There are 45 employees and the monthly payroll of 1 million baht includes the owner's salary. The business is open 6 days a week.

Sales last year reached 50.8 million baht and net profit over 2.6 million baht. The owners have spent a great deal reinvesting in the business including property to continue its growth.

The sale price includes the company with showroom, factory and land

ASKING PRICE: 60 million baht (BKK15797)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Pattaya hotel in busy area

This modern hotel is very close to Walking Street in Pattaya and has a high occupancy rate and good reviews from guests. The hotel is almost always full and has attracted a strong Middle Eastern clientele.

There is a total of 18 rooms in the hotel, and there are a variety of rooms, all well-equipped and roomy. The hotel also has a coffee shop for guests and outside customers.

The hotel has a good income each month, taking in 300,000 baht every month regularly. There are 4 staff with a total monthly payroll of 50,000 baht.

The owner is offering two options; lease the operation with key money of 3.5 million for 3+3 years and rent 100,000 baht per month or purchase the property for 25 million baht.

ASKING PRICE: 25 million baht or 100,000 baht a month plus 3.5 million key money (BKK15785)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Exclusive beach resort on Samui Island

Have you always wanted to live the life in paradise? Now is your chance! This exclusive luxury resort has direct access to the beach on the peaceful and idyllic west coast of Koh Samui. Samui has developed a reputation for top luxury resorts that attract people from around the world.

Established in 2008, the resort has two villas and four apartments, a pool and a large private home, guest villa and gym. The total land area is 3200 sqm fronting the beach with a full chanote title for the new owner.

The villas are large, at 118 sqm each, while the four apartments are 32 sqm each. The private mansion is an enormous 760 sqm while the guest villa is 75 sqm. There is a fully fitted 75 sqm gym as well.

Sales last year reached 3.8 million baht and there are four full time employees. The valuation of this project has been set at 195 million baht but the owners are keen to move off island for their children's education so are selling it at a must buy price of 150 million baht.

ASKING PRICE: 150 million baht (BKK15798)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Sunrise Tacos Franchise

Interested in joining the most successful and popular Mexican restaurant franchise in Thailand? Sunrise Tacos is seeking qualified franchisees to join us in our commitment to quality and healthy, delicious food. Are you experienced in hospitality or business management but want to strike out on your own? Sunrise Tacos is seeking franchisees fully committed to the Sunrise Tacos way; with a hands on approach to running the business and experience in hospitality or business management. The leadership at Sunrise Tacos prides itself on maintaining a close and personal relationship with each of our franchisees and looks at franchising as a long-term business partnership. We are committed to our franchise partners and helping them grow.

With the opening of the ASEAN Economjic Community at the end of this year we at Sunrise Tacos see the potential for growth in the region. If you want to be a part of that potential let us know! We already have a branch in Phnom Penh and have added more around Thailand, including our new franchise in Chiang Mai, and are seeking committed, enthusiastic business minded people to join us. Contact [email protected] for more information.

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