To be exhaustive, the answer here would need exploring from different angles: that of a buyer, renter, developer, Real Estate Agent, just to name a few stakeholders that might be involved here.

Asking this question from the standpoint of an individual whose goal is to find a new home by either buying or renting such type of property is what we will be focusing on in this article though.

Up front, the main relevant difference here results from the legal structure that holds the property and the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

This would give the home searcher the possibility to either hold the unit under their name (freehold) or just lease it for the long term from the owner.

As the apartment building is held under one landlord (a single deed for the entire property), either physical or juristic person, the term “apartment” is given to a unit in a building that can only be rented or leased out to a tenant under a predefined contract. The utility bills get usually slightly higher as the owner of the building will add a premium on the utility bills. The advantage for the tenant is that the maintenance fee will be paid by the owner of the building and there is usually an available handyman ready to fix any issues that might arise in your rented unit.

Regarding ownership, the apartment unit cannot be purchased individually, only leased out for the specified long term (according to the local law: maximum 30 years).

However though, to make it interesting, an individual can purchase the whole building providing that the holding structure is that of a Thai individual or company. Once purchased, the apartment building can be turned into condominiums (normally by upgrading according to the Condominium Act) and eventually be sold individually if the new owner decides to. The vice versa is also plausible, where a single individual purchases the whole condo building and run it as an apartment building.

A condominium building (having multiple freehold title deeds for each unit) is where the individual owners hold the units under their own name plus a share in the common property, and pays the maintenance fee (charged by the square meter). Utility bills are usually lower (the bill based strictly on consumption and sent to the condo directly). The tenant renting the condo, might even have the chance to negotiate the monthly rental fee from the get go, leveraging the higher contract term (normally more than one year) or a higher portion of the total yearly rent paid up front.

At Shambhala Realty Co., Ltd we focus on building outstanding relationships with owners and developers so we can help you, our dear tenants and property buyers, take the best decisions. Our goal is to facilitate your understanding of the pros and cons, obtaining the best deal possible in every Real Estate transaction engaged.


About the Author:

Sorin Gligore has more than a decade of experience in Sales and Entrepreneurship in South East Asia, has completed BA studies in Journalism and Social Studies and a MBA in Hospitality, currently co-owning Shambhala Realty Co., Ltd. in Bangkok