When You Can’t Get It Up
On another deathly quiet night in Bradman’s on soi 23, an Irishman delighted in telling all who cared to listen – as well as those who didn’t – his story about “gun control”. He had, he was very pleased to advise, regained control of his gun. As soon as he saw his target his gun would fire. Premature ejaculation. Said Irishman had travelled half way around the world from Dublin to Bangkok to engage the services of a renowned hypnotherapist who specialises in helping those with such issues. He wouldn’t shut up and regaled us with tales of how he had made use of the local resources, namely nearby Soi Cowboy, to confirm that his gun was now working how it should. The Irishman had sought help from Bangkok-based clinical hypnotherapist Dr. John Krukowski. I’ve known the good doctor for some time and thought it about time we had a chat about men’s issues.
I have long maintained that Bangkok is full of troubled Western men. You must have seen more than your fair share of such men over the years.
I have seen both men and women that qualify for that. <Silence follows as I wait for more details…>
Oh, I was hoping you’d tell me about some messed up people.
Thailand has people with problems that cover the entire spectrum from personal issues to stress management to addictions, right on down the line.
So how long have you been doing this? I mean how long have you been helping people with, umm, err, problems in Bangkok?
I opened my practice in Bangkok in 2005 but I had an existing practice in the United States before I came here.
I came to Thailand for a holiday, but was invited to help teach some Thai doctors. I first arrived late July of 2004 and opened my practice at the end of March, 2005.
Initially, I took a teaching job to acclimate to Thai culture to make sure I was on the right wavelength when working with Thai people.
So do you get many Thais coming to you for help now? Or are your clients mainly Westerners?
My clients are English-speaking, Westerners and Asians. My Thai is not good enough for me to be comfortable doing therapy in Thai. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Korea, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, draw a large circle and I get them all. Even the Middle East is part of that circle. There aren’t a whole lot of people in this part of the world that do what I do.
So as I understand it, you specialise in relationship issues, sexual issues and pain management. The one I most want to talk about is sexual issues. So what you can tell me about that?
Being located in Thailand, and Thailand having a certain reputation, I tend to get a lot of people coming to me who suffer from either erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
There are other issues, and of course some women come to me with other issues as well.
So between being unable to get it up and firing fast, which is more common?
It is a 50 : 50 split between erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
For women, it is much more complex and can involve trauma, difficult upbringing and other issues and can be quite complex. But I think you want to stick with the men’s side.
So which of these men’s issues can you help men overcome?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by two things. Something going on in your head, or physical damage caused by other things.
I can help with what’s going on in your head but as far as physical damage goes, like damage from smoking and problems along those lines then you will need the help of a urologist or other specialist.
If 90% of the problem is in your head then you can expect to see a 90% improvement, and so on. People know how much they have abused their body. If you’re a smoker, you’ve traded off your lady’s butt for a cigarette butt. And unfortunately I cannot help people who have physical damage. Even the intensity of an orgasm is reduced for smokers so it’s not just a problem getting it up.
OK, so what about premature ejaculation? What percentage of that is in someone’s head?
In the case of premature ejaculation, that is 100% in the head as it all comes down to self-control.
But you can help people with problems in their head?
Absolutely. Hypnosis works in the subconscious mind and that makes up 95% of the mind. Our conscious mind only makes up 5% and that is why hypnosis is so powerful in correcting problems not only of a sexual nature but most everything that we have managed to put some sort of a wall in our way.
So you can help people who have issues in their mind to get it up, right?
That’s correct. It really all comes down to your mind sending the wrong signals to your body. If you anticipate failure, you’ll create anxiety which causes failure. That becomes a vicious circle that feeds on itself and it is all based in the subconscious mind.
This is what I call nature’s safety valve. As sex is all about procreation, nature doesn’t allow more mouths to feed if the environment is too stressful. Men will notice a reduced sexual desire when there is a lot of stress and anxiety. Women may even stop their menstrual cycle if there is too much stress. This is all about survival of the species.
I know some older men often have problems getting it up and sometimes that might be due to physical issues and sometimes mental issues. What about younger guys, say under 35. Do many of them have issues in their mind causing them to be unable to get it up?
I have had men as young as 18 come to me with erectile dysfunction issues. At that age it is almost certainly a mental issue.
OK, so we’ve talked about erectile dysfunction, what about premature ejaculation? Is that also an issue in the mind or are there other reasons for it?
Your mind, your brain, that is your primary sexual organ. It sends signals to the rest of your body, not only to what is between your legs but to everywhere. And when you understand that it is all about control for premature ejaculation you begin to understand how pain management flows in to this. As a hypnotherapist I can increase or decrease any sensation. Premature ejaculation is 100% in your head.
Take for example someone who is trying to take care of premature ejaculation by using numbing cream or perhaps wearing more than one condom. Your mind will eventually override the reduction in sensitivity and it will still be too sensitive. So even though you understand that sensitivity and sexual arousal contribute to premature ejaculation and it all makes perfect sense, the ability to control that is in the subconscious mind.
OK, so tell me about hypnotherapy. I mean, as I understand it some people can be hypnotized and some can’t. How can you tell who can be and can’t be hypnotized?
There are two groups of people who cannot be hypnotized.
The first group is young children because they do not have the attention span.
The other is people with a very low IQ, such as below 70.
So everyone else can be hypnotized?
Yes, absolutely! Everybody can resist hypnosis which is a different thing. Believing in hypnosis is not a requirement to being hypnotized.
The only prerequisite with working with those who suffer erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation is that you have to be sexually active.
Some would say this is all quackery!
Hypnotherapy is now being accepted by the mainstream and is being practiced in top hospitals in the West, not only for sexual issues but for a variety of things.
How effective is hypnotherapy in the case of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation?
Excluding physical problems it is 100% effective. Usually I have a six-session program which is a total of 7.5 hours. I have to look at the cause to end the effect. So if you are bringing the problems of the world that are running through your head in to the bed, you are going to have problems in the bed. Unplugging from the world when having sex is actually part of the therapy.
So that means you have to get to know someone before you can work with them?
I send out a very detailed intake form with questions that provides about 90% of what I need to know. It covers from when the problem started, whether it was a sudden onset, any changes going on in someone’s life and it provides an overall profile of what’s going on with an individual. The rest I find out in the first session in what I call a discovery session.
So what is the success rate in these cases?
If the person is interested and curious about hypnotherapy and how it works, that is the equivalent of standing next to your car, looking under the hood at the engine and not driving down the road to where you need to go. People who microanalyse need to get over that before hypnosis is going to work with them. They are more than welcome to figure it out after it has all been done.
Not so long ago, I met with management at the BigHeClinic which is just up the road from here. They do penis enlargement procedures and they talked about the period in which the effects would be felt. What’s the story with hypnosis? Is someone cured forever or do people, for want of a better word, relapse?
It’s all about understanding control and being able to tap into your subconscious mind to implement it. That is really all it comes down to. If you can maintain control and understanding then it is permanent.
So there is hope for guys who can’t get it up or who fire too soon and who don’t wish to use drugs or anything like that?
I am a layman here, but I do know that bad general health can cause problems when it comes to sexual performance. Whenever I see a big guy with a young hottie in Thailand – especially big, older guys – I wonder how he can manage to satisfy her. How can you determine if he has a physical or mental problem, or both?
Checking for erections during sleep is one way to know if it is physical and there are some quick and easy do it yourself methods to do that.
What can’t be done using hypnotherapy? Can you make people do things they ordinarily would not do?
I guess the answer is that hypnosis cannot get you to do things you don’t want to do. But it can help you to do things you want to do but might be resistant of, or fearful to do. For example, people who want to give up smoking may try hypnosis. The reason for that is it is the mental addiction which brings people back. The physical addiction to smoking goes away after 100 hours once the nicotine has left your body and it is the mental addiction that brings people back. The mental addiction is rooted in the subconscious mind which hypnosis can help with.
What about other methods to deal with men’s issues? For those who can’t get it up, what about Viagra, or testosterone treatment or even more drastic solutions like penal implants? Do they work?
If it’s a mental issue caused by anxiety and stress, Viagra might become a placebo rather than having actual effectiveness because they believe it will give them an erection when there is no physical need for Viagra to begin with. So that itself is the power of suggestion. For men who do need Viagra, such as smokers, that is best discussed with their doctor as that is a physical thing that I don’t get in to.
What is the cost of hypnotherapy?
I charge by the hour. It is 3,000 baht + VAT. Multiply that by 7 and a half and that is what it costs. The therapy for male sexual issues last 6 weeks so the cost is broken down over that time.
You charge VAT? You don’t add a service charge on as well, do you, like these darn restaurants that add ++ to the bill?!
Thailand has a lot of people who are not on the up and up and a lot of people who say they have a given skillset which they may not. That includes counselors, hypnotherapists or whatever. So one sure way of knowing if they’re on the up and up is make sure they have a proper company based in Thailand, a work permit and pay VAT.
What I do is a specialty and most hypnotherapists do not offer it. To be a hypnotherapist you have to master 8 different techniques, one of which is smoking cessation. Beyond that there are specialties.
A clinical hypnotherapist deals primarily with mental health issues. So any issue you may want to see a psychologist for you could also see a clinical hypnotherapist. Issues like smoking are not tied to mental health so seeing a hypnotherapist would be fine.
You’ve long been a strong no smoking campaigner. Do you still help people to stop smoking?
Yes, but not as much as before because the percentage of smokers globally is decreasing. There are countries where smoking rates are higher but generally they’re heading down. Much of that is because smoking is now socially unacceptable and that impacts their lives in a negative way far beyond health issues.
OK, some people are not going to be sure if they need your help or not. How do they know and do they have to pay 3000 baht + VAT only to find out that you can’t help?
I offer free consultations that can be done by phone or Skype and I can help people understand their personal issues. That way they can make an educated decision by talking to a credentialed professional and not just be reading stuff on a website.
John Krukowski is a Bangkok-based clinical hypnotherapist who treats sexual issues. He can also help with a range of other issues. For more details, you can contact him at his website.
Where Was This Photo Taken?
Last week’s photo was kind of tricky, even if it was a part of Bangkok many readers are familiar with. It was taken behind Soi Cowboy. Over the course of the week several clever readers got it right.
Stick’s Inbox (The best emails from the past week.)
Money is not optional.
It is scary reading emails from people just scraping by. You can’t live endlessly in Thailand on tourist visas anymore and I think most other visas have a financial requirement. Therefore these guys most likely have overstayed their visas. As bad as their lives are now, things would get so much worse for them if they are caught!
Paying someone to do nothing makes no sense.
I’ve never understood guys paying money to a bargirl every month while they are in their home country. Some guys do enjoy a particular bargirl they meet and hire her as a guide for the week or whatever. Not my style, but understandable. Of course the lady is compensated for their time and services rendered. But why pay for services not-rendered? The gal IS going to work in your absence, why wouldn’t she? As for compensation: does your boss pay you to not-work?
Escape from the Nana Hotel!
The photos in the column of the Nana Hotel make me think it is part of a gradual renewal. They did renovations on one floor just three years ago. Surely not again. They go floor by floor. Year by year. They actually have a furniture shop in the underground parking area where everything is built on-site. I typically run the outside fire escape stairs for exercise. East side, facing soi 4. Prop the door open with a bottle cap. As luck would have it, one evening hall security locked me out. I banged on the door of every floor, hoping to get the attention of a maid. No dice. The landing at the 4th floor allows one to jump on to the roof of the adjacent building, housing a bar I cannot remember the name of. 3rd floor landing peers in to the bar changing room, but nobody there. 2nd floor landing is a dead-end, unless the door to floor two is ajar. But one can see that there is a drop down in to the darkened mechanical room, no ladder provided. And so I did hang down from the landing from a cable tray. And dropped on to the floor. Distance unknown at the time. Rolled and got up. No injury. Thus ended my 007 escapade. Yes, there is an obvious solution: carry a cell phone. But I did not. I subsequently checked the fire escape at the west end of the building. It ends at the laundry room, where one finds a gas-fired dryer with open flames exiting the top of the unit. We may conclude, in case of fire, use the center stairs if possible.
The Mad Professor’s masterpiece.
Perhaps the professor’s most prolific canvas is the sidewalk on Petchaburi Road, 100 metres west of Petchaburi MRT, on the south side of the road. Stretches of the sidewalk (40 or so metres) are freshly filled with his diagrams sometimes daily, some 3 – 4 metres in length. He continues at least every few days it seems. It is between Villa Asoke condominium and Q House condo. I had no idea this was occurring elsewhere until I read your column. About a month ago it first occurred here, and in fact it was in broad daylight – an early weekend morning – that I saw him scribbling his first ever diagram on the sidewalks here. He is a slim Asian, 50-60ish, hippie-looking with long hair with a few grey strands, goatee / facial hair and blue jean jacket. He was scribbling from either notes or a diagram in a small notebook he possessed, and was keenly focused on drawing, paying no attention to anything or anyone around him. His drawings are quite prolific and extensive on this stretch of sidewalk.
Bangkok bar musings.
Some musings from a very recent trip to Bangkok. I am baffled as to why anyone would indulge in the Nana and Soi Cowboy gogo bars anymore. Overpriced, underserved and with the UV lights it is impossible to have a proper look at the ‘goods’. Any time I use the toilet, the acne, baby scars and make-up is visible and off the scale. Fun for an hour or so but ultimately an expensive, underwhelming experience which even after a 7-month absence does little to stir the loins. The Thermae is having a major resurgence and I can’t fault the place for a cheap naughty. If you want a quick hookup then this is the place to go. Despite what some say. I’d hazard a guess and suggest most ladies are available if you are a farang and look acceptable. If I was to give any advice to a newbie this would be the place to go. For 2.5K baht and with 50-100 girls available you can’t really go wrong. Overall, this trip was another underwhelming experience. It was my first trip to Bangkok in over half a year but it did little to excite me and frankly I couldn’t wait to leave. I am not a prolific monger, far from it, but even as a normal holiday destination the city is becoming too sanitised and expensive. Next trip to Thailand I think I’ll check out the North-East.
Nothing is forever.
I was last in Phuket 18 months ago and I will never go back unless there is major change. It is dirty, full of scams, overpriced and violent. Koh Samui is still a very attractive destination. These days I travel to Seminyak, Bali, 3 times a year and it is much better. I never would have traveled to Bali a decade ago but with all the awesome resorts and beach clubs I can’t get enough of Bali. Cocoon, Finns, Ku De Tah, Double 6, W, Waves, Potato head, Rock Bar, Miss Cippy etc. Now I hear more and more Australians say they will never go to Phuket again. My girlfriend who works in the travel industry was in a sales rep meeting on Monday and called me as soon as she got out. She told me that everybody agreed that Phuket is dirty and overpriced. Most of the travel industry staff at that meeting were women. I remember a time back in the 1980s before Phuket was even on the map. Back then travel agencies were promoting Pattaya! Then the word got out that Pattaya was a sex tourist destination and by 1992 Pattaya was no longer being advertised. Travel agents don’t advertise Samui because there aren’t any direct flights from Australia, so they advertise Phuket. But I reckon that Phuket advertising will start to disappear. The only people Phuket appeals to is sex tourists who are bored with Pattaya and the Chinese budget package tours who don’t know the difference. Not everything stays on top forever. Thai tourist numbers may be increasing year on year but the numbers do not tell the full story.
Girl Of The Week
Vanessa from LadyboysBangkok.com
Are you shy…or is it time to try?!
Excerpts about the evil – some prefer the word vile – Arab used to be a regular feature of this column but in recent years less has been said about him. So I guess it’s about time that we resumed needling the evil bar baron who controls 7 bars in Soi Cowboy, 7 too many. The word is that the girls in The Arab’s bars are instructed to ask punters to buy them not one lady drink but two – a Tequila and a Coke. And what will those two drinks set said punter back? 500 baht! How on earth have The Arab’s bars managed to stay in business? Washing machines come to mind.
Single-shophouse Cactus has long had a following amongst expats who enjoy visiting Soi Cowboy and unlike most bars it wasn’t the girls that were the draw. For some it was the music and for others it was catching up with owner / manager John. Many enjoyed chewing the fat with John, a conversation which would never be dull. Frankly, John (and John’s cooking) aside, there weren’t many other reasons to stop by Cactus – and now that John is no longer there, Cactus feels much like Goldfinger in Patpong 1 did without Randy. And look how long Goldfinger lasted after Randy left. (Basically, it didn’t.) Oh, there was another reason why some enjoyed stopping by Cactus – under John it was cigar-smoker-friendly. That’s no longer the case.
Popular Thai manager Tanya has returned to Nana Plaza and can be found at Butterflies after a stint at Suzy Wong in Cowboy. A fluent English speaker and with the understanding of Western culture that comes with such a command of the language, Tanya’s services are sought after by bar bosses.
Hooters on Soi Nana is full of Flips, which has made it something of a curiosity. Can the owners not find a few dozen sexy, buxom Thais? OK, so Filipinos are known for a body shape that is perhaps more fitting with the Hooters concept than the often shapeless Thais, and their English is light years ahead of the Thais, and they are more engaging, so perhaps it should not be such a curiosity after all and the recruitment manager should be given a pat on the back. What I find curious is that the Soi Nana branch of Hooters has so many Filipinos but the original Bangkok branch of Hooters on Sukhumvit soi 15 is mainly staffed by Thais.
The Honey Hotel on Sukhumvit soi 19 has been a favourite for many for a long time and when it was reported recently that the Honey would be closing in September, some felt like they would be losing an old friend. There has been an about turn and the Honey will continue for the time being. Strong rumours have it that the Honey will not close in September and an announcement will be made about the hotel’s future at the end of December.
Another Sukhumvit spot that had a following was the old Jools Bar on Soi Nana. Jools closed a while ago and has just reopened as…..a branch of 7 Eleven.
Does anywhere on Sukhumvit get more rumours about its future than the Biergarten? No-one seems to know for sure what is going to happen to the Biergarten on Sukhumvit soi 7 and all that can be said is that it is very much business as usual for now.
Down the road in Sin City, long running Walking Street gogo Living Dolls One closed its doors this week. It had been on the market for some time at 11 million baht, a figure that would have been a good deal not that long ago but with the bar business the way it is these days, no-one in their right mind would pay that.
Still in Pattaya, Babydolls has started a new promotion on Chang, Tiger, Leo and Singha with 4 bottles for 250 baht from 8:00 – 10:00 PM.
There’s more banging and drilling going on at the Nana Hotel than usual with floors 6 to 9 currently being renovated. Two readers have commented that it is very noisy from 8 AM onwards and the suggestion is that anyone who wishes to stay at the Nana Hotel at this time request a room well away from the renovations.
On the subject of hotels near Nana Plaza, don’t discount the idea of staying in the Ploenchit or even Wireless Road / embassy district area which is a very short walk from Soi Nana and the nightlife. There are a lot of hotels in the area and it’s no further from Soi Nana than say soi 11.
And still on the subject of places to stay, Khao San Road is Bangkok’s best known area for backpackers but it is far from the only choice for those looking for budget accommodation. The original backpacker area is Soi Ngamduplee and Soi Sribumphen, where the Malaysia Hotel used to be very popular. 5 years ago I would have described the area as charmless and the only reasons to go there were Wong’s Bar or the excellent and inexpensive Lido Italian restaurant, but the area is up and coming and worth checking out for the variety of small bars and eateries. A very good choice for those who want cheap digs but be close to shopping is Soi Kasemsan 1, right next to the National Stadium BTS station. You can walk to MBK and Siam Square in a couple of minutes. And now it looks like Bangkok could have a new budget hotel area. A number of inexpensive hotels / hostels have set up along Phyathai Road, very close to the Phyathai BTS station. This part of town would be convenient for anyone coming from the airport – it’s just a 45 baht airport link train ride direct from the airport – and in the area you can get a bed for 400 baht – a bargain for central Bangkok.
A year or two back there was conjecture that Bangkok’s much loved cinema, Scala, in Siam Square, could be for the chopping block. That has not happened and the hope is that the plans have been scuttled. A new screen has been installed and gorgeous glass exterior windows have been added. The beautiful lobby has not been touched. If you like the movies and have never been to Scala, it is well worth dropping by. This is not merely a cinema, but a movie house in the true sense of the term. Scala screens all of the latest Hollywood hits and tickets are a ridiculously cheap 100 / 120 baht. Scala has not reverted to a venue where only art house movies are shown, nor has it been converted in to a theatre for live shows as has happened to many of the great movie houses in other parts of the world.
Are Thais to the human world what beagles are to the dog world? I ask this question because Thais appear to have a much more sensitive nose than we farangs. Thais are very sensitive to smell and are not shy to comment, for example, on the smell of people of certain nationalities. And neither are the Thais shy to comment on food from certain parts of the world, the smell of which they find not just offensive but which seems to actually affect them physically. What really made me think about Thais’ noses and their sense of smell was something the other half said to me the other day. On the news earlier that day the local city council had said they would be putting something in the local water supply to treat something or other. The water would still be perfectly safe to drink from the tap and there was no need to boil it – but the taste might be a little different. I forgot about it until that evening when the other half showered and came out saying that the water smelled different. I could not detect any difference whatsoever while she was insistent that it was different. Could it be possible that Thais have a much greater sense of smell than Caucasians?
Reader’s story of the week comes from Steve Rosse, “For Pui – With Love And Squalor“.
The Thai propensity to snap comes to the fore as a motorcyclist splashed after a taxi drives through a puddle smashes his helmet repeatedly on the roof of said taxi.
Is the headline in the Khao Sod newspaper about midnight closing of bars in Bangkok to be a permanent thing alarmist – or could it be for real?
The drivers licence issuing authority in Thailand is getting tough and those keen to get a driver’s licence must actually do the test themselves now!
A bunch of Russian criminals, including murderers, thieves and fraudsters, were arrested in Thailand this week and can look forward to a flight home.
Ask Sunbelt Legal
Sunbelt Legal is here to answer all of your questions of a legal nature related to Thailand. Email any questions you have to me and I will forward them to Sunbelt Asia’s legal team to answer and run their response in the next column.
Question 1: I’m 12 weeks pregnant and have informed my school about the pregnancy as we are requested to notify of any anticipated absences as early as possible. While they expressed great excitement for me, they also have informed me that they are researching the “least possible” time they have to provide to me as they believe the Thai covered 45 days paid, 45 days unpaid is “too much” since I’m a foreigner. They have suggested / proposed that I receive 2 weeks time off (which is the total of my allotted sick days for the term). What am I legally qualified for under Thai law? I’m currently working through my 3rd contract here. My work permit is valid through year end.
Sunbelt Legal responds: Congratulations on the upcoming baby in your life. Under Thai labor law, every person who is officially employed with a non-immigrant B visa, work permit and contract have the same employment rights as local Thai citizens. The law stipulates 30 days of sick leave a year and 45 days of paid leave and 45 days of unpaid leave in case of pregnancy. This applies to someone working in the private sector and also working at a government school as foreigners are not Thai government employees but temporary employees and also fall under the labor laws for the general population. The bottom line you have the same rights as a Thai citizen. Best of luck to your baby and you.
Question 2: I bought a brand new car in Udon recently. The dealer said they had no red plates when I collected it but gave me a piece of paper to show to police if I get stopped. They said it would be 45 days to get the licence plate. Now the dealer is asking for more and more documents from me to get the licence plate and it is over 2 months. I would like to know how I can get this for myself and what paperwork is really required? I have lived and worked here for 10 years and have a valid visa and work permit.
Sunbelt Legal responds: The process to register and obtain license plates is pretty much the same for red plates or regular plates. You need to submit the following at your Land Transportation Department:
1. Blue book of a vehicle.
2. Passport, copy of it and visa of the new owner.
3. Residence Certificate (can be issued by the embassy or Immigration.)
4. Sale / purchase agreement.
5. Copy of passport / ID card (+ house registration of a Thai citizen or residence certificate if foreigner.)
6. Paid road tax.
However, it is not absolutely necessary to obtain red plates for a new car. If you carry in the car at all times the relevant papers such as the purchase agreement and the paper saying that the process for the license plate is in place then the police will accept that.
Question 3: I purchased a condo in Bangkok in 2008. I live in the UK and use the condo for a holiday home and occasional rental to an agent in the building. I have someone in Bangkok who wishes to purchase the condo. The person is willing to pay my asking price and there will be a difference of THB 500,000 in my favour between the purchase price and the selling price. My questions are:
1. Will I have to pay tax on the profit bearing in mind that I have been paying a considerable sum in interest on my mortgage in the past 9 years?
2. Now seems a good time to sell as the condo is tired and the baht to pound rate is low so this means I will get a better return on my exchange rate when I transfer the sale proceeds to my UK bank account. Is there any reason I may not be able to transfer the money from my Bangkok Bank account to my UK bank?
3. I am being paid a deposit and the final sale will take place at a later date. My Thai friend will accompany the agent to the bank to place the cheque into my account and will send me a copy of the receipt. I am happy with this arrangement.
4. I have to sign a power of attorney for the agent to act on my behalf and I have been provided with an agreement to sell a condominium unit to also sign and send this back to the agent with a copy of my passport etc. Am I correct in assuming that by signing this power of attorney that the agent cannot actually sign over the apartment on my behalf? I intend to be in Bangkok when the date of transfer takes place to attend at the land registry. Can you confirm that at that point only I can sign the condo over?
5. I believe on the day of signing at the Land Registry I will be presented with a cheque to cover the remaining sale proceeds less the deposit. Is it safe to sign over and then take the cheque to the bank or does the cheque get banked before signing over the apartment? Would the cheque be a special cheque like a cash cheque? Is there any guarantee I need to ask the agent to ensure the cheque doesn’t bounce and I am left without being paid and without my condo?
6. As I will be in Bangkok for only a few days to sign the condo over, is there anything I need to do from the UK to ensure this goes smoothly? I do not want to be in Bangkok only to find that something is going to take 2 weeks to process before the transfer can be completed.
Sunbelt Legal responds: 1. There are going to be some fees and tax involved. We surmise you own the condo in your name and not in that of a company.
* Transfer Fee. 2% fee of sales price or the appraised value. (Either the buyer pays or it’s a split expense between buyer and seller in most cases.)
* Stamp Duty. 0.5% of the sales or appraised value. (Usually paid by the seller.)
* Withholding Tax. The withholding tax for an individual is charged based on the progressive tax rate, based on the appraised value and years owning the condo. You own it more than 9 years and if the appraised value or sales price is 5 million, the deduction factor is 50%. Your net taxable income is 277,778 Baht per year of ownership. When using the progressive tax scale it would be 5% WHT on the 277K or 13,888 baht per year. If you owned it 9 years, the total withholding tax owed then is 125,000 baht. (Usually the seller is solely responsible for this tax.) As you can see, if the condo was being sold at the same price you bought it at, you still would be paying withholding tax regardless if no capital gains occurred. As a non-resident seller, the WHT is usually the final tax. Mortgage or any expenses has no bearing on the WHT. A resident seller usually accepts this WHT also as the final tax and not use the WHT on their personal income tax return and declaring the net profit.
- You can transfer money from your personal bank account in Thailand to your personal bank account abroad. However, you will need to submit the purchase and sales contract and ownership title documents. In this case, the maximum transfer amount would be the selling price for the condominium.
- There is no problem for your friend to place the deposit check into your account as long as you get a copy of it.
- The Power of Attorney has to be specific as prescribed by the Land Department. If you are outside Thailand then the POA has to be notarized by a notary public.
- However, usually the point of the Power of Attorney is that the agent acts on your behalf for the transfer of the condo at the Land Office and by signing a Power Of Attorney the agent can act on your behalf to transfer the condo. Why do you need to give a power of attorney if you will be at the Land Department yourself ?
- Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors recommends that you obtain a cashier’s check for the sale of the condo only – this way the check will not bounce and the funds are guaranteed. It is given at the Land Department when the transfer takes place.
- If you sign a Power of Attorney then again, you do not need to be in Thailand for the transfer. However, the most important thing to note is that if you are selling to a foreigner you should ensure you have the correct documents from the condo juristic person; the Debt Free Certificate and Foreign Quota. He also has to have the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FET) which bears the record of the offshore funds transfer to buy your condo with the name and room number of your condo on it.
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors has extensive experience in assisting foreigners in condo sales and transferring money and can assist you in this matter.
This column is published each Sunday before 6 PM Sunday, Bangkok time. If I happen to be in Bangkok it is usually published between 4 and 5 PM, Bangkok time. When I am in New Zealand it is usually published early evening Kiwi time which is around 2 PM Bangkok time. If you would like to receive a reminder email each week that the column has been published, you can sign up for that below. Please do note, however, that the reminder email actually goes out some hours after the column goes live.
Your Bangkok commentator,