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BANGKOK 17 February 2019 02:42


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About lkn

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  1. Sure, anything is possible. But the person doing this is committing further fraud, making themselves liable to even more punishment. And remember this would happen in a court setting, so they would have to convince a judge. If you have multiple co-owners with letters showing they repeatedly requested the monthly report, filed a complaint with the Land Office, maybe the Land Office even sent out a person to the building to check, and their report will be submitted as evidence as well, etc. Though you can always construct a hypothetical which resemble Kafka’s The Trial, or where your building manager is Pablo Escobar, and maybe you feel that you live in such world, but it is not the Thailand that I experience, despite problems with corruption and incompetence. Engaging a lawyer is not the first step, and exactly what to do would depend on the situation. I am basically just following your hypotheticals with the logical next step, but as said before, your hypotheticals are pretty far out there, e.g. managers that refuse to use the auditor that is appointed by the co-owners: Surely something is seriously wrong in such case, and that management company has to go ASAP! And if the co-owners can’t manage this on their own, they need to bring someone who can help them, even if it has a price, because the long-term cost is much higher, not just money, but take how cynical and pessimistic you yourself has become, I would say that is also a pretty high price of living in a building controlled by gangsters.
  2. For the Land Office, this is not the institution that issues fines, those are issued by a court of law. As for proving that financial reports are not posted, one way would be to take a photo of the bulletin board the 15th of each month, send this to the JPM, and ask when to expect the report, and request a photo be taken and sent back, to prove that it has been posted (or simply request a copy of the monthly report). If you have six months of these emails, you have a pretty good case against the JPM, assuming the bulletin board has stayed unchanged in this period. As for reports that are misleading, that is why there is the yearly externally audited report. But I was simply clarifying @scorecard’s statement about what laws surround the financial statements, I wasn’t saying that these laws alone will guarantee that everything runs smoothly. If you have managers that ignore the wishes of co-owners, cook the books, and bribe auditors, well, you sure are in a mess, fortunately I have not met any such building, but if I ran into one, I would imagine that taking on a lawyer and get a court ruling would be the way to go, as surely the managers have made themselves complicit in all sorts of crimes.
  3. A monthly income and expenditure report must be posted to the bulletin board. The JPM is liable for a fine if this is not done (within the first 15 days of each month). The independently audited report is the yearly financial report to be presented at the AGM (balance sheet with profit and loss). Majority of the AGM attendees actually appoint the auditor, so in theory they could appoint one of the big four accounting firms, if they suspect foul play.
  4. The Land Office is not to be confused with a court (which can actually issue fines etc.), but it provides a dated written trail of the situation, which can be very useful to have later, should the case end up in court or mediation.
  5. I do agree that vigilantism is not a good strategy and my suggestion was not to break rules to prove a point but to get the developer to get their act together. I.e. a developer that does not do any bookkeeping, budgeting, nor holds any AGMs, should not expect co-owners to just pay whatever invoice is sent to them. By law you are required to pay for your share of the common expenses, but it is only fair that the developer provides some sort of documentation to prove these expenses are legit, and it is perfectly fine to question an invoice, asking for these documents, which by law, the developer should provide. It is of course important that you make it clear that you are not paying an invoice because you are awaiting these documents. And of course you should also file a complaint with the Land Office.
  6. If no initial meeting has been held, there would be no bylaws that state the management fee. Is there a sales contract that says anything about management fee? Personally I would probably tell the developer that I will pay common expenses proportional to my ratio of ownership, but they must either present me with proper books or the actual bills (electricity, water, etc.) and I will pay based on that. Non-mandatory expenses that have not been agreed to by the co-owners (i.e. by proposing a budget on the AGM) I would not pay, this could e.g. be salaries to contractors beyond what is reasonable. This assumes that your condominium has been registered more than 6 months ago, i.e. that the developer is clearly in the wrong by not having held the initial General Meeting with proposed budget, bylaws, etc.
  7. There are sadly several intersections in Chiang Mai which does not have the red/green light for pedestrians even though zebra stripes have been painted on the road. To make it worse, vehicles are allowed to turn both left and right in these intersections, so there is basically no safe time to cross the road. The OP didn’t say which intersection he was at, but if it was one of these without any pedestrian lights, the pedestrian probably started to cross the road when he saw the red light (for one of the sides) go on, possibly after having waited a full cycle and realized that there is never a good time for pedestrians to cross, the only semi-good time is when all sides are red, as then you can get far enough into the crossing for cars to hold back for you.
  8. SWIFT is a cooperative society with financial institutions as members and they provide a network linking more than 11,000 financial institutions. The network is basically just a way to send secure messages between the members, it does not take a few days to send these messages, nor does it cost $35. The delays and fees are introduced by the banks using the network, and at least within Europe, delays have gone down to minutes (if not seconds), and some banks have even lowered their fees for transfers within the European Economic Area to zero (for private individuals, business accounts tend to get less favorable terms). As for XRP, I think you are conflating Ripple’s cryptocurrency with their settlement network. It is the latter which is meant as a competitor to the SWIFT network, but this has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies per se. Where XRP enters the picture is as a possible token to use as an intermediary currency. For example if I send money from a Thai bank (THB) to a bank in Namibia (NAD), there might not be anyone willing to buy the THB and pay with NAD, so what Ripple propose is that instead the bank buys XRP for the THB, and then uses these XRP to buy NAD. However, USD and EUR already works as intermediary currencies, so XRP (the cryptocurrency) is really a contender for USD or EUR, not for SWIFT. As you may know, XRP is controlled by Ripple Labs and they can issue new tokens. So do you really think the world's financial system will move to use XRP? Or even the Ripple Network? Let me be honest though and say that the Ripple Network does have advantages compared to SWIFT, but it has nothing to do with cryptocurrency, and if these advantages are desired by the 11,000+ financial institutions using the SWIFT network, then the far more likely outcome will be that they just evolve the existing network. As for your “200+ major financial institutions” that are already using Ripple: You should dig a little deeper and find out what institutions actually have used Ripple, if it was just an experiment, and if so, what their conclusion was. The few cases I have read about did not make me think that Ripple Labs are going to concur the financial system.
  9. I always took the 800,000 baht to be a guarantee, say the retired person gets into an accident and is liable for damages, gets a medical condition that requires treatment not covered by their health insurance, etc. But as the money only has to be in a Thai bank account 2 out of 12 months per year, it’s a somewhat soft requirement. Take some of the visa requirements in Europe: If you vouch for a third party (making it possible for them to visit a Schengen country) you have to provide a bank guarantee which you will not get back, incase they violate the terms of their visa.
  10. Ask them when they expect to send out invitations with agenda, financial report, and budget for the coming year. This material should give a hint about your situation, like how does your finances actually look, what do they intend to put on the agenda (new committee, new JPM?). You can of course also submit proposals yourself to the agenda (nominate your own JPM, new management company, etc.). They can (and probably should) give proxies to the remaining co-owners. But no person can hold more than 3 proxies. Even if the developer still has the majority, they may show you more respect if you show up representing 40% of the total votes instead of only 8%.
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