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kwaiYai

Thai condo law question

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My friend has owned a condo in Phuket for over 10 years. It used to be a great place to live but over the last few years a foreign investor has bought up a lot of condos (maybe over 15% of total apartments) and is basically running a hotel within this condominium building.

He doesn’t do daily rentals (yet!) but does rent apartments for a few weeks to holiday makers. There have been quite a few Russian family’s staying, with children running about, jumping in & out of the pool, going into the gym in wet swimming gear etc. They are on holiday and want to get their monies worth, as if it was an all-inclusive resort hotel. Also of course they don’t care for the place as the owners do, and leave rubbish and cigarette butts around everywhere. My mate, and several other long term owners, feel that their home, quality of life, and general peaceful and happy existence has greatly deteriorated.

The owner of this ‘hotel within a condominium’ benefits from the use of staff, and facilities such as the pool, gym etc. without having to meet the full costs as he would if this was a ‘stand - alone’ hotel. The costs of his guest's excessive sauna usage, wearing-out of expensive gym equipment etc. are rather unfairly shared by all co- owners.

To make it clear, he isn’t actually calling his business a ‘hotel’, but with so many condos on holiday rental, that is effectively what it has become.

Does anybody know if there is anything in the Thai Condo laws that can prevent something like this happening? Any legal advice please on what can be done?

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This is a matter for the committee and Juristic Person Manager.

The law states that the JPM is responsible for:

Section 36 (3) Providing security operations or taking actions in maintaining peace and order within the condominium.

At a practical level it may be beneficial if notices are posted in Russian /English /Thai detailing some 'House Rules'

After that it all depends on the interest/action of the remaining 85%

If he attends the AGM with his 15% and only a further 10% show -then he controls

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Thanks Delight. They have put some signs up which are largely ignored!

I was wondering if there is anything in the condo law to prohibit running a business of this scale using residential condo units?

There are a couple of business units in the building - a shop & a café. I thought you could only use the nominated business units of a condominium building to run a business?

Some owners of course rent their apartments when they are away, but this is usually long term, a few months or more, and those renters aren't generally a problem and he has nothing against that. It's the short stay, noisy, holidaymakers which are the problem.

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Thanks Delight. They have put some signs up which are largely ignored!

I was wondering if there is anything in the condo law to prohibit running a business of this scale using residential condo units?

There are a couple of business units in the building - a shop & a café. I thought you could only use the nominated business units of a condominium building to run a business?

Some owners of course rent their apartments when they are away, but this is usually long term, a few months or more, and those renters aren't generally a problem and he has nothing against that. It's the short stay, noisy, holidaymakers which are the problem.

How is the business man acquiring customers?

If you discover that he is advertising the rooms as a hotel -then the building is in fact a condotel.Typically those who rent out for 6 months or more use an agency.

The response to the 'Ripley' post from 'Ask the Lawyer' stated

Legal requirements include having all of the proper licenses such as a hotel license etc. there are no specific laws or rules and regulations for condotels, you must use both condominium laws and hotel laws together

As I stated in my earlier post it is the responsibility of the JPM to fix this problem. That said if you are the only person complaining -then expect little change.

Suggest that you confer with the JPM.

Edited by Delight

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Unfortunately this is starting to happen in my condo. The developer has 20 or so unsold units in the block so he is converting them into 40 or so smaller hotel rooms. He is taking for ever to do the conversions and no doubt when they are finished the place will be hell with dozens of short time residents (and their children) running around. It went to the AGM and he managed to get over the 50% approval he required so it's within thai condo law. Guess i will be moving soon.

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I dont think there is anything you can do about rentals in general, but short-term rentals are specifically subject to having a hotel license which the owner is very unlikely to have. As far as I know "short-term" is less than one month.

Other options (assuming you can get a majority vote at the AGM which may be difficult if someone who opposes you owns many units) include introducing a charge for the use of facilities. You should be able to control the behaviour of children and adults simply by ejecting them if they are noisy or leave litter etc., assuming your building has some burly security guards to hand.

Another option might be for the committee to point out to the owner that if his units are being used by noisy and untidy people, other owners might be inclined to report him to the tax authorities. No need to specify which other owners of course.

Personally I think that condo legislation should be brought in enabling buildings to prohibit any and all rentals on majority vote. Also to make it easier to prohibit noise and general unpleasant behaviour etc.

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I dont think there is anything you can do about rentals in general, but short-term rentals are specifically subject to having a hotel license which the owner is very unlikely to have. As far as I know "short-term" is less than one month.

Other options (assuming you can get a majority vote at the AGM which may be difficult if someone who opposes you owns many units) include introducing a charge for the use of facilities. You should be able to control the behaviour of children and adults simply by ejecting them if they are noisy or leave litter etc., assuming your building has some burly security guards to hand.

Another option might be for the committee to point out to the owner that if his units are being used by noisy and untidy people, other owners might be inclined to report him to the tax authorities. No need to specify which other owners of course.

Personally I think that condo legislation should be brought in enabling buildings to prohibit any and all rentals on majority vote. Also to make it easier to prohibit noise and general unpleasant behaviour etc.

"You should be able to control the behaviour of children and adults simply by ejecting them if they are noisy or leave litter etc., assuming your building has some burly security guards to hand."

I hope you're joking. Hire some thugs to "simply eject" people from accommodation they've paid for because they leave litter or you don't like their behavior?? If they're breaking the law, call the police. If they're breaking condo rules, sue the condo owner.

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"You should be able to control the behaviour of children and adults simply by ejecting them if they are noisy or leave litter etc., assuming your building has some burly security guards to hand."

I hope you're joking. Hire some thugs to "simply eject" people from accommodation they've paid for because they leave litter or you don't like their behavior?? If they're breaking the law, call the police. If they're breaking condo rules, sue the condo owner.

Not joking at all. Normal people wouldn't be noisy or drop litter in public areas anyway. Most of the rest would respond to being told politely not to do it. Then you have the ones that just don't care about annoying other people. They should be ejected from public areas and not permitted to return. A very simple solution to the problem. If they care to leave rubbish all over their rented accommodation that's the owner's problem of course and doesn't concern anyone else, unless it smells bad in which it does need sorting out, by the guards if necessary.

My building has security guards on site permanently so no costs are involved. The guards have only very rarely been required to actually remove anyone from the pool area but it has happened and I'm all for it. I have no time for noisy, dirty or inconsiderate people.

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Sorry I cant help as such, but would add:

I am not one to give up easily, but after nearly two years of living in a condo in BKK and fighting with the developer to fix quality issues and fighting with the JPM to deal with a multitude of issues re: maintenance, security, cleaning......I am now giving up and selling because its simply not worth the hastle, as the JPM do not care and the other owners do not appear to care.

if someone has bought 15% of the condos he is likely to put up a fight to protect his investment, and likely to reward the JPM to turn a blind eye to his activities and the resultant problems. Live with it, sell it or prepare for a few years (at least) of headaches and stress.

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Thanks for your replies. In answer to some of the questions raised:-

We don't know how he is getting customers, my friend thinks maybe he uses a Russian tour agency for the short stay holiday makers.

I'm sure this multiple condo owner isn't advertising a 'hotel' as such, or even considers it a hotel himself. We're saying that with the short stay rentals, of only a few weeks to vacationers, it has effectively become like a hotel within a condo apartment building. Of course vacationers don't have the same respect for the property as the owners do.

The main problems are noisy drunken behaviour, excessive use of pool, gym and sauna (causing increased electricity bills to be shared by owners) and rubbish and cigarette butts about the pool area.

The only 'security' I've seen at his condo is a skinny guy watching the parking lot!

I'll pass this advice on but I guess the answer is for him to sell up & move on! Its is a shame though, before all this it used to be a great place to live.

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