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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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I can see it's a bummer but see it from the owners view..he saw a loophole and is making a legal buck. Don't blame him, blame the condo rules.

Complain at the owners meeting and rally some supporters before hand. Hes not breaking the law, unless there's a clause in the owners contract of not sub letting to holiday makers.

Hows he renting out the common area, if its available to be used by all residents? So renters cant use the pool now because their renting?

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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Who is collecting the money that these renters pay ? if the office is collecting the money like they do here, I think they get a commision and the maids clean the rooms and due the laundry. I would think they should need a permit from the city to run this business. Just a geuss.

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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.

I don't understand this continuous mention of excessive use of gym and pool. The owner obviously pays his maintenance payments which allows use of the gym for the permitted amount of units he has. If it is a holidaymaker or resident, they can still use the facilities in the allotted times.

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First off, is the guy reporting all the renters to immigration ? The law requires all hotels or people renting to inform immigration of all renters every day. If he is not report him to immigration.

Second, does he have a work permit to be doing this business? If not report him to immigration.

Third, does he have a license to run a business and is he paying taxes on the income ? Again, if not report him.

I would normally say mind your own business but this guy is bothering everyone and is not treating your building or other owners correctly. He is taking advantage !

If he is following all the rules with the government laws and the building then all you can do is get 51% of the owners to agree and change the building laws.

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PattayaPhom: Re the second mention of the phrase 'excessive use'. I was just doing a brief recap of the problems an answer to a couple of questions.

For the first 5-6 years my friend lived in this condo the residents were only owners & long term renters who, in the main, all got along quite happily in a relaxing environment. They freely used all the common facilities, to a greater or lesser extent, and nobody had a problem with that. He could always use the gym, sauna, pool shower room etc., without having to wait in a queue of screaming kids.

Sorry to repeat this yet again, but the problem is the short-term, vacationing renters who treat his condominium as an all-inclusive holiday resort and try to get the most out of their money by using all the facilities pretty much all day every day. By 'excessive use' I mean, for one example, they use the sauna (fair enough) but leave it turned on, even when they leave (waste of energy / owners money).

Yes, surely the multiple condo owner is entitled to make reasonable use of the facilities as he pays maintenance. However, the share of use by his 3-4 week vacationing tenants has gone far beyond what the other owners think is fair. They feel they are almost subsidising the facilities for the benefit of this guys rental business.

tttthailand: My friend is a 'live & let live' reasonable guy and would normally 'mind his own business' .... if it hadn't affected his home to such a degree. As I said before, his quality of life has sadly greatly deteriorated and of course he's not happy about it!

He would never cause a problem for anybody by reporting them to anybody for anything.

If there is nothing in the condo law about this I guess he will just have to move.

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Yes, surely the multiple condo owner is entitled to make reasonable use of the facilities as he pays maintenance. However, the share of use by his 3-4 week vacationing tenants has gone far beyond what the other owners think is fair. They feel they are almost subsidising the facilities for the benefit of this guys rental business.

As I mentioned earlier, if you can muster a majority vote at the AGM you could introduce an hourly fee for the use of facilities. This should reduce individual usage quite dramatically. A sliding scale would be even better though more difficult to implement.

As far as I know you can vote in a supplementary maintenance charge for all rented units also, but again you would need to have a majority at the AGM.

If the committee points out to this owner that his tenants are creating a lot of ill-will with other owners he may think it better to get his tenants to behave rather than make a lot of enemies in the building.

He would never cause a problem for anybody by reporting them to anybody for anything.

He really should think again about that. No one in Thailand will have his interests at heart apart from him.

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1. This sounds not like a hotel but a serviced apartment thing.

2. Immediately jumping to snitch on this guy doesn't sound nice, especially as farang get scant benefits from the tax they would pay (and I pay).

3. I sympathise I wouldn't like short termers changing all the time.

I believe committee can enact regulations for the building if you gain a 50% vote.....I would enquire further about this if I were you....as an option, not necessarily an action.

4. Communication is everything if you try to force things you can cause wars and ruin your building. Open a dialogue and speak in a. non-accusatorial fashion of your concerns and always stay polite.

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Edited by cheeryble
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Since these condos are in a building belonging to everyone I believe that if this guy is not reporting daily to immigration who is staying in these rooms he AND the building is breaking the law and could be fined. I believe the fine is 2,000 baht a day. Thus if he has 10 rooms this could get very expensive for management.

Check the law regarding hotels and short term rentals. They MUST report daily everyone staying there or they are breaking the law and will be fined.

Basically your building is breaking the law by not reporting who is staying there.

Edited by ttthailand
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Since these condos are in a building belonging to everyone I believe that if this guy is not reporting daily to immigration who is staying in these rooms he AND the building is breaking the law and could be fined. I believe the fine is 2,000 baht a day. Thus if he has 10 rooms this could get very expensive for management.

Check the law regarding hotels and short term rentals. They MUST report daily everyone staying there or they are breaking the law and will be fined.

Basically your building is breaking the law by not reporting who is staying there.

As far as I know it's the person arranging the rental (i.e. the owner or his agent) who is responsible for the reporting and not the building, unless of course the building is handling the rental.

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I'm rather disturbed at posters even considering the snitch camp.

The guy' is after all only trying to make an honest living.

Hey maybe he didn't even consider the effect of short termers....and after all it's probably very small.

Communicate or deal with it in-house I say, snitching brings you down far lower than his (possibly unrealised) lack of consideration.

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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.

You do realise that we are talking about Russians here, right? If guards rebuke them for being noisy slobs (and in what language, by the way?) they'll kick the crap out of the guards just as soon as look at them.

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Legally a hotel is classed as such if daily rentals and there are a load of regs to meet.

If weekly then it's not illegal.

I looked in to building a residential building with a view to weekly and monthly rentals specifically and the lawyer advised me as to the above; ie weekly hardly any regs beyond standard construction Saftey but if I wanted to rent daily then there are many regs and licences to be met.

Just tough luck for you I think I'm afraid.

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I'm rather disturbed at posters even considering the snitch camp.

The guy' is after all only trying to make an honest living.

Hey maybe he didn't even consider the effect of short termers....and after all it's probably very small.

If he is really trying to make an "honest" living then he probably should be declaring his taxes and get a hotel licence, and in my experience most people doing short-term condo rentals do neither.

One of things one should think about when doing any activity, be it for pleasure or reward, is the possible impact on other people nearby. Where I come from that's just normal consideration for others (which is generally lacking in Thailand).

But either way the well-being of other residents/owners in the building comes well before his desire to earn money. Businesses can get straight to the back of the queue.

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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.

You are right about the "Quiet" signs and short term renters. They are here to party for 2 weeks and don't care much about what anyone thinks. But I tend to disagree with you when you said the owner is using up a facilities unfairly from his renters by using them more then the rest of the tenants that live their. His renters may use the pool 15 times more than the rest, but the owner is also paying maintenance bills for all of his property their, which is 15 times more than the rest to.

My place sounds a lot like your friends. It would not surprise me if we lived in the same Condo Building. I didn't mind it so much when the Beautiful Russian Girls stayed here and love to use the swimming pool a lot. But now the place is getting so run down that even they won't come back here. They can pay the same, same price for a better Condo down the road now and closer to the beach.

I have been here 5 years now and have seen this place go down hill big time. It is sad for me to see the for sale signs up by the owners who are just trying to get away from this noise box. The Manager does his best but he is not here at night time. Only Security which do nothing. I think off sleeping in their booth or car some place.

I am Lucky (or Wise) in that I decided to rent for the first year to test the place out. Good advice for anyone who wants to move here to. I decided not to buy as I can't believe how cheap some of these places are made here. They look great on first inspection, but have paper thin walls and if you can find one stick of insulation here, I will eat my hat for dinner. My A/C Bill is very high as it needs to run all the time. The cool air is gone as it shuts off. What is that joke about putting lipstick on a Pig? But so true here.

But I am lucky in a way as I also live on the quiet side. if I can say there is such a thing here. Moving is my next plan as it probably will be for your friend to. Tried a house in Undon Thani a while ago but not sure if the barking dog dragging garbage down the road, and block parties, are any better than a condo.

So not sure where yet.

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OP, I've lived in a place like that for the last 5 years. I know the frustration - in my building, however, it's French kids, who can be very (very) inconsiderate with parties that block people's doorways, annoying music and trash and poor attitudes. And of course, the owner - while having signs up which say the opposite - is not about to say no to these spoiled kid's money.

My advice - or, my experience - you're never gonna succeed in convincing an owner to bypass monies, EVER. You'll vilify yourself in their view of you.

In my case, also,it eventually became popular with more upscale Thai people, and then it changed again. It's been very quiet and respectful again over the last year, after really going down hill for a few year period. It's quite okay again, really.

Edited by John1thru10
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