Phuket: condo owners warned 'holiday rentals' less than 30 days risks fines, jail time

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Phuket: condo owners warned 'holiday rentals' less than 30 days risks fines, jail time

Unread post by richey » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:10 am

PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Land Office has issued a formal warning to owners, developers and managers of condominiums that renting out their properties on a daily basis is a breach of the Hotel Act that may incur a fine or even jail time.

The notice, issued to all 234 registered condo projects in Phuket – hence affecting all 26,071 legally registered condo units on the island – was signed and issued by by Phuket Land Office Acting Chief Wisith Chokchai on June 9.

The notice read:

To managers/developers of condominiums,

“Today, there is a lot of news about condominium developers/owners renting out rooms or buildings that they have ownership of to foreigners or tourists on a daily basis (daily rental) rate that generate income as if they were a hotel (under the Hotel Act 2004).

“This type of operation is causes a public nuisance for renters in the same complex and creates unsafe places for tourists, which may lead to loss of life and property. It is inacceptable to operate an illegal hotel. The penalty for this is up to one year in jail or a fine of up to B20,000, or both.”

Mr Wisith told The Phuket News this week, “We want to let developers and owners know that renting out condos on a daily basis is against the Hotel Act and that they must operate their condos in accordance with how their properties are registered in order to avoid legal action.

“This issue may not be easy to tackle because sometimes it is not the developer that provides daily rentals, but the individual condo owners. Regardless, it is for the condo managers and developers to remind owners about this law and tell them that if officials find out (about illegal renting of condos) the owners will face legal action,” he said.

The public warning follows Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat on June 3 dispatching the Phuket Land Office a specific order to combat the problem of illegal condo rentals, Mr Wisith explained.

“We were ordered to enforce regulations regarding condominiums across Phuket – owned or operated by Thais and foreigners – and not allow any rentals on a daily basis because it is against the Hotel Act 2004,” he said.

“The order came from Ministry of Interior and the Phuket Provincial Office in an effort to tackle illegal hotels (sic) on the island,” he added.

In a report sent to the provincial office, Mr Wisith explained, “The Land Office is in charge of condo registration. Every condo built in Phuket must be registered as such with the Land Office.

“There are more than 200 condo units in the Phuket Town area that are registered with us which we have sent the notice out to. The Land Office in Thalang has also sent out notices to all the condo units registered their area,” he wrote.

“All developers and the management operators of condominium projects in Phuket Town in Kathu have been warned that renting out rooms on daily basis is considered operating as a hotel.”

Mr Wisith explained to The Phuket News that the problem lies in that if a property is registered with the Land Department as a condo, then it cannot be registered as a hotel.

“And a condo must be operated as a condo, which can be rented out for periods of 30 days or longer – but cannot be rented out on a daily basis,” he said.

Dr Kritsada Tonsakul, who heads the Phuket-based Southern Thailand chapter of the Thai Hotels Association, this week voiced his support for the crackdown.

“These places that rent out on a daily basis without a hotel registration are operating illegally and it is great that officials are starting tackling them now,” he told The Phuket News on Wednesday (June 29).

“If we strictly enforce the Hotel Act and rid the island of all illegal hotel rooms, it will benefit not only the legal hotel businesses, but also greatly benefit Thailand’s, and Phuket’s, tourism industry as well.”

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