Property laws in Thailand are complex and can cause major confusion. In the past decade, the Thai government has made numerous changes to property laws and introduced new bills to try and make the process easier for all parties involved.
One area that was in drastic need of a change was the relationship between landlords and tenants. Up until now, landlords in Thailand had a relatively free rein to do as they pleased in regards to their tenant’s contract and service. In 2018, the government, however, is set to bring in a new set of laws that aim to redress this issue and provide tenants with a greater amount of protection from unscrupulous landlord actions. The below paragraphs outlines these new laws, and how they will affect both landlords and tenants:
What Are The New Thailand Property Laws?
The new Thailand property laws will take effect on the 1st of May 2018 and will contain the following stipulations for landlords that sublease five or more properties:
– Landlords can no longer ask for more than one month’s rent up front
– Landlords can no longer ask for more than one month’s security deposit up front
– Landlords cannot add additional charges to utility bills
– Landlords can no longer prevent access to the property or seize belongings
– Landlords can no longer inspect a property without pre-arrangement
– A tenants security deposit must be returned within 7 days
– A tenant can terminate their contract at any time if they give 30 days’ notice
In short, landlords must now adhere to a new set of guidelines and operate fair financial practices that do not negatively impact their tenants. The main drawback to this new law, however, is the fact that it only applies to tenants who own 5 or more properties. An individual who rents a second property for example as an extra source of income is not subject to these laws.
How Will The Laws Affect Tenants and Landlords?
These new laws should mean a greater level of protection for tenants. They will no longer be subject to multiple rent bills or extortionate contracts that seek to solicit large sums of cash up-front. Although most landlords in Thailand operate fairly, there is a percentage that seeks to exploit their tenants – this new law should further prevent this from happening. Tenants will be privy to a reasonable contract, regular bills, and can enjoy a greater level of control over their property.
For landlords, these changes should not make a huge difference unless they are using underhand practices. If a landlord is providing a first-rate service this law will have no effect whatsoever. The only downside could be the tenant’s new ability to terminate their contract within 30 days – this could put extra strain on landlords and provide a certain level of uncertainty. If a tenant suddenly terminates their contract, the landlord will have to work hard with a real estate agency to find a new occupant otherwise they could lose vital rental income.
As you can see these new laws should certainly have an impact in certain situations. Tenants who rent property from multi-renting landlords in particular should benefit and enjoy an agreeable contract with no sudden costs or changes. Maybe this will pave the way for further property law reforms and set the path for additional tenant protection in Thailand.
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