Phuket cracks downs on condos
By Don Ross
04 July 2016
get tough with apartment and condominium owners, who offer daily rates
for their properties claiming it contravenes the country’s Hotel Act.
Phuket News reported at the weekend that the Phuket Provincial Land
Office has issued a “formal warning to owners, developers and managers
of condominiums that rent out properties on a daily basis… it is a
breach of the Hotel Act that may incur a fine or even a jail term.”
Condominiums doubling up as hotels are popular choices on international booking websites such as Agoda.com.
They are also found on AirBnB offering accommodation on a daily basis.
The notice from Phuket’s authorities was sent to 234 registered condominium projects in Phuket.
It points out that it is illegal under the Hotel Act 2004 for apartment
owners to rent them out on a daily basis as if they were a hotel.
could face a jail term of up to one year
Owners risk being slapped with a THB20,000 fine for every instance they
rent out a unit against a daily rate and could face a jail term of up
to one year.
Thai Hotels Association has been lobbying against condominium muscling
in on the hotel business for years. It supported the Hotel Act and
assisted in crafting the early drafts.
THA argues that its member hotels have lost billions in revenue over
the years from illegal hotels and apartment block owners who fail to
register and compete with hotels offering daily rates.
Phuket is one of the first provinces to take up the matter with a
warning. In other tourist destinations the presence of illegal
hotels has not been addressed by local authorities, despite pressure
from registered hotels.
An order was earlier issued by the Ministry of Interior to all
provinces to tighten up on establishments that offer accommodation to
effort to beef-up security and anti-terrorist measures
It is part of a wider effort to beef-up security and anti-terrorist
measures. All establishments are by law required to file daily reports
on foreign visitors registered with the local police department.
But there are still thousands of resorts, guest houses and apartments that are not registered.
Condominiums are allowed to offer long-term rentals to foreign
visitors, but the minimum period is 30 days, which eliminates them from
competing for business on booking websites and AirBnB.
Hoteliers argue a crackdown will improve the prospects in the hotel
segment making the industry more attractive for investors. However,
travellers will argue that competition kept accommodations prices down
and offered the bonus of a two-room apartment with self-catering