Tag Archive: legal issues

  1. Short Term Villa Rentals – What is Legally Required?

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    With 38.27 million tourists visiting Thailand in 2018, generating a total income of 64.5 Billion USD, tourism is one of the major economic sectors in Thailand. Because of the high number of visitors, short term rentals for villas, condominiums or houses are highly requested. But lessors should take care to fulfill the requirements of the Thai government for this kind of rentals.

    For every property that is rented on a short term (less than monthly) basis, and which not considered as the hotel under the ministerial regulation, a report of such rental must be filed to the local district office.

    According to Article 1 of the Ministerial Regulation, prescribing the class and rule of hotel business B.E. 2551 (2008), a hotel license is needed for villas or any building with at least 4 rooms and capacity for more than 20 guests. Section 3(2) of the Hotel Act states that the definition of “hotel” does not include accommodation established for the purpose of accommodation for monthly (or longer) periods. This means the accommodation on a short basis or not required the hotel license, which is not a hotel under the regulation must still comply with the hotel act and is required to notify as a “non-hotel” at the district office. If the property qualifies as a hotel in terms of size and capacity, but the property is rented out on a monthly basis only, it is still not subject to the hotel act and does not require a hotel license or notification as a non-hotel.

    Every rental less than a month must be reported to the registrar at the district office for a non-hotel activity of the villa. The notification must be done using a specific form as stipulated by the office. The following documents are usually required for such notification of non-hotel activity:

    • Land Title Deed;
    • House registration book of the villa;
    • Building Permit of the villa;
    • Floor plan of the villa;
    • Map to the villa;
    • Company’s affidavit (in case the company is the villa owner);
    • Memorandum of Association for the company; and
    •  An ID card or passport of the authorized director.

    As a side note: This makes the notification a requirement when a property is rented out on Airbnb.

    As the illegal operation of a hotel is subject to a jail sentence for up to one year or a fine up to THB 20,000 and additional fine up to THB 10,000 a day throughout the period of violation, according to Section 59 of the Hotel Act. This also constitutes a risk of blacklisting for foreigners, lessors of villas should be aware of this regulation.

    Please contact us if you have any questions about this topic [email protected].

  2. Prenuptial Agreement

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    Many foreigners living in Thailand meet their future spouses here and get married in Thailand. And to deal with potential legal issues in advance, the couples often chose to enter into a prenuptial agreement (often referred to as “prenup”).

     

    According to the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (“CCC”), the prenup agreement is valid when it is:

    1. entered in a form of the marriage registry or
    2. prepared by the spouses in writing, separately from the marriage registry, signed by both spouses and by at least two witnesses and entered in the marriage register stating that the prenup agreement is thereto annexed.

     

    And according to the Ministry of the Interior Regulation Regarding Family Registration B.E. 2541, both spouses and 2 witnesses must sign in the marriage register (Form Kor Ror. 2).

     

    The witnesses of the prenup agreement can be the witnesses provided by the marriage registry.

     

    No lawyer nor an interpreter is required to attend the district office. Lawyer and interpreter may attend the district office as witnesses. In case that the spouse is foreigner, the registrar shall examine the evidence to identify such foreigner (passport, certificate from the embassy in Thailand) and shall examine the qualification of the foreign spouse (single status certificate) before register the marriage. The certified translations are required.

     

    According to Section 1466 CCC, “the ante-nuptial agreement is void if not entered in the marriage register at the time of marriage registration terms of the ante-nuptial; or if not made in writing and signed by both spouses and by at least two witnesses and entered in the marriage register at the time of marriage registration stating that the ante-nuptial is thereto annexed.

     

    It is notable that any clause in the prenup agreement contrary to public order or good morals, or provisions to the effect that the relations between the spouses as regards to their properties are to be governed by foreign law, shall be void (Section 1465 CCC).

     

    After registration of the marriage, the prenuptial agreement cannot be altered except by authorization of the court (Section 1467 CCC).

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