Tag Archive: legal

  1. Airbnb – Is it legal in Thailand?

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    Airbnb is a popular online platform that allows property owners (landlords) to rent out their property (partially or wholly) on a short-term (daily/weekly) basis. The online platform is present in over 100,000 cities across 191 countries and has effectively transformed itself into the world’s largest hotel. With the price of renting a property via the Airbnb platform often being cheaper than staying in a regular licensed hotel, the platform creates a viable option for travelers travelling on a budget.

    In Thailand, this practice is regarded by many as illegal, but there are conflicting opinions of legal scholars on this matter. On one hand, Airbnb is seen by many as an illegal way for landlords to rent out their properties on a short-term basis as it is without acquiring a hotel license. Section 15 of the Hotel Act, B.E. 2547 (2004), states that renting out a property on a weekly or daily basis without a hotel license is illegal. However, the Ministerial Regulation to the Hotel Act B.E. 2548 (2005) contains an exemption for certain properties which has given rise to a passionate discussion whether these exemptions from the Hotel Act also apply to condominium owners renting out their homes on short–term basis:

    The Hotel Act states that “any residential premises open to the public for rent with no more than four rooms on all floors in aggregate whether in a single building or several buildings and with a total service capacity of 20 guests, operating as a small business which provides an additional source of income for the owners” is exempt from the requirement of obtaining a Hotel License. The owners of such premises are required to report to the Hotel Registrar but do not need a Hotel License and do not have to comply with the requirements for hotels. The issue with this regulation is whether the term “residential purpose” refers to the condominium unit or the whole condominium (entire building).

    The Condominium Act states that commercial activities may only be conducted in designated commercial spaces within the condominium building (if any). This may be e.g. a retail area in the ground floor of a condominium.

    This regulation exists to ensure the peaceful cohabitation of residents. Hosting guests could disrupt the condominium’s community and lifestyle. However, landlords are quick to point out that section 1336 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) states that property owners are entitled to the benefits and fruits of property ownership, provided that their commercial activities, do not disrupt co-owners and residents. As for co-ownership, section 1360 of the CCC states that each co-owner is entitled to use the property in so far as such use is not incompatible with the rights of the other co-owners.

    As you can see, there are those who are against Airbnb and those who are pro Airbnb. To further complicate things, in May of 2018, a court in Hua Hin charged two condominium owners with renting out their condos on a daily and weekly basis and violating the Hotel Act.

    The offenders were both made to pay a fine of 10,000-15,000 THB for their infringements.

    With the court ruling in Hua Hin, many say that it is now clear that renting out your property on a short-term basis on the Airbnb platform (Airbnb hosting) is illegal. However, in Thailand, court rulings set a clear guideline for future cases, but judges are free to make their own decisions. This means that the case in Hua Hin is not binding on other judges, but Thai judges tend to follow court rulings set by previous judges. Additionally, there are still many property owners renting out their property on a short-term basis on the Airbnb platform who are confident that they are not violating any laws and thus will continue renting out their properties on the Airbnb platform.

    In addition to renting out condominium units, renting out houses or villas on a short-term (daily/weekly basis) without a hotel license is also illegal. However, home and villa owners argue that A Hotel Act Ministerial Regulation states that houses or villas with less than 4 rooms, and a capacity of 20 people or less are exempt from the Hotel Act and are not considered a “hotel”. Therefore, they can rent out their house or villa on a short-term basis. In our opinion, renting out a house or a villa on a short-term basis is safer than renting out a condominium unit due to the fact that unlike the short-term rental of condominium units, there is no court decision prohibiting such short-term rents for houses or villas.

    The popularity of Airbnb services among tourists has generated abundant incomes from tourism in many parts of the world. Since the short-term rental of unregistered or unlicensed is still illegal in Thailand, we recommend property owners to rent out their properties on a monthly basis, and tourists to stay in licensed hotels in order to avoid any legal consequences.

    If you have any questions regarding this matter, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call us at +66 (0)2 117 9131-2.

  2. FRANK Legal & Tax Join Thai – Italian Chamber of Commerce (TICC)

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    In line with our ongoing strategy to extend our connection with Thailand’s business community, we are pleased to announce that we have joined TICC. This organisation is committed to the Italian economy and is a well-known network for business promoting the development of commercial activities as well as industrial and cultural collaboration between organizations and entrepreneurs both Thai and Italian.

    We look forward to attending and participating in the Chamber’s many events over the coming months.

    If you have any questions about partnerships, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

     

  3. FRANK Legal & Tax will be relocating to 208 Wireless Road on 2nd May, 2019

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    We are excited to announce that we are moving to new premises at 208 Wireless Road on 2nd May, 2019. We have been at our current location since 2013 and have now outgrown our current facilities. The time has come to move and we are pleased that we could secure new offices at the exclusive 208 Wireless Road building, which is centrally located and nearby our current location. Our full address will be Unit 1104, 208 Wireless Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330.

    Please see a Google Maps link as follows: https://goo.gl/maps/7CdbddGXmRz7hQJ86

    We look forward to welcoming you in our new premises!

  4. FRANK Legal & Tax Featured in Thailand Starter Kit guide

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    We are delighted to have been featured in the well-respected professional blog Thailand Starter Kit, in their recommended lawyers section.

    The two guides FRANK Legal & Tax are featured in highlight how to select a first-class lawyer in both Bangkok and Phuket.


    Thailand Starter Kit was created with the intention to share know-how and experiences to make life easier for anyone looking to move, live and work in Thailand. It has since grown to be a renowned guide for anyone looking for information about services and life in Thailand.


    The ethos of the publication is to provide free and unbiased guides for people who looking to live, work, retire or start a business in Thailand.

    At FRANK Legal & Tax, we understand the importance of our legal and tax advice for the business decisions of all our clients, in Thailand and further afield.

    We have expertise in all areas that are important to small and medium-sized businesses. Furthermore, in particular our Phuket offices specialize in real estate matters and offer in-depth expertise on an international level, for both real estate developers and buyers of property.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us for inquiries at [email protected]

  5. Thai Lawyer joining FRANK Legal & Tax in Bangkok Office

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    FRANK Legal & Tax is proud to announce that K. Keattipong Sujinpram has joined their team in the Bangkok Office.

    Keattipong is a Thai attorney with more than six years experience as an attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Chiang Mai University. Keattipong specializes in litigation law. He is a licensed Thai lawyer. He speaks Thai and English.

    Please feel free to contact K. Keattipong by email under [email protected] if you require his legal assistance.

    A man wearing a suit and tie

  6. Join Our Next MeetUp

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    FRANK Legal & Tax is pleased to announce that our next event, themed ‘How to Set Up a Business as a Foreigner’, will be on Thursday May 25 at 6:30pm @ the Hive, Soi Sukhumvit 49. The Group aims to to create a forum for entrepreneurs and business start-ups where information can be obtained and ideas can be exchanged.

    To see our profile and join, visit our MeetUp page. Our MeetUp events are planned to take place on a regular basis once a month. Please feel free to come along! If you have any questions, please contact us: [email protected]

  7. FRANK Legal & Tax supports German Help Association

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    We are proud to announce that FRANK Legal & Tax Ltd. sponsored the German Help Association event at the Fest der Deutschen which was held on 11th March 2017, Ballroom at Plaza Athenee Hotel.

    German Help is an association that primarily assists German nationals who encounter problems while staying in Thailand. The Association also offers support to Thai projects.

     

  8. First Frank Legal MeetUp – Establishing a Company in Thailand

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    FRANK Legal & Tax’s first MeetUp on Establishing a Company in Thailand was held successfully on February 10th, 2017 at the company office in Athenee Tower, Bangkok. We plan for the forum to take place once a month, covering a range of subjects related to corporations in Thailand. The next event “Company Formation In Thailand” will take place on March 9th from 18.15-19.45 at our Bangkok office.

    Frank Legal, Meetup, bangkok

  9. FRANK Legal Tax represents fun park company during market entry in Thailand

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    FRANK Legal & Tax advises and represents a foreign company in legal matters related to establishing fun parks in Bangkok, with a total investment value of approximately 200 Million THB. Our services include the incorporation of a group of companies, license applications and other related matters.

    Find out more about our corporate and commercial services

  10. FRANK Legal & Tax on MeetUp

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    FRANK Legal & Tax is pleased to announce that we have started a “MeetUp” group. The Group aims to to create a forum for entrepreneurs and business start-ups where information can be obtained and ideas can be exchanged.

    To see our profile and join, visit:
    https://www.meetup.com/Establishing-a-Company-in-Thailand/
    Our MeetUp events are planned to take place on a regular basis once a month.

    Please feel free to come along!

     

    Frank Meetup event bangkok