November 14, 2018

Video #33 | April 26, 2018

In this video I’m going to discuss a new rental law that will have a very significant impact on residential lease contracts in Thailand. If you’re a current or prospective tenant looking for Bangkok apartment rentals, or Bangkok condo rentals, this law will likely affect you. In a good way!

The video will be broken down into 4 sections:

– New safeguards in the Consumer Protection Act [1979].
– The important points that you need to know!
– So what is a ‘residential property leasing business’?
– Your new friend; the Consumer Protection Board.



Click on the following link to check out more Bangkok Laws You Need To Know!.

#VIDEO TRANSCRIPT#

Welcome to the thirty-third video of Bangkok Unmasked! The YouTube channel that helps you get the most out of your visit to Bangkok city! If you’re new here, please consider subscribing! In this video I’m going to discuss a new rental law that will have a very significant impact on residential lease contracts in Thailand. If you’re a current or prospective tenant looking for Bangkok apartment rentals or Bangkok condo rentals, this law will likely affect you. In a good way!

Before I begin, a disclaimer. This VLOG post does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Let’s get started!

New safeguards in the Consumer Protection Act [1979]

From May 1, 2018 there will be new safeguards in the Consumer Protection Act [1979] that will have a very significant impact on residential lease contracts in Thailand. There will be new protections for tenants that include limits on what landlords can charge and a way out of long-term leases. One note: It only applies to applies to ‘residential property leasing businesses’. This is landlords who rent five or more properties. We’re talking about a huge chunk of the real estate market in Thailand! If you’re a current or prospective tenant looking for Bangkok apartment rentals or Bangkok condo rentals, most landlords will fall into this category!

Residential property leasing will now be deemed a contract-controlled business. The intention is to ensure that contracts contain necessary terms and conditions which prevent consumers from being taken advantage of [by unfair contract terms].

What follows are the important points that you need to know!

Number 1.

Landlords are prevented from charging more for basic utilities than they actually cost. This will impact water, electricity and Wi-Fi bills for example. Currently it’s standard practice for property owners to add extra charges to utility bills. In some cases landlords charge multiple times the true cost of the service – electricity is the big one.

Number 2.

Landlords can only request one-month in advance rental payment and one-month as a security deposit. Currently almost every rental requires two-months as security and one-month rent in advance.

Number 3.

A security deposit cannot be withheld due to ‘wear and tear’. Additionally, a security deposit must now be returned within seven days. Currently a security deposit often takes 60 days to be returned.

Number 4.

Landlords must now pay for routine maintenance and upkeep. Further, tenants cannot be charged for repairing items like; broken toilets, leaking roofs and broken door knobs.

Number 5.

Even when signing a one-year agreement, or longer, tenants now have the right to leave giving 30 days’ notice. Consequently, Facebook groups like “Take Over My Lease” will likely see a lot less listings! Note: A reasonable reason must be given. For foreigners, that might be the need to move back to their country. For the Thai it might be the need to move due to a government position transfer.

Number 6.

Landlords can still inspect their property during an any rental period. However, they must give advance notice.

Number 7.

The practice of punishing tenants who miss their rent by locking their doors or moving their stuff out will be illegal.

Number 8.

The new regulations literally address the ‘fine print’. Indeed, the regulations stipulate that contracts cannot contain type smaller than two millimeters.

Number 9.

Landlords who make illegal demands face up to a year in jail and 100,000-baht fine per lease violation.

Number 10.

Under the new law, unhappy tenants in multi-family housing may band together in the dozens or hundreds to file a joint complaint rather multiple individual complaints.

As mentioned, this new rental law only applies to residential property leasing businesses.

So what is a ‘residential property leasing business’?

A ‘residential property leasing business’ is:

any business that leases [or subleases] five units of property or more to individual lessees, for residential purposes, in exchange for a fee collected by the business operator, regardless of whether or not the units are in the same building.

The definition of ‘property’ is:

any accommodation, house, condominium unit, apartment, or other kind of residential property leased for residential purposes, excluding dormitories and hotels which are regulated separately.

Your new friend; the Consumer Protection Board

To report their landlords, tenants can contact the Consumer Protection Board by calling 02-141-3437. To verify contracts are legally compliant, property owners can contact the same Board’s Contracts Committee at 02-143-9767.

Anyway…That’s it for this video. I hope that helps people with their Bangkok apartment rentals or Bangkok condo rentals! Expect a new video next week.

For all you techies out there, this video was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, and edited using HitFilm Express.

Finally, please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel through the button below! Also, I’d like to hear from you if you have any other questions regarding Bangkok apartment rentals or Bangkok condo rentals. Please ask me in the comments section, and I might be able to help!

Thank you very much for watching. I’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

jamesnardell

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