Connect with us


Tsunami-hit residents “must pay rent’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



KAMALA: More than 300 residents gathered yesterday evening to hear Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura explain why they must start paying rent on land where they have lived for many years rent-free.

Addressing the meeting at Kamala Police Station, Gov Udomsak said, “Government policy is to bring back tourists by reorganizing beaches and public places. If the places are restored and improved so they look better, the tourists will come back soon.

“The number of tourists coming to Phuket is 80% down on normal. We are trying to implement government policy as soon as possible, but this does depend on help from local residents as well.”

Gov Udomsak told the protesters it had already been decided to widen the waterfront road to eight metres, and that residents would have had to move back from the high water mark and the public road anyway.

And, he added, “You have been living here illegally because you have encroached on public land; now we are giving you the chance to live here legally, by renting the land from the government.”

He pointed out that the rent for the land would be just 1,000 baht a year. “You used to earn as much as 100,000 baht a year,” he said, “Can’t you pay even this small amount of money?”

The Governor tried to reassure the residents that they would have security of tenure, as the land could be handed down from generation to generation, with the rental contracts being checked every five years to ensure they stayed in order.

He said, “There will be no problem in renewing the contracts. You can live on the land for 30, 60 years, and on into the future. This is fair, and the right way to do things in Thailand.”

And, he warned, “If you still don’t want to do this, you should find some other land to rent or live on legally. But if you still want to live here, you should follow the regulations.”

He continued, “If you hold land titles legally, there won’t be any problem. But if you don’t, well, the same rule applies everywhere, even at Bang Tao and other beaches.”

However, resident Chai Tiangnoi said, “Renting means we don’t have something that we can call our own.

“We have been living here for a long time, but all of a sudden, we’re told we have to rent our place from the government. I’m not even sure which is government land. We’ll have to discuss later whether we are prepared to rent this land or not.

“Kamala used to be a nice place for tourists, but now the government is trying to stop us from doing anything like rebuild our homes. Will the tourists come here if there is nothing here?”

Kathu District Chief Kanthee Sinlapa suggested that, to settle the dispute, residents be offered long-term rental agreements, or that the status of the land be changed so that it is no longer state land, and land titles could be issued for it.

The Governor, however, was adamant that no one would be allowed to start re-building a house before signing a rental agreement, although they would be allowed to repair damaged homes, for the time being at least.


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 mins ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases and 17 deaths

Best of24 mins ago

Top 5 Tax Firms in Thailand

Malaysia32 mins ago

Lockdown extended for another 2 weeks in Malaysia

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Food46 mins ago

Top 10 Restaurant-Bars in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Low immunity levels in some, despite 2 doses of AstraZeneca, Sinovac

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Confusion, delayed appointments, and finger pointing: Thailand’s vaccine rollout in disarray

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Vietnam strikes deal to manufacture vaccines, but which brand?

Crime15 hours ago

Motorbike thieves arrested after a million baht of bikes stolen

Tourism17 hours ago

300 tourism businesses given SHA Plus certification in Phuket

Chiang Rai17 hours ago

Police warn child pornography is a serious matter after teacher caught downloading clips

Weather18 hours ago

Tropical storm Koguma brings heavy rain to North, Northeast

Thailand18 hours ago

(Another) poll (also) shows Thais’ lack of confidence in vaccine campaign

Politics19 hours ago

Despite rumours, PM and goverment not planning early election

Thailand19 hours ago

Thai PM not happy with soccer gambling

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Doctors demand the government be more honest about Covid-19

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8