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Goodbye – Evicting a tenant in Thailand

Robert Virasin

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Goodbye – Evicting a tenant in Thailand | The Thaiger

It’s a goal for many people to become a landlord. They purchase property for the purpose of renting it out for passive income. The property owner interviews prospective tenants and ensures that they sign a lease agreement and put down a deposit. However, all of this doesn’t prevent bad tenants from revealing themselves after they have moved into the property – all the smiles can disappear once they get the keys.

There are several possibilities. The tenant may stop paying the rent, the tenant may not maintain the property or theymay violate the terms of the lease, such as allowing multiple families to move in or allowing pets to live in the home.

So what does the landlord do and what are your rights?

The first thing the landlord needs to do is to review the lease agreement. The lease agreement generally contains the terms by which the tenant agreed to abide. A properly prepared lease should contain the grounds for termination of the lease and the notice requirements for eviction, if the tenant does not respond to the notice.

It is also important to review the length of the lease agreement. If the end of the lease term is near, it might be easier to just send a notice to the tenant that the lease is not going to be renewed and the tenant will be required to leave the premises at the end of the contract.

There are many foreign nationals who lease property on a 30 year lease. One of the important elements of a 30 year lease is that it must be filed with the local land office. Under Section 528 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, if the lease agreement is not in writing, signed and registered with a ‘competent official’, then it is not valid for more than three years or the life of the parties.

After the end of the lease period, the lease agreement is generally extended for an indefinite period. This allows any of the parties to provide notice of termination of the lease with a minimum of one rent term or maximum of two months notice. If the tenant refuses to leave the property, the landlord can file a lawsuit against him.

If the landlord is able to establish in court that the tenant violated the terms of the lease agreement and that the landlord abided by the legal requirements for eviction, the court will rule in favor of the landlord, unless there are extenuating circumstances. If the tenant refuses to abide by the order of the court, the landlord can request an enforcement of the judgment.

The landlord can then request that police remove the tenant from the premises. They can also terminate electrical and water services to the property. It is important to note that the landlord cannot enter the property, remove the tenant’s belongings or change the locks on the door, unless it is allowed within the lease agreement, or with a court order.

During the entire legal process, the landlord can file a claim for the rental costs and opportunity costs as a result of the tenant refusing to leave the premises.

Leasing property is a popular way to obtain passive income or to pay for mortgaged property. However, as with any type of income-generating business, there are risks, especially in a foreign country. For landlords, there is the possibility of renting to tenants who do not maintain the property, violate the rules of the lease agreement or stop paying the rent.

The legal process for evicting tenants is painstaking and can take many months. It is important to scrutinise potential tenants and check their rental history and current financial status prior to entering into a long-term lease agreement.

Additional reporting by Yutthachai Sangsirisap.



Find more property for sale and rent across Thailand at Thaiger Property, powered by FazWaz. You can even list your property for free.

Robert R. Virasin is a licensed U.S. Attorney and managing director of Virasin & Partners. Mr. Yutthachai Sangsirisap is a licensed Thai Attorney. Virasin & Partners is an international law firm and consulting company based in Bangkok with an affiliated office in Houston, Texas and representative agents in Chiangmai, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

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Phuket

Family of British Phuket property developer say “he was murdered”

The Thaiger

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Family of British Phuket property developer say “he was murdered” | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Lawyer Vincent McOwen holding up a photo of Steven James Granville – Khaosod English

A lawyer representing the family of Steven James Granville has filed a complaint with the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) in Bangkok over police reports about injuries sustained in a 2013 ‘cycling incident’.

The TCSD is now overseen by Immigration Chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn.

Karon Police wrote it off as a cycling accident at the time. But lawyer Vincent McOwen says the family were now coming forward as Mr. Granville died last year at the age of 52 after being brain dead and confined to bed in a UK hospital for four years.

Mr. Granville opened Puravarna Resort, a 800 million baht project set on 113 rai of land back in 2000. He was sentenced to jail for over a year for fraud in 2010.

He was charged for deceiving buyers into paying for homes at the project that were never built. Nineteen buyers claimed they had paid a total of 217 million baht but Phase 1 of the project had stalled and Phase 2 never materialised.

A report from 2010 involving the arrest of Mr Granville in a Phuket resort scam HERE.

He was released from prison after nearly 18 months , as outstanding criminal charges have been dropped over his involvement in the Purnavarna project in Phuket. Full report HERE.

A video walk-thru of the proposed Puravarna Resort published back in 2009

Lawyer Vincent McOwen, acting for Mr. Granville’s family, is asking for a full and fair investigation.

“It is an ongoing case but we are hearing nothing back. We are getting no feedback,” he said to Khaosod English.

The lawyer is asking police to investigate two former partners of Mr. Granville who were involved in another project in 2012. He alleges the pair asked Mr. Granville to transfer 99 percent of Puravarna Resort’s shares, valued around 1 billion baht, reasoning that his criminal record could affect the project.

According to the lawyer the siblings promised to return the shares within six months if a deal wasn’t forthcoming.

On June 24, 2013, three months later, after the shares were allegedly transferred, Mr. Granville was seriously injured in a ‘cycling accident’.

Mr. Granville’s family suspected foul play, despite the conclusion of Karon police and has lost 15 million baht in a losing legal battle to get back their property shares back.

The lawyer claims the only injury found at the time was ‘blunt force trauma’ to the man’s head. A police report says that there were no other wounds on his body.

Karon Police ruled the incident a cycling accident.

“This was not an accident. He suffered for four and a half years,” said Lawyer Vincent McOwen.

SOURCES: Khaosod English

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Chiang Mai

Phuket tram project seeks private sector investment

The Thaiger

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Phuket tram project seeks private sector investment | The Thaiger

(The term ‘tram’ and ‘light rail’ are variously used to describe the new public transport project for Phuket.)

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) is now inviting the private sector and local administrative bodies to get behind and invest in a mass-transit project in Phuket. The project is valued around 35 billion baht. The next rounds of talks and presentations are being held in Bangkok this Friday.

The main feature is a new 58.5 kilometre long light rail service valued at 34.8 billion baht. The tram route plans to run from Tha Noon in Phang Nga province, across Sarasin Bridge onto Phuket, past the airport, through Phuket Town on the east coast and then finishing at Chalong’s main intersection near the Chalong Circle.

The Phuket tram project has been divided into two phases: a 41.7 kilometre section from Phuket airport to Chalong intersection and a second phase, a 16.8 kilometre stretch from Tha Noon in Phang Nga to Muang Mai at the north end of Phuket, linking to the first phase.

The MRTA will contract the first phase which will have 21 stations. They expect to seek cabinet approval for the project in the middle of this year with construction likely to begin in 2020. They estimate it will be operational by 2023.

At this stage, the MRTA says tram fares will  be calculated based on the distance travelled but a maximum fare would not be more than be 100 – 137 baht. This would put the cost of daily use for many local Thais out of reach of their budgets (it costs about 80 baht to fill an average 110cc scooter which would last most of the week).

Phuket tram project seeks private sector investment | News by The Thaiger

An earlier rendering of the proposed route and stops for the Phuket Light Rail/Tram

Critics say the tram stops avoid most of the tourist hot spots along the west coast of the island and features on locals living along the main Thepkasattri truck route from Thalang to Phuket Town and then Chao Fah east to Chalong.

They also don’t believe that Thai users are likely to give up their point-to-point motorcycle transport for a more inconvenient, and expensive, tram that will necessitate them using expensive taxis, buses and motorcycle taxis at either end to get them to their destinations.

Critics also cite the three year construction period, which if following recent major road construction projects, is likely to blow out to four or five years and and the massive disruption of traffic during the construction time. They also believe the loss of road space along the route will restrict local road traffic even more, neutralising the nett gains of the new tram system.

The island’s Governor says Phuket is experiencing rapid growth and that traffic is getting worse, adding that an efficient mass transit system, was urgently needed to accommodate tourists (without explaining how the new light rail/tram would actually assist tourists).

The MRTA is also working on a three-route tram project in Chiang Mai. The red line would be worth 30.4 billion baht and the 11.9 kilometre Green Line would have 10 stations worth 36.2 billion baht. The Blue Line will travel from the Chiang Mai Zoo to Tha Phae-Don Chan.

Phuket tram project seeks private sector investment | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Co-working space – not just for start-ups

The Thaiger

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Co-working space – not just for start-ups | The Thaiger

PHOTO: HUBBA-TO co-working space in Bangkok

by Thanchanok Phobut | Senior Coordinator, CBRE Thailand

CBRE, an international property consultancy company, reveals that co-working space seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. There was a time when no-one knew what the term “serviced office” meant or why someone would want such an option. But today, you can’t open a business publication without seeing an article about co-working. Most people think of co-working spaces as being a thriving hub of young latte-sipping, technology entrepreneurs, coming up with the next big idea that will make them multi-millionaires.

While there is an element of truth to this image, the end-goal for many co-working space operators is to change the way that companies, not just start-ups, source their office space. They want companies to pay for office space as a service rather than follow the traditional route of signing a lease, fitting out their own space, having an office manager maintain the premises and hiring their own employees for reception and administrative duties.

Co-working office operators usually offer companies their own private space. It is most common to be offered an office based on the size you will need to fit in a set number of desks. For example, if your company has four employees, your package offer will include a furnished closed office with four desks, 4 chairs and optional telecommunications equipment for four people (internet service, phone number and a telephone handset).

There is usually a common kitchen area and spaces to meet and mingle. Think of it like a five-star hotel, you’re not sharing a room, but you are getting a high level of service and amenities on the premises.

You usually have a short-term commitment, not signing a lease for years. The best deal is usually for a year or more, but you can lease your office for as short as one month. Starting and ending your relationship with an operator is most often quick and easy. Since the office is already outfitted and reception services provided, getting to work is much quicker than when you need to design your new space yourself or hire your own support staff.

“Competition in the space is red hot. As more and more offices pop up, the fight to achieve 100% occupancy is fierce. When shopping for your space, be sure to consider more than just price, as the services and reputation of your provider are just as important.

“If you do your homework, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of co-working space, such as unreturned deposits, unexpectedly thin walls between units or fees for things like coffee and copying that you didn’t expect. The great news is, changing providers is much easier than with traditional space,” states Mr. Nithipat Tongpun, Head of Advisory & Transaction Services – Office, CBRE Thailand.

According to a recent CBRE report on the New York City office market:

  • While traditional long-term leases are the preferred model for business and the foundation of the commercial office market, the rapid growth of third-party flexible space operators provides occupiers with a wide variety of options for leasing office space. Since 2013, when the expansion of third-party flexible space began to gain significant traction, the sector has averaged an annual growth rate of 22 percent.
  • There are strong indicators of user demand for the services of the third-party space providers. In fact, 75 percent of corporate occupiers anticipate including co-working or flexible space in their occupancy portfolio over the next three years.
  • Smaller users also continue to be an important part of the target market; as the flexible space footprint has grown in Manhattan, the amount of traditional leasing among tenants under 5,000 sq. ft. has dropped off by 42 percent between 2013 and year-end 2017, suggesting that these users are migrating to flexible space solutions.

In Bangkok, four large co-working space operators are opening in multiple locations. JustCo, Spaces, The Great Room and WeWork leased a combined total of 25,000 square metres of space in some of Bangkok’s best office buildings last year and they are still growing.

“I recently met Yvan Maillard, general manager of The Great Room‘s Singapore operation and he said that, in Singapore, 30% of his clients are late stage start-ups, 30 % are private investment family offices and 30% are mainstream corporates. In the case of corporates, they often lease co-working space as a stopgap before finding a larger permanent office for their expanding team,” said Mr. James Pitchon, Head of Research and Consulting, CBRE Thailand.

It is not only the way companies source their office space that is changing. Even those companies who continue to lease office space directly are changing the way that they use the space – having your own office or even your own desk is out of fashion – agile working is all the rage.

Mr. Nihipat added, “Companies are providing employees with a daily choice of environments from quiet space to a layout that enables teams to collaborate. Employees are expected to move around the office, depending on their tasks. The objective is to create a workspace that fulfills the employees’ needs in a high-quality environment, while minimizing the number of individual desks needed, effectively putting more people to work in less space.”

Globally and in Bangkok, the office market will continue to evolve and while traditional leases are yet to be seen as a thing of the past, CBRE expects more companies to provide agile working environments. CBRE also expects to see significant growth in the amount of co-working spaces provided by third party suppliers.

“This will mean an increase in the demand for high quality buildings with flexible, column free floor plates, technically advanced air conditioning and temperature control, as well as sufficient lift capacity to deal with higher rates of occupation density.

Many of the new generation of buildings currently under construction or being planned in Bangkok will have these features and we won’t be surprised to see more and more co-working spaces open their doors as companies weigh the real advantages of this option versus traditional space.

Co-working space - not just for start-ups | News by The Thaiger

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