Connect with us


Phuket Property: Condominium law since 2008

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: In a move to address numerous complaints from condominium buyers, the Thai government enacted the Condominium Act No 4 (2008), which significantly expanded the scope of consumer protection by amending several provisions of the original Condominium Act made thirty years previously.

The original Act has been amended three times in attempts to keep the law up to date with new private sector developments and practices; however, the 2008 amendment was one of the most comprehensive overhauls. It extended buyer protection, enacting additional requirements and duties for developers, and modified restrictions on foreign ownership.

Buyer Protection:

Previously there were few legal provisions to protect buyers. Potential buyers risked exposure to developer bankruptcies, unfair contracts, unfinished or substandard construction, disputes over maintenance fees, and various other problems. An aggrieved buyer’s only options were to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Board and hope that the Board would take action, or initiate a potentially lengthy and expensive legal case against the developer.

Amendment No 4 contained several provisions designed to protect condominium buyers. Standardized Form Contract: A key provision in the new armory is a requirement that purchase contracts between the developer and buyer conform to a standard format prescribed by the Ministry of the Interior.

This format promotes a degree of uniformity and certainty in purchase contracts. Furthermore, any clauses in a purchase contract that deviate from the standard format and are not in favor of the buyer will not be enforceable. The required clauses include basic information such as the developer’s ownership in the land and the location, price and size of the condominium and development complex.

More importantly, one of the required clauses is a detailed objective of the usage of every area of the condominium including individual condominiums, common property and facilities. This provision addresses prior buyer complaints about developers who changed the common area for other uses or built additional units over common areas.

Accurate advertising:
Developers must also take careful steps to ensure that their advertisements to the public, such as pictures, statements or brochures, truthfully and accurately represent the completed condominium. Since 2008, any advertisement for the sale of a condominium will be regarded as forming part of the purchase contract and any inconsistencies between the advertising and the actual purchase contract will be interpreted in favor of the buyer.

Additional duties and restrictions on developers:

Payment of monthly maintenance fees for unsold units:
In the past, disputes often arose between developers and buyers over payment of maintenance fees for units which had not been sold, resulting in a shortfall of maintenance funds. Since 2008 the developer is responsible for paying taxes, common services expenses, and common maintenance expenses for units to which ownership has not yet been transferred.

Operation of businesses within a condominium:
There are also new restrictions on the operation of businesses within the condominium. Specifically businesses are only allowed to operate in designated areas, and the developer must arrange for separate entrances and exits for these businesses in order to protect residents from noise and

Penalties for violations:
The new amendment provided a comprehensive list of penalties for developers who violate any of the new provisions. The biggest penalties are for violations of the standard form contract or for violations of accurate advertising, with fines between 50,000 and 100,000 baht. A violation of the provisions regulating business use within the condominium carries a slightly lesser fine but with a small addition for each day the violation is not fixed.

Changes in restrictions of foreign ownership:
Under the original Condominium Act foreigners were explicitly granted the right to purchase and own condominiums as long as foreign ownership of the total units within a development did not exceed 49 per cent. Condominium Act No 3 (1999) liberalized these restrictions and allowed foreigners or their holding companies to hold in aggregate over 49 per cent in certain developments, but since 2008, the 49 per cent ceiling was reinstated – except, as mentioned last month, for those who were fortunate enough to have purchased their condominium in excess of that percentage during the time it was allowed, in which case ownership is still protected.

Viewed as a whole, the Condominium Act No 4 (2008) is part of a larger consumer rights movement in Thailand. Along with the Escrow Act 2008, more of which will be explained later, the Thai government has been moving to address complaints of consumer fraud and abuse. In general, the new law created some minor burdens for developers, while extending significant protection to consumers.

This article has been written by the International Law Office Patong Beach Co Ltd, a Phuket-based law firm for international purposes only. In case of inquiry, please contact Timothy A Taylor, Consultant, by phone on 076-222191/5, or by mail to

— International Law Office


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video3 mins ago

Gramma mistakes, Homemade coffee, Bhutan | Thaiger Bites | Ep.76

Southeast Asia32 mins ago

Myanmar ousted leader’s prison sentence reduced to two years

Chon Buri52 mins ago

Tourists stranded an island off the coast of Sattahip rescued by Royal Thai Navy

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand deploys “King Cobra” unit at Myanmar border to monitor illegal crossings

Phuket3 hours ago

Thai Airways offering round trip Sydney-Phuket flights

Chiang Mai3 hours ago

1 tourist killed, 8 wounded in crash while on tour of Chiang Mai mountain

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact to Omicron case tests positive for Covid, variant not confirmed

World4 hours ago

Indonesia and Malaysia expected to launch vaccinated travel lane early next year

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

No need to panic over Thailand’s first Omicron case, says PM

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Don’t panic! 6 Belgians saved, Thai TV in Britain | December 7

World5 hours ago

Rohingya accuse Facebook of promoting hate speech in US$150 billion lawsuit

Thailand5 hours ago

The seven mannequins, Luxury car market, Unsafe air in BKK | Good Morning Thailand | Ep.147

World5 hours ago

US confirms diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses

Tourism6 hours ago

Recovery of Thailand’s international tourism sector likely to take years

Video24 hours ago

The “Dislike: button, Serving alcohol, Thai longtail boats | Thaiger Bites | Ep.75

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

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

Tourism9 months ago

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

Phuket9 months ago

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

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

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

Tourism10 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand11 months ago

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