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Property Watch: Post-purchase pitfalls

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PHUKET: There has always been a lot of talk about the safest way to invest in property in Thailand. We know there is a lot of very nice property out there. A less-talked-about issue is that of what happens after you make an investment – what are the common issues property owners face on our beautiful island? What can you do to plan for dealing with those issues?

SECURITY

As the island becomes busier and as families relocate to take advantage of the increasing scope of educational options in Phuket, parents and property owners are mindful of security.

If you invest in a gated estate community, then ensure that you fill the gaps if there are any deficiencies in security. You can install a wireless monitor linked to a CCTV system with multiple infrared-capable cameras very cheaply in Phuket and this includes a recording system. This is of course a deterrent against crime – so you should make your cameras safe from sabotage – but easily identifiable.

ODD-JOBS

Phuket has a high demand for skilled contractor labor. This means the skilled professional labor is generally attracted to and recruited for the higher paid jobs – the airport expansions; the high end villa developments; the further-work generating bypass and underpass jobs and so on.

The stand-alone villa owner, or the owner of townhomes in ‘Moo Baans’ are left with small handymen who perhaps don’t have the qualifications or financial launch pad to carry out the larger work.

On this basis, you won’t be able to do much ‘due diligence’ on handymen and you will often be relying on word of mouth. It isn’t easy to find odd-jobbers in Phuket and often you will wait weeks for an emergency issue to be fixed unless it relates to a warranty issue for a product like an air-con unit.

ELECTRICITY

When it comes to electrical works – be careful, and monitor what is being done in terms of safety.
Are your shower boxes wired up properly and earthed to the ground?

Do you have extra surge breakers in your fuse box?

Is the wiring under your jacuzzi safe and not comprised of black sticky tape connections?
Is your swimming pool room safety box, really safe?

Take your time and get a good odd job man to work through your house and correct any deficiencies. They may be busy on other jobs, but it is worth waiting sometimes for the right person to get the job done.

PEST CONTROL

Phuket has a lovely climate for anyone who dislikes colder weather. It must also be accepted by those that benefit from tropical heat and warm rain that this has an effect on properties and can propagate pests.

There are many pest-control companies to choose from – and you will find the lowest price companies may use very toxic chemicals and adopt a very aggressive in and out approach to spraying in and around your house.

The price differences between companies is not that great – try to use a healthy and environmentally friendly company for your pest-control works.

RENOVATIONS

One of my favorite topics for Phuket and for world affairs is trying our best to have good neighborly relations wherever and if possible.

Even if we are different from each other, we should try to get along and accept those differences or move away from anything we find unacceptable.

When you plan to expand your property and dream about the new two-floor extension you want, think about whether this is going to negatively impact those around you, and make absolutely sure that your renovation plan is legal and is covered by your construction permit, or you may have to obtain a new permit.

Make sure you don’t disturb neighboring land or structures through excavation; put in place the appropriate retaining walls. Be considerate.

Desmond Hughes has been an owner and operator of his law firm in Thailand for 12 years, and is a Senior Partner at Hughes Krupica law firm www.hugheskrupica.com

— Desmond Hughes

 

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