Thailand landlords must register with Immigration within 24-hours when they have a foreign tenant.
This applies to homeowners renting their condos for one-day or one-year, just as it applies to owners of hotels.
This is not a new requirement, and the Royal Thai Government occasionally issues reminders of the duties of Thailand landlords under the 1979 Immigration Act.
It previously stated that: “Homeowners and owners of hotels, apartments, and accommodation buildings where there are foreigners staying in the accommodation to inform officials at nearest immigration bureau or the local police station within 24-hours of the foreigner arriving at the premises.”
The head of one leading Bangkok-based real estate firm, and a Thailand landlord, told us a few years ago that he would “… be in trouble” for failing to report his own tenants.
At that time, Simon Landy, Chairman of Colliers International Thailand, said: “This regulation has always been on the books but not enforced.”
The requirement from Thailand landlords to report foreign guests has been law for close to 40 years but our enquiries and industry knowledge suggests that very few homeowners bother to register their foreign tenants with the authorities.
This could be one issue that planned meetings this week between the Royal Thai Government and short-term rentals website Airbnb could aim to resolve.
The wording of the 1979 Immigration Act says: “House owners, heads of household, landlords or managers of hotels who accommodate foreign nationals on a temporary basis who stay in the kingdom legally, must notify the local immigration authorities within 24-hours from the time of arrival of the foreign national.”
Any enforcement of registrations could be one step towards bringing the lettings and rentals sector in Thailand into the tax system.
Numerous Thailand landlords are thought to be avoiding tax by not declaring their rental business and associated income.