Thailand’s new property rental law, which comes into effect on May 1, got its first mainstream media coverage yesterday (Sunday).
A column from writers at real estate firm JLL was published by The Bangkok Post, and covered some of the main points of the new rental law. But in our opinion is missed some of the important aspects that have caused significant worries among many Thailand landlords and real estate professionals.
Thankfully, the writers do make the important point that this new rental law will only apply to landlords with five or more rental properties, but it fails to mention that this will likely involve more than half of current rental properties in Bangkok.
Thais that rent property will usually have more than five properties, and will therefore subject to the terms of this new law.
Andrew Batt, the Founder and Editor of ThailandProperty.News has spoken at three seminars in the past three days, and as many as 70 percent of the 150+ attendees, Thais and non-Thais, were unaware of the new rental law.
Whilst the piece from JLL underlines the law allows tenants to quite their property with 30-days’ notice, it makes no mention of the fact that no landlord will want to pay one-month commission to agents from what, essentially, could only be a one-month rental.
Andrew said during his seminars that he believes the entire business model for estate agents in the rental sector will change. He predicted a “fixed fee” business model will become the norm in the Thailand property rental sector.
He was widely supported in his view by attendees at the three events he spoke at.
He said: “Agents focusing on rental properties will surely face price competition, with small and more agile agencies able to deliver rentals with lower costs that the larger, more cumbersome agencies.”
The JLL column also said: “Any lessor or lessee, however, must still adhere to any articles of association or registered rules and regulations of a condominium.”
Whilst that might be true, the new law will override any rules imposed by individual condominium that are deemed to be unfair by the new rental law. The terms in the new law, with is an amendment to the current Consumer Protection Act, will apply over and above any other rules that are imposed.
Tenants will have the right to make complaints against the landlord, especially if a locally-imposed rule is against the terms of the new law.
The big question which remains unanswered, either by JLL in this column of by the Office of the Board of Consumer Protection, the governing and enforcing authority, is (a) how tenants will know if their landlord has five or more properties.
Emails and phone calls to request answers to this and other questions remain unanswered.
NOTE: A Thai copy of the actual law, as well as a verified good English summary, are available to download from the top right of this page.