This story should act as a warning to residential landlords in Thailand who are engaged in short-term rentals.
Under Thai law these short-term rentals are illegal.
Last week, the local court in Hua Hin issued fines to owners of two condo units for renting their units to tourists on a short-term basis.
Illegal under Thailand’s Hotel Act 2004, those found guilty can be jailed for up to a year and/or fined.
In this case, the landlords pleaded guilty and the fines issued were reduced.
This is not the first time that similar action has been taken in Hua Hin.
One current case is still under dispute, but in one of the finalised cases the landlord was fined THB 5,000 and a further THB 500 for 20-days, presumably the length of the rental in question.
The remaining case saw an identical THB 5,000 baht fine plus a further THB 100 for 81-days.
“The wrongdoers leased the units to tourists, charging them both daily and weekly rates, without licences,” said Rutprathip Thamraphiphat, Chief of Hua Hin District.
He personally led the search of three rooms, and also discovered that some owners were advertising their units on social media websites.
Citing an initial investigation, Rutprathip said he believed that as many as 90% percent of owners had bought their units in order to offer what he described as lucrative short-term rentals to tourists.
The Bangkok Post reported that this was brought to the attention of the authorities following a dispute between the condominium operator and unit owners, in which the operator insisted that all rentals must be for a period greater than 30 days.
It Bangkok, for example, some condominiums have signs that specifically prohibit short-term rentals, or anything below 30-days in length.