Khon Kaen Forum

KHON KAEN & ISAAN => Khon Kaen in the News => Topic started by: Rex (Admin) on May 30, 2018, 12:35:21 PM

Title: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 30, 2018, 12:35:21 PM
Wed 30 May 2018, 12:31 pm

"Guesthouses," usually small family-run hotels have been a cottage industry in Thailand for decades serving budget travelers and lending charm and character to tourist areas. Many travelers prefer the small-scale intimacy, charm and personal service to the more sterile and cold-blooded commercial hotels. To each their own, of course. However, this industry, the livelihoods of generations of guesthouse owners and operators are at risk as the gov moves to make it difficult or impossible for such places to continue to operate in Thailand. Not only does this effect the guesthouse operators but also budget travelers who will have fewer options and my be entirely priced-out of visiting Thailand.  Of course, in our opinion, it would be better for the big hotel operators/owners (many of whom are members of the government) to work hard to provide better service and lower prices rather than colluding to squash an entire industry comprised mostly of innocents with little or no defense against the gov and big business. While undoubtedly there are many levels to this story, I rarely ask my facebook friends to share posts, but I make an exception this time. If you love these little guesthouse facilities or are just opposed to abuse of power from gov and big business PLEASE SHARE this with friends and colleagues. Thanks!  -Rex[/size

THE NATION- Facing a crackdown on unregistered accommodations, the operators of 200 small hotels and guesthouses in Chiang Maiís Muang district on Friday jointly hired a team of experienced lawyers to petition the court to legalise their businesses, as well as asking for help from related agencies . . .  Read more => http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30346274
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: stevve on May 30, 2018, 12:39:49 PM
one reason is that they do not comply with the law and inform the police when they have a non Thai guest
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 30, 2018, 03:25:02 PM
Another reason is that many of the big hotel owners are MPs and would prefer to use their influence to squash competition rather than provide better service at lower rates..  I don't know where your information comes from about guesthouse owners not being in compliance with reporting. However, if that is true, there is a remedy for that; fine those who are not in compliance.  Even though it is a pain in the ass too be sure, they could easily do it if it meant  being able to continue to operate. How can ghe gov and Chamber of Commerce hope to save face if they behave like thugs?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on May 30, 2018, 03:56:41 PM

Two things:


We've stayed in those 'guesthouses' or as most people call them 'resorts'.  I agree with STEVVE about the non reporting, but that is not the only issue.  When we would go to one of them, if we paid cash, not only did they not want to see my passport to make a copy so they could report my stay, but also they did NOT charge VAT.  If you used a credit card, you had to provide them with your passport and the price now not only included VAT but also the 3% charge for using the credit card.


Secondly, I doubt if a majority of the bungalows were built to spec on all the various safety requirements necessary to make them safe for occupancy.  We have a friend who owns a 'resort' on the Rt 230 Bypass about 2 Km south of the Udorn exit going to the West.  If you want a room for a night or two, pay cash of 600 baht/day, no questions asked.


Just check what was happening in Phu Tub Berk Mountain where the 'resort' owners built the stays illegally and not to any safety requirements.  Whenever we went, we would usually stayed in a camp site in a tent or in a government available bungalow, nt one of those 'illegal' bungalows.


If the owners would have built them to spec under a government approved license and ran them as an approved temporary stay,  they would be in business throughout this time of ouster.  But like most Thais, they do not want to abide by the existing laws, just like the way Thais drive flaunting the traffic laws.


Sorry, Rex!

Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 31, 2018, 08:57:50 AM
Frank, the "resorts" you are referring to and the "guesthouses" I am referring to are not the same thing. Resorts are guesthouses, technically, I guess.  However, what I am talking about are the hundreds (or thousands) of little hotels all around the streets of Bangers, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and the other tourist towns. They range from backpacker-slimy to fairly upmarket, and from, I guess,  a little "shady" legally to boy scout honest. That is not to say that all of the resorts you describe are not in compliance with building codes or reporting or taxes. Lots of these guesthouse, maybe most, are on Agoda and similar. That is also not to say that the bigger operators are by definition a bunch of angelic boy scouts either!

But that is not what the story is about.  If the gov discovers an operator not in compliance with whatever, then the operator--following some sort of due process--should be fined and given fair warning and the opportunity to come into compliance or have his license revoked depending on the severity of the offense.

Guesthouse operators are not provided incentives to come into compliance. The system is rigged in such a way as they can never comply 100% with all of the Byzantine licensing requirements imposed by various agencies, and so remain perpetually at risk of being extorted in one way or the other for not have all the required documentation or having one with some error on it.

The guesthouse owners and their attorneys are simply asking for the opportunity to become regularized so they can go back to operating peacefully and properly in compliance with regulations.

However, there is much bigger stuff going on here on two levels.  The first is that upscale tourist operators simply do not  care for competition and have the gov on their side and welcome the dismantling of a decades old cottage industry industry and tradition. This dovetails with the recent Airbnd ban targeting the same impulse for ordinary people to make a living or a few extra dollars without indenturing themselves to some corporate master.

The other level, different-but-overlapping is the current nanny state government's "march to the sea" to remake the culture of Thailand according to a morally pristine image that they prefer, one safe for busloads of Chinese tourists who come, stay in crappy, sterile hotels, eat Chinese food, spend a few dollars and then go home in ten days.

Isn't that special!
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on May 31, 2018, 10:43:12 AM
Whether they are a "resort" or a "guesthouse" they must be licensed by law and they must meet certain safety standards and I know of many that are not licensed and they do not meet the safety standards that are required to obtain a license. Why should I as an owner of a licensed "guesthouse" have to allow my next door neighbour to run a "guesthouse" which is unlicensed and he has not spent the money to ensure that his "guesthouse" meets all the safety requirements as required by law so that he can charge a much lower tariff than I do because he has not paid out the same costs that I have for me to operate legally. That is unfair competition in any country.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on May 31, 2018, 02:38:26 PM

Rex, I am happy that you brought up Airbnb.  Not only is Thailand going after these operators, but I just read where one European country is totally fed up with these type of rentals and are going through the proper channels (new laws and regulations about residential neighborhoods being turned into commercial neighborhoods.)  What is happening in many neighborhoods where there are Airbnb rentals, neighbors are fed up with people renting and then becoming a huge nuisance in the neighborhood, whether destruction of property, illegal parking, excessive noise, etc.  Airbnb does not investigate the renters who use their service vice they worry about only home owners who do the renting not caring about the 'destruction' of the residential neighborhood.


I DO NOT want my neighbor or other close neighbors applying for these temporary and short term rentals using services like Airbnb!  Why should there be any differences in the resort areas or Bangkok vs Khon Kaen and its suburbs or the National Parks and other Thailand attractions?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: screamer on May 31, 2018, 04:36:59 PM
I use Airbnb and get better accommodation, better prices and better looked after than any hotel I've been in.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 31, 2018, 04:57:35 PM
The Airbandb is a zoning issue plain and simple. Why not let the local jurisdictions, "villages," and neighborhoods  decide rather than the gov over-reacting, over-reaching and making an entire industry illegal? There is such a thing, after all, as private property and the right to do with it as one pleases within rational, obvious limits.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 31, 2018, 05:09:50 PM
Whether they are a "resort" or a "guesthouse" they must be licensed by law and they must meet certain safety standards and I know of many that are not licensed and they do not meet the safety standards that are required to obtain a license. Why should I as an owner of a licensed "guesthouse" have to allow my next door neighbour to run a "guesthouse" which is unlicensed and he has not spent the money to ensure that his "guesthouse" meets all the safety requirements as required by law so that he can charge a much lower tariff than I do because he has not paid out the same costs that I have for me to operate legally. That is unfair competition in any country.


Russell, I am not well-researched about this, but it is my understanding that the issue is not about licensed vs. non-licensed operators.  As it has been explained to me, small operators simply cannot get licensed--none of them--and the requirements are the same as they are for bigger hotels, but are not applicable and not doable for small operators. And even those who make a good faith effort, as I explained, are always short one document or another so are always at the mercy of the whims of the cops.


Also, as I said and as I say, if an operator is "shady" and in non-compliance in some way, deal with him as an individual.  Don't ban an entire cottage industry and ruin the livelihoods of thousands of mom & pop businesses, not to mention the subset of hundreds  or thousands of restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, convenience stores, taxi drivers and many more who have a symbiotic relationship with the guesthouses.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: screamer on May 31, 2018, 06:20:21 PM

Exactly Rex.
Make Airbnb open and legal so that guests can go to the police about bad places and weed them out.


If I had to stay in Bangkok (or anywhere) at hotel prices I wouldn't stay for nearly as long so the city would lose all my extra spending money.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 31, 2018, 08:11:02 PM
I have been speaking with the lovely woman who owns Britannia Guest House, Chiang Mai where I am staying this week. A group of owners has formed a loosely affiliated association and their attorney met with some sort of gov officials or cops or something.  They made it clear that it was not a protest, but rather a request for dialog.  All they were asking is for the cops to put a moratorium on the mass crackdown, closures and arrests and allow them to continue has they have been for years until some less draconian (my word) solution might be arrived at.  I am returning home tomorrow, but I hope Aow will send me updates.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on May 31, 2018, 10:13:43 PM
Rex, you have been staying at the Britannia Guest House, Chiang Mai. Let me ask you what safety equipement do they have if a fire broke out? How quickly would the building become an inferno?This I do know about, I was involved with the NSW Bushfire Brigades in Australia plus look at the recent highrise building fires in England where the wrong material was used to build the places.If the places cannot meet the safety standards then they should not be allowed to operate.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on May 31, 2018, 10:32:18 PM
I have no way of answering your question.  However, my off-hand guess is that the guesthouse would become an inferno about as quickly as any of the hundreds of other buildings in the surrounding areas. Personally, I would not want to be in any store or restaurant of mini-mall if a fire broke out.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on June 01, 2018, 06:57:09 AM
This is the biggest problem with this type of accommodation, they do not want to spend the money on the safety equipement that is required in all short term accommodation. Things like fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and smoke alarms which is required in all short term accommodation. This is not only here in Thailand but in many other countries in the world.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 01, 2018, 07:12:45 AM

Good points Russell!  When have you ever been in a private resort bungalow, etc, where there are fire extinguishers in all the obvious places?  Not even a sprinkler system in the rooms in case of a fire.  Simple addition anywhere if done when built.  I have never seen these.


Thinking back on a bookings.com reservation.  The description was great, beautiful (and done by the owner.)  We got there and no one was there to sign us in.  IT WAS A PRIVATE HOME IN A VILLAGE!!  She finally showed up ( had a job a few Km away from her house.)  We would have been allowed to use only the bedroom and the attached bathroom even though the description on bookings.com described all that was in the house and written as if you had full run of it.  (She had three bedrooms available for rent!)   Not only that but the outside was a pigpen and there was a dog 'guarding' the place, small as it was.)


We told the owner that it was unacceptable and she did not care, didn't charge us anything and I told her I would contact bookings.com to describe what was really available.  She said she did not care, up to us.


I contacted bookings.com and they apologize profusely, said they would assist us in finding another place, but we declined (very few availabilities when we made the original reservation).  My wife found a brand new hotel which had been opened for less than month and of course, when we made the reservation wasn't yet on bookings.com.  They had rooms for the same price as the woman's house.


At least at the hotel, there were fire alarms strategically placed and a fire suppressant sprinkler system in all the rooms.


I did write back to bookings.com about how the description written by the owner was not even close to what they were advertising.  BUT I doubt if bookings.com did anything about it.  They do not audit listings and rely on the owner's  honesty.


So there is and has been a crying need to maintain some type of government auditing of places to be made available for temporary and short term rent.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 01, 2018, 08:09:52 AM
These points about safety are well-taken.  However, the issue is MUCH broader than guesthouses, et al. Safety in all of its forms is a concept that has come to Asia rather recently. You can impose all the rules and regulations you want to, but until and unless it becomes a natural part of people's awareness and consciousness, implementation will be slow and spotty. It is really something people need to begin learning from childhood.  And it doesn't help that some people have a superstitious, fatalistic interpretation of Buddhism: "If it's my day to die, there is nothing I can do about it.  If it isn't, I can do whatever I want and it doesn't matter." Moreover, enforcement that becomes too draconian becomes counter-productive and has wider, more "sinister" implications for society in general.  In other words, if the gov can deprive you of your livelihood over a fire extinguisher, where will it stop?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on June 01, 2018, 09:25:42 AM
You have a 10 room Guesthouse or a 10 unit resort, why have you not got 10 smoke detectors, one for each room or unit for the protection of your guests? You can buy 10 battery operated smoke detectors from Lazada for 1100baht and you would only need maybe 3 fire extinguishers located in convenient locations. I don't care if the places do not pay their taxes but I do care about the safety issue and if the accommodation places do not meet with the countries safety criteria then they should not have a license and they should not be allowed to operate. It is up to the gov to set the safety standards for all short term accommodation and not the local administration because there would be too many different standards if the local administration set the standards
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 01, 2018, 02:16:36 PM

Russell, I wholeheartedly agree with you.  BUT, it is the local governments that are causing the problems.  Unless someone puts up a stink about what another person is doing in some type of construction that does not meet the required specifications, the construction proceeds without a hitch.  Some of it is probably due to large sums of 'tea money' provided to the engineers who sit in the Tambon to  look the other way.


A neighbor was going to expand their house to come to within a few centimeters of the privacy wall.  My wife knowing construction went online and search for and found all the building codes in Thailand, which are the same for everywhere in the countries (no excuses.)  She went to the tambon with photograph of the initial digging and the placement of the foundations, and the Tambon engineers came out to the private dwelling and instructed the home owner and their construction company on what was required for distance from each others properties.


If Thailand would enforce the building codes prior to any construction, many of these problems would be resolved before there were any problems.  It should not require one private individual to get building codes enforced.  The government should not allow ANY construction whether new or additions and upgrades.  They need to enforce the use of permits for building any structure but they don't.  Sad situation.


Just like you said, if the local government would have been there to enforce the building codes, they would have made the owner to put in the fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alums, etc., before anything was being built.  I know for a fact that any village owner that proposes building a new village HAS to get approval of the local government agencies prior to building.  He has to get the government engineer's to approved of his drawings, specification and materials before any construction can begins.  that includes sewers, electric distribution, roadways and sidewalk, size of lots, etc.  So if these village owners have to do it, why doesn't a person who elects to develop a resort or 1-10 unit guesthouse(s) be held to the same standards?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Windy on June 01, 2018, 02:48:40 PM

Russell, I wholeheartedly agree with you.  BUT, it is the local governments that are causing the problems.  Unless someone puts up a stink about what another person is doing in some type of construction that does not meet the required specifications, the construction proceeds without a hitch.  Some of it is probably due to large sums of 'tea money' provided to the engineers who sit in the Tambon to  look the other way.


A neighbor was going to expand their house to come to within a few centimeters of the privacy wall.  My wife knowing construction went online and search for and found all the building codes in Thailand, which are the same for everywhere in the countries (no excuses.)  She went to the tambon with photograph of the initial digging and the placement of the foundations, and the Tambon engineers came out to the private dwelling and instructed the home owner and their construction company on what was required for distance from each others properties.


If Thailand would enforce the building codes prior to any construction, many of these problems would be resolved before there were any problems.  It should not require one private individual to get building codes enforced.  The government should not allow ANY construction whether new or additions and upgrades.  They need to enforce the use of permits for building any structure but they don't.  Sad situation.


Just like you said, if the local government would have been there to enforce the building codes, they would have made the owner to put in the fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alums, etc., before anything was being built.  I know for a fact that any village owner that proposes building a new village HAS to get approval of the local government agencies prior to building.  He has to get the government engineer's to approved of his drawings, specification and materials before any construction can begins.  that includes sewers, electric distribution, roadways and sidewalk, size of lots, etc.  So if these village owners have to do it, why doesn't a person who elects to develop a resort or 1-10 unit guesthouse(s) be held to the same standards?

Sorry to be off topic, but:

What was the distance that an extension can be to the boundary wall?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 01, 2018, 04:26:32 PM

By building code, 1 meter if there are no windows or doorway included in the structure facing the privacy wall (separating two village properties.)  With a door and/or windows, it has to be 2 meters.


Now for the blank wall, if you can get your neighbor to agree, it can be at a minimum of 0.5 meters.  (We allowed them the 0.5 meters.)  Sad as it seems, what if there is fire in the back of the house,  it will be fairly difficult for the firemen to be able to proceed along the wall to extinguish the fire.


Since if the neighbor elected to use that pathway to the back, we were very concerned about our privacy, them having the opportunity to look.  Also, how hard is it to scale the 1+ meter wall when it would be difficult to see someone doing it.  So we had to add a temporary partition on the top of the privacy wall on our side of it that was at least 1.5 meters high.  (They did the same.)


The interesting thing about it all, if your house in on the perimeter of the village and the security wall of the village separates it to another outside property that is located on the other side, then if you build all the way up to the security wall, and the other village or property owner complains to the Tambon, you have to knock down your addition even if it had been built years before!  AND so many owners do just that, build to the security wall and use it as part of their addition!  Thais have a propensity of ignoring any and all laws, etc.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 05, 2018, 06:33:57 AM
The problem is one of education and attitude.  You are not going to get an overnight change in behavior by passing more nanny state laws, ignoring them for decades, and then suddenly deciding to enforce the laws in a draconian way. That does not engender respect from the people. It probably creates just the opposite of compliance; wherever possible people will try to avoid, ignore, or do an "end run" around  the law or simply flaunt it. Then to avoid losing face, the gov has to become even more draconian.  It is not a good way to run a railroad.


You can't change attitudes over night or apply Western standards to a non-Western culture. It is a process. It takes time.  My house needs all of the light switches replaced.  They go ahead and build a house for a million baht (or whatever it costs), then save 1,000 baht by installing cheap shit light switches that break and get stuck.  That is not a building code problem, that is an attitude problem. It is short-term thinking.  It is petty greed. Safety takes training from childhood.

Do you really want Thailand to become Singapore where chewing gum is illegal and you can't take a durian on the bus?
Title: Want to rent out your condo? Get a work permit!
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 05, 2018, 06:43:00 AM
It just keeps getting better!  A falang friend in Pattaya who is a builder and has rental property tells me (don't know if this is pending or a done deal) that new regs require foreigners to have a work permit in order to rent out their condo.  You do the math. In order for an individual to get a work permit, s/he has to start a company. While in and of itself, this is not an enormous challenge, to do it legally and properly, it has to have a certain amount of capitalization, Thai partners, and 4 Thai employees x B9,000 per month.  Translated into plain English, you can't rent your condo. 

Aside from the libertarian issue of property rights, how can that possibly be good for the economy? And how can it possibly be good for public morale when guys are going to find ways around the law to do what they want?
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 05, 2018, 07:08:47 AM

Separate comments on the last 2 posted in the website.


I understand what you are saying, Rex, but every village owner (the man/company/LLC) that purchases land to build a new village follows the law and building codes, whether it is above the standard or just at the standards.  He follows ALL building codes.  Then the Thai home owner comes in and flaunts the law and codes and modifies his house WITHOUT submitting any plan to the engineering dept of the Tambon.  He also ignores the codes and does what he pleases UNLESS someone takes him to task such as a neighbor if that home owner infringes on the neighbor.  We have done this two times with neighbors on each side of our home.  Why should our property lose value because an idiot decides to expand his house illegally?  I can almost guarantee EVERY village owner follows the codes established, some maybe put in the minimums to meet the intent of the codes, but he meets them.  So this is NOT a western issue, it has been an established process for decades.


On your second comment, that friend of yours is trying to sell you sour apples.  Several friends of mine own condos in Phuket.  They don't rent them out but hire a THAI management company to do it, and follow the law, no less than 30 day rentals.  What work permit, if you are not the one actively doing the rental work?  They also pay taxes on their earnings.  One actually went into the Phuket Province Revenue Dept and brought all his receipts and incomes statements to make sure he paid ALL the taxes that he owed for 2017.  Now are you ready for this? The revenue clerk that assisted him brought an online program up on her computer to input his earnings, etc.  As they went through the process, she also explained to him what he was entitled to as tax credits.  So at the end of the appointment, she said that will be 23,600 baht.  So he asked her if she took cash and she responded, "YOU DON'T OWE US ANYTHING, WE OWE YOU 23,600 BAHT."  So where is the injustice?  Where is the need for a Thai partner?  Maybe he is a builder and does not want to have to pay for items that are required and wants to rent out his units himself.  By the way, these are not western rules, they are normal Thai regulations.  Sounds like he was trying to skirt the law.  All I can say is, FOLLOW THE LAW!  And by the way, there was NO TEA MONEY EXCHANGED.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 05, 2018, 01:33:44 PM
You are missing my point Frank.  I agree  that this is best handled as a local matter at the level of village or some other local jurisdiction. But this strays a little from the earlier topic  of  1. the (federal) gov not providing a realistic  way for guesthouse and small hotel operators to come into compliance,  and 2. Coming down in a draconian fashion on a thriving industry (which also effects the livelihoods of other industries such as taxis, restaurants, etc.) that they have tolerated for decades.  It's not nice, it is not kind, it doesn't make sense,  and it ain't no way to run a railroad.

--

"What work permit if you are not actually the one doing the rental work?"  I think you are being too logical, and I doubt that would provide much cover if the BIB (boys in brown) decided you were in violation. However, you might be right.  This law about needing a work permit may be very new or my friend isn't providing the full story.  I'll ask him and get back to you.

It's neither here nor there, but the business about the Thai partners is one of the requirements for starting a Thai company, you have to have 51% Thai participation, even for a small company. But the logic is that if you want to have a work permit without actually being hired by someone, you have to start a company and hire yourself as an employee, as it were. It is easier, although not entirely "boy scout ethical" to just put it in your wife's name.  Let me ask Mr. X if there is some reason he didn't mention the management company option.

Cheers,

Rex
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 05, 2018, 05:39:49 PM

The government probably came down hard on these small enterprises.  Sounds like they went too far and it probably does not stem from these owners that you are talking about.  With all that has transpired under the regime about the illegal building on National Park land, etc., illegal markets being established where they are not to be, condos being rented like hotel/resort on a daily basis, and on and on.


There has to be a middle ground.  What if this approach came to Khon Kaen?  Can you imagine all these small resorts that have been built being taken to task?


I am not sure what precipitated the action in Chiang Mai, but the court ruling on rentals of condos on very short terms bases in Hua Hin is having a huge affect in Phuket.   It may be the beginning of what you call draconian processes in other places in Thailand where the law enforcement personnel are proceeding with strict interpretations.


We have rented the small lodges but I really do not like to unless forced because no other availability.  Here in Thailand, I prefer a hotel for the 1/2/3 day visits.  Most of these small rentals have ants all over the place, the beds have plastic covers, there is no place to put a suitcase other than on the floor so all kinds of vermin can attack what is inside, the bath/shower usually has mold growing on the shower curtain and walls, etc.


Yes, the government has to recognize this industry but needs to put some type of regulation on it so as to force them to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, safety, etc.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: fceligoj on June 09, 2018, 06:33:56 PM

This is what is happening in Japan.  I would imagine the Thai Government has been watching this closely.


https://www.yahoo.com/news/rental-law-forces-airbnb-cancel-160237033.html



Title: Japan cancels Airbandb
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 10, 2018, 01:34:26 PM
There are valid issues on both sides of this question. However, surely there is some accommodation possible without the full-force of the Nanny State sticking it's big nose in and "solving" the problem with more red tape, more layers of bureaucracy, especially in the heavy-handed way the gov in Japan and Thailand have chose to do it.

However, there is a deeper and more important issue here.  Concepts such as Airbandb and Uber are just the first wave of the future economy which is and will change everything, and I mean  everything. We don't know what other concepts will emerge because they will be innovations that someone dreams up.  However, get ready! These innovations it will continue to disrupt legacy industries, employment, markets, and tax bases.  This scares the hell out of governments as the react to maintain tax revenue, control and especially, relevance. 

Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get outta' the new one if you canít lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'


~Bob Dylan
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on June 11, 2018, 08:53:07 AM
Rex and Frank, anything the you do to derive an income is a business or you are an employee of a company and that is not only in Thailand but in most other countries in the world and each country has its own laws as to how a business is to operate. Here in Thailand for a farang to derive any income in Thailand she/he must have a work permit and to run their own business it must be a registered company of which the farang can only have 49% of the company and the remaining 51% must be owned by a Thai. Now with the farang owning a condo and renting that condo out short term, that farang is deriving an income from that condo so therefore under Thai law that farang must have a work permit and as that farang is the owner of that condo that farang would also be required to register as a company to be able to obtain the work permit but he can only own 49% of that company. One of the big issues in all of this is also the income that is derived from renting the condo is also taxable income here in Thailand. With the AirBnB there are a lot of people that use this system to rent out properties that do not meet the license standards of hotels and guesthouses plus they are not paying their taxes to the government from the business that they are running. I think that you will find that this is a big reason why governments around the world are starting to clamp down on things like AirBnB, this has happened with Uber in Australia, they must be registered and licensed now and they must pay their taxes the same as a taxi driver does 
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: kowpot on June 11, 2018, 09:14:48 AM
This explanation makes sense to me.


Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 11, 2018, 10:40:56 AM
Whether you like the idea or not, whether you support it or not, all of that will continue to change as technological advances and innovative ideas  make it increasingly difficult or impossible for legacy governments to stay ahead and maintain control.

Laws that are insane (you need a work permit to rent a condo) will increasingly garner contempt and get people looking to avoid, flaunt, and workaround the law. Why is the work permit regulation insane? Because the cost of obtaining a work permit exceeds the income derived from renting.


There is nothing special or sacred about the law or THE LAW.  It is just something a bunch of guys sitting around scratching their asses thunk up. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it does not, many times it is to serve the self-interests of those thinking up the laws.  Part of the problem in Thailand--although hardly exclusive to Thailand--is that laws are implemented before anyone has taken the time to think about the social costs, the  unintended effects, the downside that inevitably comes with it.  Then, down the road, when these effects begin to be felt, the gov just quietly stops enforcing the law, while it remains on the books casting a long shadow over those operating illegally.  As in the case with guesthouses (and a lot of other stuff too), this can go on for decades, and then some smarty-pants int he gov decides that it is time to enforce the laws, creating chaos in an industry and garnering more contempt for the gov.



Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on June 11, 2018, 12:05:09 PM
Rex, I used to have a limousine in Australia and the same as a taxi I had to have a hire car registration license which cost my thousands of dollars the same as the taxi's and I had to have an Australian Business Number for my taxation. Hire cars cannot stop on taxi ranks or be hired from the side of the road, they must be pre booked. When Uber came to Australia they used normal private cars with no licenses or commercial insurance or pay tax as a company as most of the drivers paid no tax at all. The Australian government changed all that so now they must have a hire car license and they must carry commercial insurance and as they are a business the same as the hire cars and taxi's they must have an Australian Business Number for there taxation.The same thing is happening throughout the hotel/guesthouse industry because of the likes of AirBnB. The free ride for these type of industries that do not meet the laws of the countries are coming to an end. They must pay their way.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 11, 2018, 03:51:22 PM
Quote
The free ride for these type of industries that do not meet the laws of the countries are coming to an end. They must pay their way.

...Or perhaps what is coming to an end is gov imposing witless regulations, layers of bureaucracy and miles of red tape between between consenting adults wishing to conduct business with one another, stifling competition by limiting access to markets only to anointed special interests, and then taxing everyone up the butt for the privilege of being over-regulated.
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: russell17au on June 15, 2018, 06:26:41 PM
I am sorry Rex but without regulations on these type of places there will be no safety controls and no inspections and then the same thing will happen here as it did 1971 in a small holiday lakeside village called Summerland Point in NSW, Australia where 6 people died because they stayed at an unlicensed, uninsured guesthouse that had no fire fighting equipement and that place caught fire at 3:15 in the morning. I know because I was a volunteer fire fighter that attended that fire and helped remove those burnt dead bodies. Is this what you want or do you want safe guesthouses for people to stay in. If you want safe guesthouses then it can only be done by regulations and licenses
Title: Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
Post by: Rex (Admin) on June 16, 2018, 07:53:08 AM
What a tragedy!  And what a terrible experience it must have been for you, Russell, not to mention the loved ones of those who died in the fire. Sorry you had to go through that.


However, your conclusions are like listening to a stereo broadcast through only one channel.  No one would argue the tragedy of lost lives due to absence of safety equipment, whether at a hotel or any other public venue. And no one would argue the noble intention and (possibly) positive result of gov mandated safety measures.  The problem is that once you give the gov the power to behave "nobly," what is to keep them from behaving crassly, stupidly, blindly, corruptly?  The answer is, nothing! will prevent that.


This is particularly obvious and evident regarding the current guesthouse crackdown. This is not about smoke alarms and fire extinguishers! If it was, all but the most destitute fly-by-night operators would simply comply. Even if cash flow was scarce and buying smoke detectors and smoke alarms would represent a financial setback, the operators would simply get the equipment by-hook-or-by-crook rather than be shut down.


I am no expert on this, but as it was explained to me by one guesthouse owner, the problem is that  the regulations are endless and ultimately impossible for small operators to comply with. One example she gave me, as best as I can recall it, was a requirement for 30% openspace in the front of the guesthouse or something like that; something easy for those with a lot of real estate to comply with, but virtually impossible for the little guys. The only ones who benefit from this are big business and members of the government who have vested interest in seeing the larger operators prosper and the little ones fail.


If your sense of "good" is causing and industry and entire sections of cities fail and decay so that property values drop, and Chinese and Thai "investors" buy up the land, bulldoze it, and rebuild shiny, sterile, upscale crap for Chinese tourists, then I guess it is all good!