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Author Topic: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure  (Read 3507 times)

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #15 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.

Rex (Admin)

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #16 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?

russell17au

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #17 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

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #18 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?

Windy

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #19 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?


Sunset from my bedroom window

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #20 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.

Rex (Admin)

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #21 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?

Rex (Admin)

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Want to rent out your condo? Get a work permit!
« Reply #22 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?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 06:45:31 AM by Rex (Admin) »

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #23 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.

Rex (Admin)

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #24 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

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #25 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.

fceligoj

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #26 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




Rex (Admin)

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Japan cancels Airbandb
« Reply #27 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

russell17au

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #28 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 

kowpot

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Re: Guesthouses threatened by gov closure
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2018, 09:14:48 AM »
This explanation makes sense to me.