Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

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Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by Nereus » Fri May 18, 2018 9:09 am

Airbnb bookings illegal, court declares

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... t-declares

People who rent out their rooms via Airbnb on a daily or weekly basis are acting illegally, according to a recent court ruling handed down to the Wan Vayla Condo in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

The court ruled that people renting out their rooms have not obtained a licence to run a hotel business under the 2004 Hotel Act. Only rentals of 30 days or more would be legal.

The parties affected by the ruling include owners of condos who rent out their rooms via the Airbnb app on a daily and weekly basis to both Thai and foreign customers.

The owners of condo rooms fear that as a result of the ruling, authorities will strictly enforce the law and it would no longer allow them to operate their business via Airbnb, leaving customers no chance of finding accommodation through the app.

According to media reports, the Wan Vayla Condo in Khao Tao has received a letter from the local authorities outlining the court's decision in two of three cases in which condos were rented out for less than a month.

In one case, the court ruled that a fine of 5,000 baht must be paid plus 500 baht for each day of the 20-day stay, a total of 15,000 baht.

In the second case, the court ruled that a 5,000-baht fine must be paid with a further fine of 100 baht for a staggered 81-day period. The total amount of the fine is 13,100 baht. The third case is pending.

Local officials looked into the matter in December 2017 and took the case to court. The first case was ruled upon on Jan 5 and the second case on Jan 16. The rulings in both cases were only recently made public.

The rulings, if enforced nationwide, could be the beginning of the end for companies like Airbnb in Thailand who have consistently said that their business is legal in the kingdom.

Airbnb actively promotes its business in Thailand and the consequences from the ruling could be immense for the company, renters and consumers alike.

The Wan Vayla Condo sits on 20 rai of land in the Khao Tao area.
Meanwhile, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) has asked the government to revoke non-registered hotels including Airbnb apartments and condominiums. They say these operators are causing problems for the nation's tourism industry.

Surapong Techaruvichit, an adviser to the THA, said the association wants the government to invoke Section 44 to deal with the problem.

"We believe the number of non-registered properties will decrease if the government exercises Section 44," he said.
According to him, more than half of the hotels in the market are non-registered hotels, otherwise known as illegal hotels.

Illegal hotels include serviced apartments, guest houses, condominiums, and other private properties available for rent for tourists.

These properties are not registered as hotels under the Department of Local Administration that approves and issues hotel licences.

He said that the THA considers Airbnb a new threat to the hotel and tourism industry.

Warangsuk Wittayapanyanond, a flight attendant based in Dubai, said she thinks if Airbnb is banned in Thailand, it will limit the choice for tourists.

She said since many people prefer Airbnb to booking rooms from hotels, there should be a way to allow Airbnb to operate legally and to accommodate customers who prefer using the site.

Luka Stankov, a cabin crew member based in Dubai who is a frequent user of Airbnb said:

"I think [Airbnb] affects hotels. It's exactly the same as when Uber came out. There was a huge protest against Uber by the taxi unions. So, the government banning Airbnb in Thailand must have something to do with the hotel industry. They might have to actually lower the prices and give customers more choices. In some way, the creation of Airbnb lowers hotel prices and it expands customer choices. Airbnb is more independent and provides a different experience," Mr Stankov said.

Airbnb representatives are rumoured to be meeting Thai government officials Saturday in order to settle the issue.
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by PeteC » Fri May 18, 2018 12:36 pm

It seems to me a quick, legal solution would be to make each rental period for 30 days regardless of the length of stay, and prorate the fee based upon the actual days stayed. It would limit occupancy to 12 contracts per year, but perhaps that's normal for many places? If selective a place may be able to attract mainly 10 day - 2 week guests which is better than nothing. Those wanting a place for only a weekend though would have problems. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by caller » Fri May 18, 2018 1:13 pm

I suspect a lot of condo owners who bought to actually live here will be relieved by this ruling.
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by STEVE G » Fri May 18, 2018 1:50 pm

Amsterdam has just announced a similar ban in the city centre to protect the quality of life of residents. For me, it's a good idea as these "party house" rentals are springing up all over place near where I live.

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by StevePIraq » Fri May 18, 2018 2:44 pm

Airbnb is banned in many cities; New York, Reykjavic, Amsterdam, Paris, New Orleans, Santa Monica, Ibiza, Berlin to name a few. Main reason is no payment of government taxes, no business license's, pricing local people out of the rental market.
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by crazy88 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:32 pm

Try searching on Facebook or others for rentals in Hua Hin. Also any other sites ( There are many) Are they going to stop them all ? And what is the difference between inconsiderate short time renters or long time ones ? Also have a look at any condo in Hua Hin on weekends and see how the owners behave. Doors open, noise all day and night, horrible cooking smells and so much sunblock and hair in the pools to nicely clog the filters. Agree that anyone renting out short or long term should vet their tenants and have them sign a a contract of respecting others or you are out and ENFORCE IT !

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by handdrummer » Fri May 18, 2018 11:19 pm

How difficult is it for condo owners to get a license for short term rentals?

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by HHTel » Sat May 19, 2018 2:23 am

Virtually impossible. 7 steps to go through. Inspection of safety regulations, dedicated hotel manager etc etc.

https://pugnatorius.com/hotel-license/

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by Takiap » Sat May 19, 2018 6:36 am

Personally, I think AirBnB is great, and especially for families with children, and/or those who prefer more of a home-stay experience. I'm sure you can find "party houses" on the site, but from what I have seen, the vast majority of owners stipulate "No Events" in their terms and conditions.

Rather than trying to eliminate competition, the hotel industry should be looking for ways to compete. The government should also consider the fact that lower accommodation prices only make Thailand an even more attractive option for holiday makers. If hotel rooms are standing empty, then perhaps are are simply too many hotel rooms in the first place.

If they want to ban companies like Uber to protect taxi drivers, and ban companies like AirBnb to protect hotels, then surely they should ban things like free internet calls with apps like Line, Facebook and etc. in order to protect the phone companies.

What happened to the age old saying: Adapt or Die?



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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by MDMK » Sat May 19, 2018 12:11 pm

Takiap, you sum up my thoughts exactly!

If this goes ahead, I see us going elsewhere. I always loved staying in hotels when I had little choice but to stay in hotels. Now I have the choice of a hotel or an airbnb, I go for airbnb. If Thailand starts restricting this, then I have to ask myself do I go back to hotels, or do I book an airbnb villa in Malaysia or Vietnam or India or wherever.

The first nail in the coffin for me was the banning of smoking on the beach. That pissed me right off, and still does if I am honest. Even though I have quit smoking in the last 6 months, the pointlessness of it just does my head in when I see the 200+kilo of rubbish the trash heroes haul in off Hua Hin beaches every Sunday. But they don't ban plastic bottles or food containers on the beach, no, they ban smoking. Why they didn't just start vigorously enforcing littering laws is beyond me.

Now this airbnb thing.... we hope (had hoped) this year to start spending 4 months every winter in Hua Hin, in an airbnb, with side trips to Bangkok or Phuket or wherever, also staying in airbnb properties. With the longer term aim of retiring in Hua Hin when we're retirement age. Right now I am really not so sure at all. The extra points that Thailand scored for us are just being crossed out one by one.

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by StevePIraq » Sat May 19, 2018 12:21 pm

If you stay in a private apartment via Airbnb or the likes are you covered by insurance if you get hurt in the property, I can bet most have no public liability insurance so the risk is all on you.
Use a formal property that has all the correct insurances and licences.
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by MDMK » Sat May 19, 2018 12:27 pm

StevePIraq wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:21 pm
If you stay in a private apartment via Airbnb or the likes are you covered by insurance if you get hurt in the property, I can bet most have no public liability insurance so the risk is all on you.
Use a formal property that has all the correct insurances and licences.
what's the difference with falling and breaking my ankle in my airbnb property or falling and breaking my ankle in Market Village or at the mall or at the night market? My first port of call would always be my travel insurance.

I do (ever so slightly) worry about being insured for breakages or accidental damage to things in the property ... but I can't say I give a moment's thought to who pays for health things, that's why I insure myself.

or am I missing something?

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by fft100 » Sat May 19, 2018 1:52 pm

The main ruling applies to short term rentals, regardless of whether it is BNB or someone else.

Whilst only condos have been mentioned so far, I wonder if this also applies to houses. If it does apply to houses, this could be the way to close down party houses, which would be a good result.

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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by caller » Sat May 19, 2018 4:42 pm

fft100 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 1:52 pm
Whilst only condos have been mentioned so far, I wonder if this also applies to houses. If it does apply to houses, this could be the way to close down party houses, which would be a good result.
Well, where I live, the developments rules understandably comply with the law of the land, so short term lets under ? days are simply not allowed.
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Re: Govt crackdown on Airbnb, declares bookings illegal

Post by STEVE G » Sat May 19, 2018 7:25 pm

Now this airbnb thing.... we hope (had hoped) this year to start spending 4 months every winter in Hua Hin, in an airbnb, with side trips to Bangkok or Phuket or wherever, also staying in airbnb properties.
Renting a property for four months isn't a problem, you don't need airbnb for that, it's rental periods of less than 30 days that are technically illegal in Thailand.

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