The Stipulation of Residential Property Leasing as a Contract-Controlled Business B.E. 2561 (2018)

Beginning on May 1, 2018, residential property leasing will be considered a “contract-controlled business”. This means that the Contract Committee of the Consumer Protection Board, established by the Consumer Protection Act B.E. 2522 (1979) in order to further protect consumers against unfair contract terms, will be able to regulate “residential property leasing businesses”.

According to the “The Stipulation of Residential Property Leasing as a Contract-Controlled Business B.E. 2561 (2018)” issued by the Contract Committee, “residential property leasing businesses are any businesses that leases (or subleases) five or more property units to individual lessees. Property is defined to include any kind of residential accommodation, including apartments, condos, flats, or houses. Dormitories, guesthouses, hostels, and hotels are regulated under separate statutes.
The new stipulation handed down by the Contract Committee lays out the following requirements for residential property leasing businesses:
1. Residential lease agreements must include a Thai version, as well as the following:
a) Name and address of the business operator
b) Name and address of the lessee
c) Name and location of the property
d) The property’s physical condition, along with a list of the items and equipment inside
e) Clear lease terms, including the start and expiry of the lease
f) Rental fees, due dates, and payments
g) Utility fees and due dates
h) Reasonable service fee rates that are actually tied to the costs of the services, and due dates
i) Other fees that must be reasonable, and due dates
j) Amount of the security deposit
2. Invoices for fees must be sent to the lessee seven days before payment due date
3. Lessee inspection and acknowledgment of the physical condition of the residence as well as the items and equipment must be attached to the lease agreement, with duplicate given to the lessee
4. Security Deposit must be given to the lessee immediately after the expiry of the lease agreement and the business operator has inspected for any damage. If no damage has been caused by the lessee, the operator has seven days to return the deposit.
5. The lessee is afforded the right to cancel the lease agreement early as long as he or she gives 30 days advance written notice to the business operator.
6. Any stipulations that allow the business operator to terminate the contract early must be written in bold, italic, or red letters. If the lessee breaches one of the stipulations, the business operator must give him or her 30 days to rectify the breach before terminating the contract.
7. The lease agreement must be printed out and duplicated for the lessee.
8. Any lease agreement that does not contain the required above terms will be interpreted to have them included as implied terms of the lease.
9. Residential lease contracts must not include the following:
a) Any waiver or limitation removing the liability of a business operator who breaches the agreements or acts wrongly
b) Any advance rental fee more than one month’s rent
c) Any terms allowing the business owner to alter the rental rates or rates of any other fees before the lease agreement ends
d) Any security deposit more than one month’s rent
e) Any terms allowing the operator to unreasonably seize the security deposit or advance rent
f) Any terms allowing the residential owner to inspect the property without notifying the lessee ahead of time
g) Any terms that charge more for electricity or water fees that exceed the rates of the relevant authorities
h) Any stipulations that allow the property owner to prevent the lessee from entering the residence or any terms allowing the owner to seize the lessee’s belongings
i) Any fees for renewing the lease
j) Any terms allowing the owner to terminate the lease early other than material breaches by the lessee
k) Any terms that hold the lessee liable for normal wear and tear of the property and its items or equipment
l) Any terms that that hold the lessee liable for damages to the property that was not the lessee’s fault
m) Any terms that hold the lessee liable for defects to the property or equipment through normal wear and tear usage
n) Any lease agreements including any of these terms will be interpreted as not having them included
10. Any residential business operator who doesn’t follow the listed guidelines could face a jail term not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding 100,000 baht

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