On November 6, 2023, Thailand’s Department of Lands issued a circular letter clarifying that the use of units in condominium buildings for hotel business operations is not allowed. Circular Letter No. Mor Tor 0517.3/Wor 23302, which was sent to all provincial governors in Thailand, explains this by emphasizing that although the Condominium Act (No. 4) B.E. 2551 (2008) rules that some condominium units can be used for commercial operations purposes, the term “commercial operations” does not include hotel business operations. This is in accordance with the Condominium Act’s primary aim of safeguarding the rights of condominium unit owners for residential purposes rather than for the purpose of commercial or hotel business operations.
The circular letter also references Opinion of the Council of State No. 710/2550, which specifies that the commercial operations allowed under the Condominium Act are those providing services to the co-owners of a condominium building (e.g., convenience stores and restaurants) and further specifies that these commercial condominium unit areas must have separate exits and entrances that do not disturb the residents of the condominium building.
In light of these considerations, using a condominium building for hotel business operations is not permissible, regardless of whether consent is obtained from the co-owners of the condominium building or whether the condominium building’s purpose is changed from residential to hotel purposes (whether in whole or in part).
To use a condominium building for hotel business operations, the building owner would have to first cancel the condominium building’s registration under the Condominium Act so that it is no longer regarded as a condominium building. Then it can be used for hotel business operations, provided that the building and business operator comply with the requirements under the hotel law and other relevant laws and regulations (e.g., Building Control Act, Town and Country Planning Act, and others).
For more information on this regulation, or on any aspect of real estate law in Thailand, please contact Chaiwat Keratisuthisathorn at [email protected].