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Governor Plans Help Office for Phuket Property Buyers

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
PHUKET: Land Titles officials, lawyers and authorities are to meet next week about property as Phuket's Governor structures a new service to provide accurate information and assistance to would-be buyers and investors.

The action follows several scandals that have highlighted pitfalls in investing in real estate on Phuket.

Phuket Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada said yesterday after a private meeting with five ambassadors from Bangkok that he planned to meet officials next week and would set up an office to advise investors and buyers about property laws.

British ambassador Mark Kent said yesterday that problems were experienced not just on Phuket but all over Thailand.

''Buyers often do not fully understand the laws and as a result, there can be problems,'' the ambassador said.

While many legitimate sales go ahead without difficulties, the phrase ''buyer beware'' could have been written with property purchasers in Thailand in mind.

Buyers often wrongly assume there are safeguards, as there are in many Western countries, to prevent fraud and deception.

Recourse through the court system can take years.

The governor meets tomorrow with Phuket honorary consuls in the first of what's likely to be more regular forums.

Discussion on safety and security, jet-skis and taxi fares is likely to be renewed after the governor met yesterday with the British Ambassador, the German Ambassador, Peter Prugel, the Netherlands Ambassador, Karel Hartogh, the Irish Ambassador, Brendan Rogers, and the Canadian Ambassador, Philip Calvert.

Ambassadors were scheduled today to meet with more Phuket authorities, including managers at Phuket International Airport and the Royal Thai Navy.

Comments

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This is sorely needed. The buyers into The Yacht Haven condo project (1996/7) have been denied their money back as provided by the contracts. This is despite winning a case against the developers in 2009. A petition was handed to the Governor last week, 19th November, calling for him to suspend Yacht Haven's licences until they meet their debts.

I can provide the petition.

Posted by David Haines on November 24, 2015 13:20

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(moderated)

Posted by Richard Vickers on November 24, 2015 19:02

Editor Comment:

Guesswork isn't acceptable, Richard.

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How can someone else other than the registered owner on a title deed claim the original title deed has been lost and get a replacement deed without providing proof of identity, I have read of this happening but do not see how it can be done with proper checks by the issuing authority which you would expect to be done

Posted by peter allen on November 25, 2015 09:29

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Lawyers advising on property laws will solve nothing because the very laws are unclear in fact. Thai lawyers do not understand the laws because the final decision lies on the whim of the judge hearing the case. (moderated) The lack of precedent in law generally means there is no surety on interpretation of laws where interpretation between judges and courts vary hugely. In my case my lease was cancelled through proven fraud yet the Judge decided that fraud to be irrelevant because I was living with the lessor - 'stay together and eating food together'. If you move in with your lessor beware. Other cases had equally bizarre rulings. With a different judge the rulings could have been completely opposite so no one can be sure really what the law is as it is all up to the judge who can even ignore the evidence and rule on his own ideas under the scope of public order.

The issue is a complete lack of clarity in the law that the ordinary person or Thai lawyer for that matter, can rely on. I took legal advice before I bought but it ended up to be of little good. I took legal advice for recovery which ended up variously wrong, incomplete, corrupt and deceptive and by more than one lawyer. Advice was uniform only in every lawyer having a different idea ranging between complete opposites. Add on to that the fact that foreigners are completely disadvantaged through corruption, the patronage system, lack of clarity through language interpretation abuse, and lawyers who work to help Thais over foreigners. I have heard one senior lawyer complain at lawyers representing me words to the effect that Thai lawyers should not help foreigners. He is not alone in that ethos though ethics and professionalism are distant cousins to the legal profession in comparison to their Western counterparts with ideology such as this.

The only way investment by foreigners will ever be secure is by specific provision in law which is not yet on the horizon and in the mean time foreigners would be better advised to invest in neighboring countries where foreign investment is welcomed by laws that protect it.

Posted by Ian Rance on November 25, 2015 10:26

Editor Comment:

To put this in context, cases such as your are exceptions and many people have no problems. Better security is certainly required, though. A libellous sentence has been cut.

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PA,
I have only in the last few weeks applied for and received a replacement CT in Aus. The initial requirement was original identification documents, a stat dec providing details of the last know sighting of the CT, whether it has been, lost, misplaced, destroyed or damaged, where it was kept, how it came to be. Also requested were the originals invoices for payment of bills related to the property.
Further information was then required to prove that the person identified in the documents provided had a current residential address, ie utility bill, land tax, rates etc.
They were certainly thorough, as they shoud be, before cancelling any previous CT and issuing a new one.

Posted by MoW on November 25, 2015 10:28

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Thailand is becoming a safe haven for properity criminals. A failed cab driver fired from every cab company in canada has made a million doing properity fraud in thailand.

Posted by angela roberts on November 25, 2015 14:05

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I too experienced a problem with lawyers and property in Phuket but it seems to be connected to something more complicated. I think its great to get visibility on the whole issue. However, as with anything it is probably political. I recommend John Burdett's Godfather of Katmandu....it's less fictional than you might realise.

Posted by Ellie on November 27, 2015 14:24

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About time. But what is the point when the government on Nov 13 changed all the visa requirements to make it more difficult to stay.

Posted by tom on December 3, 2015 18:53


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