Thinking of Buying a CONDOMINIUM in Phuket Thailand
When purchasing a condominium in Thailand, much time, money and effort can be saved if these steps are taken into account. Also, knowing your rights afforded by the Condominium Act would put you in a better position if faced with unfair or unscrupulous treatment by your condominium management company.
Mantenance Fees and Singking Funds
Ensure that you check in the contract how much the monthly maintenance fee and sinking fund is. This should be in all the contracts for new condominium units although some units in the secondary market may omit this in their documents. Do ask the seller to provide you with this or you may obtain it directly from the condominium's management company. The Condominium Act stipulates that the maintenance fees must be in accordance to the ratio of space thay you own. As such, it should be expressed as an amount per square metre. This amount is also registered under the Rule and By-laws of the condominium at the relevant Land Office. Any increase must be agreed with a three-fourths majority vote amongst all joint-owners of the building and the amended Rules and Regulations registered at the Land Office in order to take effect.
Rules and Regulations or By-Laws of the Condominium
It is prudent to obtain a copy of the Rules and Regulations of the Condominium before you decide to buy the property. According to the Condominium Act, it should, in the least, include the following;
- Name of the Condominium's juristic person;
- Location of the office;
- The mount of sinking fund an owner must pay;
- Other common properties;
- How the common and individual properties would be used;
- The ratio of each unit in terms of space;
- The procedures fo the general meeting;
- The ratio of the maintenance fees;
- Procedure for managers and their appointments;
As a general rule, things to look out for may include the following;
- Restrictions on pets;
- Restrictions on age of children who can use the pool or other facilities;
- Restrictions on parking any vehicles or boats;
- Restrictions on types of floor-covering materials, drapes or window hangings, screenings or closing in of open balconies;
- Limitations on use of recreational facilities in the common areas;
- Sound or noise restrictions
Know Your Condominium Juristic Person
It is in your interest as a co-owner of the common areas to ensure that everything is in good order. Be sure that a good and reutable management company is looking after things in an orderly and transparent manner. Beware of development companies appointing their own managers as they could be acting with ulterior motives in regards to repairs during the default liability period in which the developer should be responsible for and not the juristic person. The co-owners may wish to appoint a new manager if 50% of the co-owners in a general meeting agrees.
You may also wish to request for a copy of the juristic person' accounts to ensure that everything is in order and that no funds are being siphoned furtively or that any payments are unaccounted for. This is important as you want to see fees you contribute help maintain the premise and ensure its value in the long run.
Occasionally, there may be a need for the management to call forward an emergency fund to cover some unexpected repairs. In practice, the Condominium Act stipulates that the decision to attain this fund must have a three-fourths approval in a general meeting. Before you vote, do check that the fund is indeed genuine and by right, you may request for all the related information in regards to this emergency expense.
Having Your Say
Politics may not be everyone's cup of tea and it is certainly regarded by many as a waste of time and effort. Such views do often lead to apathy and many of us try to avoid the dreaded rigmarole of residential politics and hope by ignoring it long enough, it will go away. Living in such a close knit arrangement would, not surprisingly, lead to some conflicts in some way or form. Indeed if you have a complaint, it is best to deal with it rather than live with it especially if you have to live with it everyday. Common complaints may include. noisy pets, parking spaces being used by neighbours in an inconsiderate manner. loud music at unreasonable hours or the committe mumbers acting in an autocratic or biased manner.
The Condominium Act requires that a general meeting be held at least once each year although in practice, this can be as often as required. Youmay wish to take the floor and air your grievances here or if having a right of audience is not your preferred mode of communication, be sure there are other formal methods set up to air your grievances within the juristic person.
Legal Guide by Siam Legal