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Up Market Rental Homes

I am the South East Asian General Manager of a multinational company, I am currently based in Singapore, but since I travel five days in most weeks, I can really live almost anywhere with an airport. Phuket with it’s increasingly good air connections and pleasant environment seems like it may be a suitable place for me to make my base. I will probably buy a property within the year if it works out, but in the meantime I would like to rent a prime 3 or 4 bedroom home, preferably directly on the ocean or at a minimum with secluded surroundings a swimming pool and a fine ocean view. What is available and what will it cost me?

In general there are very few large properties in the executive end of the range in ocean view locations, although several new projects, notably on the less developed east cost of the island, will add considerably to the stock of prime water front properties in the coming year or two.

If you want to buy there is a reasonable choice, but large quality homes for rental are few and far between - with beach frontage and a fourth bedroom particularly scarce. Monthly long term rents for 2/3 bedroom homes in a spacious compound with shared swimming pool with views over Patong have risen from the 20 to 25,000 Baht range typical a couple of years ago to the 40 to 50,000 Baht range, and you would have to expect to pay 60,000 to 100,000 for a quality beach font property - and even these rents (while still considerably less that Singapore or Hong Kong levels - but still seem high by local norms) would not begin to get you one of the spectacular Villas at Amanpuri.

Rents (and property values) on the increasingly popular east coast of the island are quite a bit less than the west coast and while you may loose out in terms of proximity to shops and services, the relative under development of many (but not all) parts of the east coast may have a lot of appeal to the longer term resident.

Five years ago, my friend purchased a time share interest in a property in Phuket, which to date she has been unable to use. Can you let me know what her rights are in respect this time share and how she can make use of this agreement (copies of contracts were attached).

There are no specific laws in Thailand to cover the concept of time share. A few time share properties have been established in Thailand, usually under the provisions of the Land Code pertaining to joint lease of property, and such contracts should in general be enforceable provided they are registered within 3 years. Your friend’s situation is however a little different, since she has entered into a contract in Hong Kong , with a Hong Kong registered company for a property (to which they claim legal right of ownership) in Phuket. Unless this Hong Kong company does indeed have registered lease or ownership rights to this property in Thailand, there is unfortunately really nothing that can be done in Thailand to help your friend. From looking at the documents attached with your letter it would appear that no Thai party or property was involved in the transaction. The case is therefor a matter for resolution in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, it is indeed a great pity that unscrupulous foreign companies of this type are able to get away with such schemes as they do reflect badly and most unreasonably on the Thai property market.