The debate about whether Airbnb is legal in Thailand has been about for some time due to different interpretations behind the law. In fact, this ambiguity may have helped propel the condotel sector.
These condominiums possess a hotel license allowing units to be rented for a short term period, which could be days or weeks. A concept that is well received by tourists and business people who relish the space and amenities of this set up when visiting Thailand rather than a traditional hotel room.
“Short-term leasing has become more popular in Thailand’s major condominium markets. But, without a hotel license, it is an unlawful business,” stated Ms.Pitinut Pupatwibul, Senior Vice President, Strategic Advisory, JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group.
“Condotels are a development option that helps prevent co-owners in offering units for short-term leasing from potential litigation. At the same time, the clear structure and purpose of uses of condotels can help prevent resistance from buyers for private users who may be unwilling to welcome short term guests into the building”.
Real estate firm JLL has witnessed a surge in condotels in some of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, namely Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. This increase is in part as investors are seeking alternative and more flexible opportunities that condotels fill the void, a trend that developers have responded to.
The good news for condotel investors is that aside from the guaranteed return incentives that most offer, a designated operator manages the entire letting process. Therefore unlike Airbnb where hosts have to manage each booking, arrange cleaning, meet guests and deal with the financial side, a condotel owner can shy away from all of these responsibilities knowing that the letting is also 100 percent legal.
Executive Vice President of Investment Sales at JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group, Mr. Chakkrit Chakrabandhu Na Ayudhya, has commented,
“Though condotels are not new to Thailand and can be found across the country especially, in holiday destinations such as Pattaya and Phuket as well as Bangkok, they still represent a small part of the country’s real estate industry. However, our research shows that condotels are becoming an increasingly popular development option and are likely to grow in number over the next few years.”
Stay abreast of the industry’s news and updates sending directly to your inbox, sign up here.