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Book Review: by Lang Reid
Condos in Thailand - Your Rights
expats live in condominium buildings, lured there by the fact of owning
their concrete box in their own name. However, according to Tony Crossley,
there are traps for the unwary. According to the back cover, “Changes to the
condominium act in 2008 have improved some things for condo owners, but they
also benefit unscrupulous management. Certainly it is more crucial for condo
owners to be aware of their rights.”
Condos in Thailand - Your Rights (ISBN 978-974-319-902-8, 2008, Tighe
Books) is divided into eight short chapters dealing with such important
items as Registration, Ownership, Certificate, Registration of Rights,
Condominium Juristic Person, Dissolution, Competent Officer, Fees and
Expenses and Penalties. Many people would be at sea just reading the titles
of the chapters, as most would never have come across the title “Juristic
person” in overseas living.
However, it is the first 45 pages that have to be digested first, with
author Crossley covering voting rights, AGMs and how to run them, and even
the experience of a farang in the Thai courts system (which incidentally
seemed very fair and logical, the way it was presented).
It also becomes obvious in the first sections of the book that owner author
Crossley has been having a longstanding contretemps with a chairman of the
management group. Personally I found this somewhat unnecessary in the detail
in which it is given. This leaves the reader with the feeling that the
‘raison d’etre’ for writing the book might be revenge, rather than public
This first section also shows the most common abuse and scam which an owner
must watch for in the condominium management group, and that is that
“management of a condominium should be to the benefit of all co-owners, but
passing self interest resolutions is where much abuse originates. The 2008
amendment to the Condominium Act has made this possibility much easier.”
Author Crossley then shows what should be done by the co-owners to
circumvent this possible problem.
What is of much value to the condo owner is that this book takes the
Condominium Act and prints each section in its original (in the legally
required Thai language) and has the English translation with each one.
However, one should always remember that it is the Thai language version
which is the legally accepted one! It might be of interest to read that the
manager of a condominium has many items which can render him ineligible,
including previous bankruptcy, dismissals from any public or private
corporation for incompetence or dishonesty, imprisonment and defaming
behavior. How many co-owners would have the fortitude to question their
manager over these things?
The chapter on penalties is interesting in its scope and the disparity in
the actual penalties themselves, which seem to range from B. 6,000 to B.
100,000 for violations of the new Condominium Act.
At B. 395 it is an inexpensive little book, which does have much information
inside. Many items come under the heading of plain common sense, in itself
an oxymoron, which does mean that information booklets such as this do have
a place in the average condo owner’s library.
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