Let’s face it: There are no hard line qualifications other than those common sense guidelines outlined below in “Fiduciary Duty” for anyone who wants to open a Real Estate Agency in Thailand. They may have years of experience and licenses from their own home country, or they may have none. The latter part of that sentence is scary!
I cannot imagine checking into a Hospital or going to a get on a Plane whereby the Pilot or Doctor does not have the proper rating to fly that Plane or Medical Certification to work as a Doctor. But how often do we check the pilot’s or Doctors credentials? Probably never; we just want to fly where we need to go, or get help with our illness right? These types of jobs require licenses and clearance before they can work in their profession.
Why not then is there any enforcement of Real Estate Agencies in Thailand with Foreigners acting as agents?
It is very difficult to catch the offenders of the law unless someone steps forward who has been wronged or is not provided the contract documents used by the Agent. But it takes the person(s) who have been wronged the effort to make a complaint to the DBD, LABOR DEPARTMENT, POLICE, or IMMIGRATION.
Treat any purchase of Real Estate here as you would in your home country, have a lawyer either draft or review your purchase contract, along with the Chanute of the property you are buying to ensure avoidance of existing liens.
And Lastly please ask for a copy of the foreigners work permit and company certificate as part of your purchase documents, if they refuse to give them to you this should raise suspicions. I suggest you address a lawyer with any concerns before you even make a deposit on your new property or business purchase.
Recently at a news conference In Chiang Mai with the Head of the Department of Labor Mr. Rhuchuchai Pothai made this statement regarding what is considered work in Thailand by a foreigner.
Here is the legal definition of work that is used by the Thailand Labor Department; "To engage in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits". He also pointed out that beyond the application, is the intent. If it’s clear there is intent to work with a goal to profit from that labor, either on the part of the foreigner or of the business, then that is also illegal, if you do not have a work permit.
Any buyer or seller should take the time to ask to see documents of the agency or person representing them; any legitimate firm with foreign workers should have the following in the office:
1) Company registration certificate posted in a visible area.
2) Social Security Certificate issued from the Thai Labor Department.
3) The original, or at least copy of the Foreigners “work permit” or WP.4 Book.
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