Is Airbnb legal in Thailand? Prior to a 2018 court ruling, there were existing laws on the books prohibiting short term rentals in Thailand unless the renter held a hotel license, but up until that point they hadn’t been enforced against Airbnb hosts. That ruling said these existing laws did apply to Airbnb hosts. A short time after that ruling, a home and villa exception emerged. I hope the following FAQ will answer any questions you may have about renting Airbnbs in Thailand.
Is Airbnb Legal In Thailand?
Short term rentals of less than 30 days are illegal in Thailand unless the owner has a license to operate a hotel. Airbnb owners in Thailand do not have licenses to operate hotels. Many large condominium developments have notices posted as you enter the building reminding you of this. The notices say people who violate this law will be prosecuted. Legally speaking, it would be the illegal Airbnb host that was prosecuted, but you could still lose your rental.
Is Airbnb Banned in Thailand?
Airbnb isn’t banned altogether in Thailand. There is an exception to the hotel license requirement. Owners of homes and villas may register with the Ministry of Tourism for this exception. If the unit or units pass inspection, the owner can offer them as short-term rentals via Airbnb and through other means. This exception does not apply to condominiums or other multi-unit dwellings. Under the law, a villa is defined as having four units or less.
Enforcement Of This Short-Term Rule Varies Across Thailand.
Residents of large condominium developments in Bangkok are known for being aggressive towards illegal renters. If you use the building’s common areas such as the pool and fitness room, expect questions from other residents inquiring as to who you are and which unit is yours. When your host asks to meet you before you enter the building for the first time so he can carry your luggage in consider it a red flag. In other areas of the country, this rule doesn’t seem to be enforced at all.
Won’t The Airbnb Host Tell Me If Their Airbnb Is Legal?
I wouldn’t count on it. Even though the illegality of short-term rentals was settled by a court case out of Hua Hin back in 2018, you will still find numerous illegal rentals in the Airbnb listings for Thailand. A lot of hosts justify their own illegal listings based upon the sheer number of other illegal rentals being offered. In other words, it is the old everybody is doing it defense.
Airbnb Rentals In Thailand The Bottom Line.
The simplest way to think about it is to not book Airbnb rentals in Thailand for less than 30 days. Short term rentals are illegal. There is an exception but it is difficult if not impossible to verify the host offering the rental has a legal exception to rent to you for less than 30 days. Ultimately, if you get kicked out of your rental because it is illegal, there will be little recourse for you.