On Wednesday 23 April 2008 I have had an opportunity to meet Mr. Chatchai Jaidee, the Provincial Chief State Attorney, who has just moved to take his position a few days ago. I have spoken to him (around half an hour) about the property and land buying scams which are a common in Hua Hin. Many of the foreign property buyers do not know the Thai law and naively sign dubious property purchase contracts.
Many of the foreign property developers operating in Hua Hin run dishonest operations. Many of the buyers fall a victim of the scams. Some of the property developers draw up contract for a 30 years land lease and in addition they write only 3 years in the parentheses. After 3 years, buyers will be forced to buy or lease the land by paying 20 - 40 times more. Often contract does not have the names of the landlord (juristic person) and the buyer filled in. What happened with those customers? The answer is that “beggar cannot be chooser”. As they buy property with the value between 5 -12 million Baht they have no choice but to pay to the dishonest developer to continue the land lease with every 3 year-increasing fee. At present the land lease fee cost 100,000 – 200,000Baht but when buyers is forced to buy the land the price will be multiplied 20 - 40 times.
The Provincial Chief State Attorney said that it was such a dishonest behaviour of some of the foreign property developers in Hua Hin. They have simply exploited their customers. He said that he is willing to help consumers in this type situation. Thanks to this meeting he has been made aware that there are many, many customers who were fooled in cases like this. The Chief was concerned about this issue and promised Mr. Tuck Dechapanya (member of the Committee of Foreigners Complaints Center and the Provincial Court Conciliator) to help those foreign customers in Hua Hin. He also added that another meeting must be arranged to discuss this issue and foreign buyers must be able to gain the knowledge of the Thai laws.
Reported by Khun Tuck Dechapanya
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