Is Airbnb legal in Thailand


Many people want to invest in real estate in the ‘land of smiles’ in order to take advantage of the more than 35 million tourists who visit each year. Perhaps you are studying the question yourself right now? However, in your many avenues of research, you have repeatedly come across the following assumption: “Airbnb is illegal in Thailand… “. Ouch, you who were buying a beachfront apartment so you could go on vacation and also enjoy the tremendous success of the rental platform to clear a few dollars the rest of the time, how are you going to do it? And do not worry, Airbnb is indeed legal in the Kingdom but it is advisable to know the regulations: … Here come the explanations…

What is Airbnb exactly?

Many of you are very familiar with the famous rental platform now used by millions of travellers and owners around the world. However, it is important to remember how it works to understand the issues. For this, we will focus only on the “owner” side. Indeed, Airbnb allows individuals to rent all or part of their own home as extra housing for very short, medium or long term. The site offers a platform for research and reservations between the person who offers accommodation and the holidaymaker who wishes to rent, for a fee of course. Airbnb sums it up perfectly on its website: “Welcome home, rent unique accommodations from local hosts in more than 190 countries.” But where most people go wrong is that many equate Airbnb with vacation rentals, in the short term only. Although in reality, this is generally the case, it should be noted that the platform also offers the possibility of renting or leasing assets over longer periods. This may be seen as trivial but will prove to be of paramount importance when it comes to Thailand as the law makes a big distinction between renting less than a month and up…

What does the law say?

On the side of the law, the conditions are defined by the “Hotel act” published in 2004 which stipulates the rentals of less than 30 days are only possible by approved establishments. Hear this, those who have a hotel license. Individuals can legally rent their property for longer than 30 days either through Airbnb (or any similar platform) or via more “traditional” means. With the exception of guest houses registered at the Ministry of Tourism (Ministerial Regulation, 2008). It is therefore perfectly legal to use Airbnb for rentals of more than one month.

Towards a relaxation of the law

After negotiations between the government and Airbnb, an agreement was found to relax the law on short-term rentals. This partnership is known as “Empowering Local Tourism Entrepreneurs”. It was launched on July 3rd at Chulalongkorn University by Suttipong Juljarern, director of the Department of Local Administration of the Ministry of the Interior and Mike Orgill, AirBnB Director of Public Policy for Asia-Pacific. Now, owners of houses/villas can return to short-term rental after registering with the Ministry of Tourism and have passed an inspection to confirm that the dwelling meets the hospitality standards. Through this partnership, Airbnb is committed to providing resources to local hosts, training, so that they are better aware of the security rules and rules to use the platform. This should help rural areas to reap more benefits from tourism.

However, it is still illegal for Condominium owners to do the same for a period of less than one month.

What’s the solution if I want to make money with short term rentals?

For those who would like to get the most out of (very) short-term rentals, it is possible to invest in hotel residences that have the famous hotel license. There are more and more of them every year all around the country and most of them even offer guaranteed yield for a certain period, with some even offering buy-back guarantee with capital appreciation!

Get in touch now to learn more about it!


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