Sunday, June 13, 2010

Owning property in Phuket Thailand

How long can I stay in Phuket?

If you own a property and do not have a work permit you are - as a rule of thumb, generally allowed to stay for 90 days on a visitors entry stamp at the immigration check point on arrival. Be advised that if you leave and return again and expect to get stamped in - you will be using the remaining time allotted from the initial 90 days provided .

Plan ahead - if you are sure you will be traveling and residing here for longer then 90 days, apply for a visa from abroad before entering the Kingdom. This will ensure that you can maxmise your stay within any given 12 month period.

For more information please visit

• Can I retire here?

Phuket is great place to retire. For retirement purposes - a non-immigrant "O" visa is required and it must be obtained outside Thailand.

General Requirements: Age 50 or older, reasonable health (the health check can be done in Thailand for B40-100 and is cursory at best), a police clearance from your home country or embassy (just noting that you are not an international criminal on the "lam"), Bt800,000 deposited in a Thai bank (or proof of a certain minimum level of income certified by your embassy) - and the document from the Thai bank showing the money came from outside the country.

You may draw down and live on the B800,000 over the year, but it must be "topped up" again when you extend your visa.

• How do I pay the utility bills?

Most Thai banks now have internet banking available allowing you to take the money out of your local account. If you are renting, most property managers will ask you to keep a currency float with them for miscellaneous items that fall due for payment when you are not in Phuket.

It's a good idea to find out the cost of utilities before you move in so that can check the costs. For example, most utility bills can be paid direct from your bank account and the receipts sent to your residential address.If you need property management then we will of course have no problems recommending you our partner's services (Phuket Island Property Services).

• How safe is Phuket?

Phuket has an enviable reputation as a safe place to visit and live. Even more so, when Westerns consider the disposable income and comparative (economic) well being of many people that they come into contact with.

Thai's are proud and on the whole, friendly, and there is little crime against foreigners. Much of this stems from Buddhist values (not to mention) solid family values, instilled from a very young age. However, like many societies, there is always the potential for confrontation and crime. Its always best to be prudent and sensible. Avoid ostentation - if possible, be weary of money and jewelry and for the most part, keep a level head. Thai's generally won't commit crimes for no reason and most crime, acts of violence etc... can be traced back to instances where there has been a "loss of face" or public humiliation - especially confrontation.

Again, be cool and at all times be respectful. This will not only earn you respect, but will give the perception that you are a sensitive well rounded individual.

• Will I need to bring my own furniture?

There are plenty of fully furnished apartments and condominiums available. If you don't plan to stay in Thailand permanently, it may be better to leave your furniture in storage. It will probably be too heavy for the tropics anyway. Even if you plan to rent or buy a house, you can always get one fully furnished. If you prefer to furnish it yourself, we can advise you on the best places to shop. Why not ask us for advice once you decide where you want to live?

• How do I get around the Island?

If you are going to live on Phuket - the only viable option is to own your own car, truck, or motorcycle. People who plan to stay on the island for a long time will probably choose to buy a car or truck.

Phuket has an organized transportation system consisting of converted buses know as "songthaews" that operate around the island. The service usually operates in the daylight hours and you are reliant on "tuk tuks'", motorcycle taxis and metered taxis - thereafter.

If you want to buy a car in Phuket, you can do so if you have a "non-immigrant" visa and a work permit, a retirement visa, or a Thai guarantor.

Renting is the best option - if you are only for one or two months. A long term car rent will start from about Bt. 20,000 for a comprehensively insured Toyota Vios or a Honda Jazz.

• Is flooding a problem?

That's really a Bangkok question. However, for all intents and purposes Phuket is not prone to flooding as the roads and drainage systems in place have been upgraded and are well maintained, so that there is not a hugh drain on the infrastructure resources like you have in big cities.

• What is the minimum rental contract, and what are the terms and conditions?

Most long term rental contracts are for one year, although some shorter terms are available such as four or even six months. In most cases you will need to pay a two month deposit, and one month in advance - when you sign.

The deposit is refundable when you move out, although the landlord may deduct expenses for any damages to the property during your tenancy.

• Do I as the buyer need to pay you a fee?

No.We collect a standard commission of 3% (of the purchase price) from the seller (vendor). It is know that some agents in Phuket will collect a 5% fee for their services, which may also include an advertising to help promote the development etc. If you are renting a property, a commission is taken from the property owner. Rental contracts in Thailand require the renter to pay a deposit of 2 months rent, and one month in advance. (i.e. 3 months in total)

For more information please visit

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cumbria shootings: Drunk rage at pal got Derrick Bird barred from flight - Exclusive

Derrick Bird (Pic:PA)

Derrick Bird was deported back to Britain for erupting in a drunken rage at an airport.

He lunged at his pal after being teased about money.

The taxi driver was on his way to Thailand with a group of friends when security guards in Qatar banned him from his connecting flight.

Officials at the airport in the capital Doha put him in a secure area to sober up after the departure gate outburst.

Security officers refused him entry to his flight to Bangkok because they considered him a violent drunk and a “flight risk”. They later put him on a plane back to the UK.

The group of single taxi drivers from Bird’s Whitehaven rank – all in their late 40s and early 50s – travelled to Thailand together for a holiday three times a year.

One said yesterday that Bird, 52, was drinking heavily before the argument began.

The friend, who asked not to be named, said: “When they all arrived in Doha it seemed like everyone was getting on.

“It all kicked off though when Birdy mentioned that he loved Thailand because it was cheap and someone made a joke about him being cheap.

“Birdy saw red. He went mad and went for him and officials had to step in.

“They’d never seen him flip before and it really shocked them. He must have had a lot of stress just bottled up.

“He was taken off and the next thing they knew was he wasn’t allowed on the flight and was flown home.”