On 19 August 2016, Thailand’s Ministry of Interior Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Descriptions of Other Types of Building Used for a Hotel Business Operation 2016 under the Building Control Act (1979) (the “MR”), became effective.
The MR will remain in effect for five years. However, it applies only to buildings that existed before it came into force and whose owners desire to use the property as “Hotel” (as defined by the Hotel Act) with either:
(a) rooms only; or
(b) rooms and food service/restaurant facilities.
The three categories of buildings that are eligible for this re-classification are as follows:
Type 1: a building with not more than two floors and not more than 10 rooms;
Type 2: a building that is not a Type 1 building and which does not have more than twenty rooms; and
Type 3: a building that is not a Type 1 building and which does have more than twenty rooms.
The MR liberalizes the various Hotel usage-building requirements under the BCA for these types of buildings. For example:
|BUILDING TYPE||OLD REGULATIONS||UNDER THE MR|
|Minimum open/unused space|
1, 2, and 3
|Equivalent to 30% of “the area of the largest floor of the building”|
(MR. No. 55 Clause 33)
|Equivalent to 10% of “the area of the largest floor of the building“|
|Minimum width of the walkway|
|Type 1||1.5 M|
(MR. No. 55 Clause 21)
|Type 2||1.2 M|
|Type 3||1.5 M|
|Minimum width of stairs|
|Type 1||1.2 – 1.5 M|
Based on area of the upper floor
(MR. No. 55 Clause 24)
|Minimum Live Load|
|Type 1||200kg/SQ M|
|150 KG/ SQ M|
|Type 2||200 KG/ SQ M|
|Type 3||200 KG/ SQ M|
An application to change the usage a building to a hotel under the BCA must be completed within five years from the date the MR came into force. However, if the building requires structural modification before applying to change its usage to a hotel, that application (or notification under Section 39(bis) of the BCA) must be filed within two years.
And it should be noted the building must still comply with other BCA regulations regarding hotel usage, in force at the time the building was originally constructed (or altered), regarding such matters as the building’s height, setback, and parking.