2016 Hotel Act Amendment

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 REGULATIONSUNDER THE MR
Minimum open/unused space
Type

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 11.5 M
(MR. No. 55 Clause 21)
1 M
Type 21.2 M
Type 31.5 M
Minimum width of stairs
Type 11.2 – 1.5 M
Based on area of the upper floor
(MR. No. 55 Clause 24)
0.9 M
Type 2N/A
Type 3N/A
Minimum Live Load
Type 1200kg/SQ M
(MR No.6)
150 KG/ SQ M
Type 2200 KG/ SQ M
Type 3200 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.

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