THAILAND – More Stringent Rules for Landlords
A TM30 form (‘Landlord Notification Receipt’) must be completed by the landlord of a property and submitted to the Immigration authorities to report a foreign national staying at their premises. Under the law the landlord is required to advise the Immigration Department of the arrival and departure of all foreign nationals within 24 hours. Failure to do so, or late notification, can result in a fine being levied on the landlord. Until very recently the Immigration Department had not been enforcing this law.
What has changed?
In recent weeks Immigration officials in Thailand have been applying the law more rigorously. The landlord must report any travel by the foreign national, either overseas or to a different province, for 24 hours or more even if the foreign national returns to the address from which they departed.
While the law does not specify that the foreign national is responsible for the TM30 notification, the Immigration Department may ask for proof that the TM30 has been submitted when an application for visa extension or a 90-day report is made. If such proof cannot be provided, the Immigration Officer has the discretion to deny the application until a valid TM30 is presented and/or to levy a fine against the foreign national for not having a valid TM30. In some instances both penalties have been applied.
The law is not being applied uniformly across Thailand; different provinces and different government offices within a province may have different requirements. In some cases, landlords have stated that they will not rent to foreign nationals if the law is applied.
All long-stay foreign nationals in Thailand should ensure that they have a valid TM30 when making 90-day reports or applying to renew a visa.
Employers and assignees who may be affected by these changes are advised to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for advice.