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The Addition of a Home Legally




Many homeowners in Thailand who have purchased housing developments or townhouses often consider expanding their living spaces, with kitchen extensions or backyard enhancements being particularly popular renovation projects. However, it's crucial to be aware that house modifications are subject to specific legal regulations, which many might not be familiar with or often overlook.


The term "house modification" in legal context is defined broadly to encompass changes that go beyond mere additions. This includes altering, adding to, reducing, or extending the boundary, shape, proportion, weight, or space of a building or any part of it, resulting in a structure that differs from its original form. Consequently, expanding the kitchen space or making additions to the back of a house or townhouse falls under the category of modifications as legally defined.


When planning to modify a building, it's essential to obtain permission from local authorities. This process involves notifying the local office of the intended changes, submitting plans, and providing the name of the architect or engineer responsible for the design or work. In Bangkok, permission must be sought from the Bangkok Provincial Governor, while in other provinces, it's necessary to communicate with the chief executive of the Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO). Modifications can include changing parts of the house that do not alter the original building structure by more than 10% in weight or structure.


Additionally, modifications must also consider the long-term impact on the property, including adherence to setback requirements or the distance from the sides of the building to roads. Failure to comply with these guidelines can lead to legal consequences. Non-compliance or unauthorized alterations may result in penalties, including imprisonment for up to three months, fines up to 60,000 baht, or both, with daily fines not exceeding 10,000 baht for ongoing violations. Furthermore, if the modifications cause harm to neighbors or are found to be incorrectly executed without proper authorization, local authorities have the right to halt construction until the issues are resolved.


Understanding and adhering to these legal requirements for house modifications in Thailand is paramount for homeowners wishing to avoid legal penalties and ensure that their renovation projects are conducted smoothly and legally.

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