That obligation lies with the owner of the property, not the guests. A simple notification of address completed by the TM28 form is all that is required by those renting or leasing their abodes in order to submit their application for a one-year “extension” to a permit to stay. (See story here.)
Other immigration offices in the country seem to be unable to say that clearly, or just don’t want to.
None of this with the TM30 is new to any hotel or even guesthouse operator, for whom reporting guests checking in has been standard for decades, but the problem does rear its ugly head when it comes to new landlords, both Thai and foreign.
After years of a seemingly nationwide push for foreigners to buy condos, Thailand today has more foreign landlords than ever before, and the rapid growth of the Airbnb platform in the country has opened the door for nearly anyone to accept a foreigner – tourist or expat – as a tenant.
That leaves the problem two-fold: Thais who just don’t know the law, and foreigners who either don’t know the law or just don’t understand it because they lack Thai language skills.
The Thai government must roll out a big public awareness campaign to bring this to new landlords’ attention. Enough seems to have been done in English to explain the TM30 to a cast of expats who felt they were subjected to it.
Many of those same foreigners showed much confusion of the TM30 with the TM28, the requirement for foreigners to re-report as staying at their registered address even if they stayed away for just one night, as required under Section 37 (c) of the now 40-year-old Thailand Immigration Act. That confusion now seems to have been dealt with, too.
Yet none of that progress in explaining the two requirements dismisses the need for simple, streamlined processes to abide by both requirements, for landlords and foreigners staying in the country.
As mentioned in this same space previously, the TM28 24-hour notification still needs a serious review, asking whether it is needed at all, and if it is to remain, how to make it as less onerous as possible.