This is a common question. A straightforward answer is that Thai law does not allow owners of condominium units to rent for durations under 30 days (unless they have a hotel licence). Short-term rentals through bookings sites such as Airbnb are a global topic of discussion and not unique to Thailand. Data released in June 2019 reports that Airbnb’s hosts and guests community generated in excess of 33.9 billion THB in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018 directly contradicting the opening statement.
So why does this continue to happen and what does the future of short term rentals look like in Thailand?
The government ruling of the legality of short-term rentals has little impact on real-world operations. There have been fines issued by the courts but these have been infrequent and minimal. A case in 2018 resulted in a host fine of 5,000 thb plus an additional 500 thb for each day (total of 20 days for a fine of 15,000 thb).
The future? (July 2019) Thailand has just announced a new Tourism and Sports Minister who has publicly stated his commitment to grow tourism and supports short-term accommodation in Thailand. Airbnb has partnered with the Thailand Ministry of Interior's Department of Local Administration and are optimistic that innovative rules and regulations for short-term accommodation in the country are required to keep pace with the revenue generated in 2018 and YTD 2019.