How to Choose the Right Juristic Person for The Property

Thailand has a thriving property market that has attracted many local and foreign investors. People buy houses for various reasons including for retirement and as a holiday home. Others simply take advantage of the high demand for housing to make a good return on their capital investment. 

Freehold condominiums are particularly popular with foreign investors as it is the only form of property ownership that is fully and legally allowed for this group. Ownership of landed properties is not allowed to foreigners. In owning a condominium, the property owner also gains fractional ownership of the common areas such as the parking area, gardens, reception and common corridors. This ownership gives them voting rights within the management committee of the property. 

The care and management of these common areas are typically left to a condominium juristic person (CJP). This person is delegated authority by the condo owners to undertake this care or in turn, appoint a juristic manager. In many cases, the juristic person is not an individual, but rather a property management company. Here are some considerations the management committee of the condo will look at when selecting the right juristic person for their property. 

Where to find candidates

There are different approaches you can take in attracting applicants for the role of the juristic person. You may take out an advert on various job sites and classified sections. If the developer has previously completed projects, they may also already have management companies they have or are working with that you can consider. 

You can also reach out to condo management committees in the area and find out who works for them. This can be a good option as someone already catering to area condos will have better knowledge of the local market, which can come in handy when handling such issues as deciding rents, looking for tenants and local workmen. You may even find that during the construction of the condo, some property management professionals and companies will get in touch. 

Legal requirements

When choosing a juristic person, there is no legal requirement as to licensing or academics. They are however required to be persons over the age of 25 years and of good character. This means they should not have been imprisoned in any country or previously been dismissed from a similar role or government position for dereliction of duties. They should also not have gone bankrupt or been found to have avoided taxes. 

These traits are important in ensuring that the person will not abuse their position of authority which may grant them access to a fund where condo owners collect and save money to pay for the management and care of the property. 

If the juristic person that is being considered is a property management company, the legalities change. Such companies must be properly licensed, registered, and insured. You will want to know the composition of employees they have. Those that have professionals with accounting, tax and legal expertise can be of particular help where you need such services. 

Expertise and Experience

Many properties include different types of areas that require professional management. They may have swimming pools, gyms, gardens and so on. To properly care, make repairs, and upgrade such areas, one must know the right suppliers, technicians, and workmen. When engaging a juristic person, it is good to ensure they know how such areas should be managed and what technical expertise needs to be sourced for care, maintenance, and repairs. 

You also need to consider the scope of services the juristic person is capable of providing versus what you need. If you have many condo owners that want to rent out their units, you may need a person that can take care of vetting potential tenants and undertake to collect and deposit the rent. You may also want marketing, bookkeeping, and tax services. The management committee should take stock of what services the condo owners need and choose a juristic person capable of handling all those functions. 

Working with a provider that is experienced can often mean avoiding many common mistakes. An experienced juristic person will be familiar with the legalities of this work, which can be of big help to foreign investors who may not know as much about Thai property and tax laws. 

References

A good way to establish the level of expertise and experience of a proposed juristic person lies in checking on their references. These are previous employers who have had a similar need for such services. A good juristic person should have previously managed condominiums of similar status and amenities. 

Do not just believe what is on paper. Call or visit these references to speak directly with them. Find out what services they have enjoyed and how well their needs were served. It is not unusual to get a few problematic responses as no person or company can be 100% perfect. Consider more the overall responses you are getting to see which candidate offers the best chances of quality service. 

Cost

When considering a person or management company for the position of a juristic person, you need to factor in the cost involved. Such providers will either charge a fixed amount for their services or some percentage cut. This cost estimate will need to be acceptable and affordable to the condo owners. Comparison of the different candidates should be done to help gauge at what price point the condo owners will be getting a competitive deal. Be sure to however consider more than just the cost involved. Going for the cheapest deal is not always the best idea. 

Interview

The management committee should narrow down to top candidates and interview them in person. This is not just to clarify any issues of concern, but also to get a feel for what kind of rapport will be established. There should be cordiality and professionalism that sets the tone for the rest of their interactions. The questions asked should also help in establishing their expertise and their work ethic. For instance, you will want to know how the law allows for dealing with delinquent tenants and what approach the proposed candidate would use to resolve the problem. 

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