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Building walls in communities

PHUKET: A Phuket expat has raised the issue of the lack of protection against neighbours’ building imposing walls along boundaries with adjacent properties after a wall standing 3.2 metres tall was built right beside his house, blocking even sunlight from shining into his son’s room.

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By The Phuket News

Friday 16 September 2022, 01:48PM


Roberto Manco, a resident at the Sinsuk Thani housing estate in Srisoonthorn, said the issue began last year, when his neighbour first started sizing up where the wall was to be built.

Attempts to negotiate for the wall to be shorter to allow some sunlight into his 10-year-old son’s room proved fruitless, often deteriorating into arguments and even threats.

Roberto asked for the wall height to be built just 50cm shorter to allow some sunlight and breeze into his son’s room. The neighbour refused to compromise.

“The bulwark in question has removed all visibility and daylight from me, I no longer see anything, not even the sky, there is no more breeze and the voices and noises of the neighboring house are amplified with an uncomfortable echo. It is more like a prison,” Roberto said.

The Sinsuk Thani housing estate management group has done nothing to prevent or regulate the construction of the wall.

The wall stands on his neighbour’s property, but breaches the construction guidelines set out by the housing estate management group mandating that structures must be at least two metres from the boundary line.

Roberto, an Italian-Swiss who has lived in Thailand for 16 years, and not new to antics by people ignoring rules, attempted to hire three lawyers to resolve the issue.

“The first wrote a letter of protest to Srisoonthorn Municipality and opened a case, but despite several appointments he never managed to speak to any head at the municipality. After about a month he gave up the case and told me it wasn’t his specialty,” Roberto explained.

Of note, during the first lawyer’s attempts it was discovered that the municipality issued a building permit for the wall two months after its construction began.

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“The second, a specialist in these problems, listened to the exposition of my problem and told me at the time that he would contact me. Several days passed, and despite my insistence he made me understand that he was not interested in it,” Roberto continued.

The lawyer requested “an exorbitant figure in advance”, Roberto said. “Despite my agreement of 50% right away and the balance at the end of the case, the lawyer never responded.”

The third and last law firm Mr Roberto contacted met with him to discuss the case. After 15 days of not hearing back from the firm, Mr Roberto contacted them only to be told they were “too busy” to take up the case, but then gave “a really exaggerated fee” to continue with it.

“All this discouraged me from continuing with the law firm,” he said.

What was confirmed during the process was that the legal minimum distance between separately standing dwellings in Thailand is just 50cm, Roberto said.

Any other construction conditions required within housing estates is up to the housing estate management authority to enforce its own rules.

The offending wall stands 1.2m from the boundary line, but not 2m from Roberto’s house.

“I would like to publicly reveal my story, that of a building abuse that is forcing my family to live in very disadvantaged conditions, and for which I cannot get justice,” Roberto said.

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Capt B | 19 September 2022 - 06:40:36

Sell the "house" @ a loss & move to Panama

cheez | 17 September 2022 - 13:46:42

Unjust and detrimental living conditions have been imposed on Mr Roberto and his family that could easily have been averted - with a dose of goodwill and regard that in turn would provide a harmonious living environment.  It goes to the question: Will any authority step up to improve on such an appalling consequence of the current modus operandi? 

Prab | 17 September 2022 - 08:57:22

and Kakkaman, maybe you should find a job for yourself...seems you more  focused on reply other people thought rather than says your own in this forum... if it bother you my comment then  just skip... you simply look like a looser right now...

JohnC | 17 September 2022 - 08:54:48

Why not just move to another location. You will never win. Why you chose to live in such a cheap boxed in housing estate with tiny pieces of land only you know. The only way you could possibly win is if you know any Thais in very senior government positions who could fix it with one phone call. TIT!

DeKaaskopp | 16 September 2022 - 20:36:09

Lucky me I never listened to experts like Fascinated. It would have cost me a fortune ! 

megamind | 16 September 2022 - 18:52:20

Welcome to the reality of "HOW THE LAW WORKS IN THAILAND BETWEEN THAI AND FOREIGNERS". M very sorry for you.

Capricornball | 16 September 2022 - 15:18:03

Tales like this cement my feelings to never make a long-term purchase in Thailand. The rule of law is ignored, and those responsible to enforce the law are the most dishonest crooks of all. Complete absence of consideration in this case, but the wall syndrome is creating a lasting stain on the landscape throughout Phuket. I feel bad for Mr. Roberto and his family.

Fascinated | 16 September 2022 - 14:41:51

Prime example of always rent, NEVER buy over here. Only people who have done well out of thisa re the lawyers as usual, even though they did nothing Shakespeare had it right!

 

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