Managing and Maintaining your Koh Samui Property
 When you buy your property in Koh Samui, you will have to address the important issue of how to manage and maintain your new home. As an overseas buyer, the chances are you are not going to be living there full time. So, you with either have to buy within a managed development or use the services of an independent property management company. Regarding managed developments, make sure you understand what the management and maintenance fees will be and what these cover.
Many properties that we sell have common areas and shared facilities included in the communal management fees. These fees will cover some or all of the services you need taken care of in order to manage your property. Services may include any of the following;
  • Swimming pools and terraces in shared areas
  • Communal gardens and landscaping
  • Access roads, paths and communal walkways
  • Car parking areas and zones
  • Drains and drainage
  • Lifts
  • Shared leisure facilities such as gyms, tennis courts, saunas, club houses and playground areas
  • Reception areas, restaurants and pool bars
  • Security such as CCTV systems and security safes
  • Shared utilities; including electric infrastructure (pylons, transformers, generators and cables), communication equipment like telephones, internet, satellite and cable TV aerials etc.
 Depending on the development and management company fees may also cover:
  • Maintenance and painting of building and property exteriors
  • Cleaning and maintenance of the pools including chemicals and repairs
  • Garbage disposal
  • Maintenance and repair of common ways furniture
  • Security services
  • Pest control services
  • Building insurance
  • Payment of utility bills for common ways
  • Accounting fees
  • Know which services are covered before you enter into your management and maintenance agreement as the terms and conditions of the agreement tend to last for the duration of your ownership.
  • Note that most communal management fees do not cover maintenance of private gardens and pools. This award-winning development of contemporary villas at Big Buddha, Koh Samui is a rare exception. The monthly development villa fees are 45 THB per square metre of built-up area, and services include maintenance of common roads and gardens, 24-hour security guards, waste disposal, private garden maintenance six times per week, private pool and jacuzzi maintenance three times a week. If this sounds too good to be true, check out the property for yourself: .
  • Security issues: most management agencies employ private security companies to protect the developments. However, many security companies, and management companies, take no responsibility and liability in the event of loss or damage. Ensure you take out your own insurance for your individual property.
  • Before you sign your agreement, make sure there are no significant exclusions – for example, extra payments for cleaning the communal pool may turn out to be more expensive than you think!
Fees are normally paid monthly and most are charged on a price per square metre of built-up area of the property. A typical fee would be 50 Thai Baht (THB) per square metre a month. So, a 300 square metre villa would have a monthly fee of around 15,000 THB. Some developments charge a simple flat rate not related to the property’s area – e.g. a 12,000 THB for all villas per month.
  • Are you paying for common areas too? In your agreement, there is a distinction between private areas and common areas and a proportion of the common areas can be included in the fees. Before you sign any agreement, make sure you know what you are paying for. These ‘hidden’ extras may not appear much at first but add up over time. Generally, you should be paying for the floor area of the building of which you have exclusive use.
  • Find out whether the fees are fixed or based on the actual costs incurred by the management company. If the fees are based on actual expense, then shortfalls in expenditure will have to be made up for by the property owners. Be wary of certain management companies that will use this system to increase their own profit. One way around this problem is to make sure that the owners have collective control over decision making and expenditure so that costs do not run over.
  • Ensure that the contract with the management company is watertight in terms of increasing fees. Restrictions on increasing the fees need to be there in black and white in the contract!
  • Do not overlook when the fees are payable. They are typically paid for in advance and on a monthly basis, although some developers ask for two years’ fees in advance upon purchase. Also, confirm the start date for management fees; it is in the buyer’s interest to start paying fees only when the development is fully operational. In short, it is a shrewd move to add the following to the agreement with the management company: “management and maintenance fees commence from the date of delivery of vacant possession, provided all common areas and facilities are fully operational.”
 In general, there are some excellent management companies in Samui. Some people think they must buy within a managed development. i.e. they do not want to buy a stand-alone property because they are worried about the security, management and maintenance. But in Samui there are a number of very reputable and professional property management companies who will take care of your property when you are not using it. However, there are some bad guys too and at the end of the day, if your building is not properly maintained then it will quickly show its age and depreciate in value. Make sure that your contract allows for the removal and replacement of a management company. Remember, maintenance of your building is crucial. Check and check again that the contract with the management company is as you want it. This is your dream holiday home and we want it to stay that way!
*Property management is separate from rental management. The rental management of properties is sometimes done in-house by the development management company and sometimes by an independent rental manager. Regarding rental management, the fees are normally 15-20% of each rental booking for short term rentals and 10% of the total rental fee for long term lets.