Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Foreigners who built expensive holiday and retirement homes on the Thai island of Koh Samui on ‘extendable leases’ leases have been kicked out and their property and their possessions seized.

Now their homes are being rented and sold to other foreigners.

The homeowners who had homes constructed by a German developer who obtained the leased plots in a coconut plantation from a local landowner Sruet Shuenban are angry – but the ‘Get out!’ deal has been rubber stamped by the island court.

The foreigners, mainly European, had had houses built in estates known as Coconut Village and Coconut Grove by the Coconut Houses and Land Company of Norbert Verweyen – a notorious property developer whose harassment of house owners on the Santi Thani estate in Samui has been documented here and here. and where he has been involved in over 100 legal cases.

The harassment on Santi Thani included blocked the home owners from their homes (top picture and below) and he even took owners to court (including a 78-year-old lady) for working without a permit after they set up an owners committee.

The STerlin Wall.,  ST stands for Santi Thani

And with their own cash they tailored the estates even building a communal swimming pool although in one estate they all had their own.

Not surprisingly there is a lot of anger and bitterness – not least because Verweyen and Michael Grover, a British director and Verweyen's partner in the companies controlling the estate, had told the home owners that their rights would be protected.


They appeared to do the opposite. The Thai landlord Sruet Shuenban took a case through her nominee Mrs. Suthatip (nicknamed Kheow). It was a stitch-up.

Verweyen told the court he did not want to renew the lease on Coconut Village or Coconut Grove – and in one stroke all residents there lost their properties. Verweyen also agreed there could be no appeal to that decision.

(Michael‘MICK’ GROVER, claims to have been a Navy diver)

The Thai landlord had demanded an astronomical increase in the land rents plus 50 per cent of all income from rental. Many owners had built the properties as holiday homes only. And when they were not there they rented the properties out.

The names of the villages have changed.  And guess who is controlling the sales and rentals of the smart properties the previous owners have lost?

They now come under ‘Monsoon Villas’ a sub-division of Grover’s ‘Lom Talay Company’.

In 2009 seemingly in preparation for Doomsday Verweyen transferred the properties to Lom Talay and the new agreement did not appear to contain the same commitment to extend the lease.

But owners insist both Verweyen and Grover told them that everything was in hand and not to worry. What they were not told was that what was in hand was a plan to have them evicted unless they agreed to brutal new terms.

A representative of the home owners said:

“When the rental agreement between Coconuts Village and Grove expired Mike who was at that time managing the Village told the owners not to worry as he was negotiating the extension with Thai landlord. 

“But in fact the owners received a letter from her stating that as the owner of the land she was proposing a 2 years renewal at extravagant financial conditions or the owners had to move out all their belonging within 7 days otherwise she will take them for herself. Most of the owners were living outside of Thaïland and were unable to come to remove the content of their house.

“The landlord took all their belonging and sold them. In order to avoid to have to pay the damages to the owners for their house at market value as provided by thaï law ( Civil Code 1416 )
“The landowner started civil proceedings against Coconuts Village and Grove (Verweyen and Grover) . Before the Court Coconuts Village and Grove confirmed that all the construction on the land were from the beginning of the lease agreement the sole property of landowner. 

“Trusting Norbert and Mike those owners have lost all their investments a( house and its content ) and cannot act against the landowner due to the judgment which was based on false declarations of Coconuts Village and Grove.”

Owners complained to Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations alleging fraud.

Had they been told they were merely building houses for the Thai landowner they would not have done so in the first place.

The DSI passed the enquiry over to the tax office as they noted taxes had not been paid. But they could not deal with the matter as fraud, they said.

The owners’ houses are now being rented out to holiday makers at up to US$300 a night – with all winning except the owners themselves.

Finally if you want to buy, er, borrow, land on Koh Samui, build your dream home and than hand it over to someone else you can also go to this site. OK Properties is a name only. It does not exist as a company. In fact as we revealed recently Verweyen has recently been taking down OK Property signs, 

Footnote: Coconut Grove and Coconut Village Company shareholders:

.        Norbert  2752 shares    Mick Grover 1,200 shares

"We are charming" says the promo for
Monsoon Beach Villas
COMMENT: This is rather par for the Samui course. Foreigners cannot buy property in Thailand. But they can lease for 30 years and many are guaranteed an extention of lease for a further 30. 

I have yet to see any of these deals going through successfully – but that’s maybe because there agreements are only just kicking in now. 

The owners trusted the developers on an island where truth is not a by word. 

Some may have the consolation that for their initial outlay and low ground rent they have enjoyed 20 plus years and have been able to get cash back by sub-renting. Others not so.

But quite clearly there is dishonesty afoot lots of it, so much so that Norbert appears to have been established for a long time as part of the island mafia. 

'Owners' could take into account the incidents in which he fled from a drugs arrest in Pattaya, and the murder of his wife and shooting of his sales manager (see the link below - A Serious and Imminent Danger ) or the fact that despite the 100 court cases (many against him) and the fact that diplomatic complaints have been made, including one from the British Ambassador Mark Kent, he remains unscathed.

Property buying on Koh Samui – A Serious and imminent danger to lives


Landlord from hell scores his legal century


D. Farang said...

The crux of the problem is - in the main no one cares, gives a bloody toss - until it happens to them..

This is tantamount to a free ride for the scammers!

Lady Gaga has a recent song about that .."'Til it happens to you.. you don't know how I feel.." (or care one iota)


The Perfect Storm - aka "Human Nature" (at its worst)

D. Farang said...

You just gotta love the way Thais spell "Thinglish" words

"DO NOT ENTRY" Sounds rather like a warning sign for wayward farang in the LOS - a misspelled sign - placed strategically above a "For Thais-only Brothel"..

It's the Thai hybrid for "No Entrance" and "Do Not Enter"

Class is over. Next week, we'll discuss the true meaning of "Me love you long time," and the dubious merits of "The long Con"

Only in Thailand you say?

Megalodon said...

Who on earth in their right mind would go down the route of "owning" property in Thailand? How many times have people been advised to simply rent - then they can walk away from a potential problem without (hopefully) too much loss?
For years now people have been exhorted to invest no more than they can afford to lose in Thailand - whether that be property, marriage, business investments - whatever.
Do people not listen?
A fool and his money, as they say.

Bob Kneale said...

What makes you thing a Thai spelled that, isn't the scammer and owner of the pictured property a German? Some of their pronunciations and arrangements of English words are even more ridiculous than your brothel analogy.

Do you really think that anyone would need an English class from someone who uses the written word "gotta" in order to mock the language abilities of others?

the guest said...

This an old story ... foreigners keep falling for the old trick don't they? Extendable leases are not legal under Thai law, it's 30 years, that's it. Anything else the contract is not worth the paper it's written on. Don't invest in thailand unless your prepared to lose the investment you have made, it really is that simple !

D. Farang said...

Sorry, Mr. Kneale. I stand tall and corrected. It was merely a subliminal blunder on my part, using "gotta" instead of something correct, like "have to." It was not of herculean proportions mind-you and actually fully intended believe it or not, probably like the sign we dubiously refer to. I'm sure that mistake was on purpose too. Like hell it was, in my humble opinion.

I humbly defer to your linguistic expertise, as anyone who can spell their name backwards and be correct, strongly infers great intrinsic wisdom. I spelled your name forwards and backwards for good measure, and it still comes out perfect every single time - BOB!

Sir, I beg your pardon. Thailand has the (self-admitted) lowest English skills in ASEAN, despite the fact they depend on tourism for their "bread and butter" like no other Asian nation. The General-Prime Minister harps on Thailand's lack of English skills, almost on a nightly basis on his T.V. show. You just "gotta" know that. I was simply alluding to the fact that Thailand has a very particular way of spelling English words. By using "gotta" with supposed impunity, I am no better than Thailand in terms of mastering English writing skills, as you so succinctly pointed out. I get that. I do appreciate that you took the time to correct my "faux-pas."

Have you ever read the "English" spelling at Thai National Parks? Then you may understand where I am coming from. In fact, my Thai brother-in-law has a PHD in English, and his English is terrible, almost as bad as my own fractured phrases. I could go on and on sir, but to little or no avail, in my very humble opinion.
The allegedly "wrongly" alleged pedant nit-picker

Tim said...

Here is some useful advice posted by an expat in the property business on one of the expat forums:

If you are new to the Thai property sector, a few points on the transaction about which you need to be aware:

The Thai property market is intentionally distorted by agents and developers to conceal the markets realities .. market intel here is imperfect, and Thais withhold information tighter than greedy, old Chinese ladies playing mahjong for money .. it is their way of trying to create 'gateways' through which they alone hold the keys;

As an industry, the property sector is notoriously unscrupulous, and especially in Thailand where cultural values place little merit on personal integrity, beyond mere superficial 'face' .. do not allow those ubiquitous Thai smiles, or international agency brands fool you into believing otherwise;

The property sector is .. totally .. unregulated .. in Thailand .. agents and developers are fearless, and buyers have essentially zero recourse; and,
Agents in Thailand work exclusively for the sellers here .. no one advocates for the buyer.
So, nothing represented by the seller or agent about the state of the building can be trusted.

Megalodon said...

Thank you, Guest, for repeating practically verbatim what I posted. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery eh?

jules in KL said...

Does make you wonder why people would invest in something or manner which even in their home countries would be high risk.

Sorry to hear about their problems but you need to take proper advice and investigate and structure prior to investing. Thailand is not a great place to undertake real estate investment, the Thais do not want you there as a land owner and there are very limited cast iron legal ownership routes.