Landlords told to report all migrants

Landlords of migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province have been asked to report to authorities within 24 hours or face legal action as part of efforts to regulate rental properties.

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Samut Sakhon governor Arthit Boonyasopat on Sunday called a meeting with owners of houses and apartment rooms rented by migrant workers in Muang, Krathum Baen and Ban Phaeo district, to explain new requirements to register with officials. The districts are home to many migrant workers in the fisheries, agricultural and industrial sectors.

The move follows the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s demand that all foreign workers register with the authorities. The governor said there are 390,000 legal migrant workers working in the province, while the number of unregistered workers is estimated to be around 100,000.

Officials are regulating housing for migrant workers in response to the high number living in the province, Pol Lt Arthit said. The provincial Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) and defence office have been assigned to inspect the living quarters of migrants alongside local administrative bodies.

Owners of rental houses leased by foreign workers are required to notify officials about their tenants within 24 hours. Those who fail to so will face legal action, the governor said.

Col Jakkrawut Sinpoonphol, deputy chief of Samut Sakhon's Isoc office and head of a migrant housing inspection team, said landlords must produce rental contracts for the check.

Home owners may become second defendants in legal cases if officials arrest their tenants for violating the law, Col Jakkrawut told landlords attending the meeting yesterday.

Kraipot Pookkanawanit, who rents out rooms in the area, said he would call a meeting with his tenants, both Thais and migrants, to tell them about the new requirements.

The landlord said he had never sought any documentation from his tenants, adding that he agreed to rent properties to people who did not look dangerous. He said he will cooperate with authorities by asking tenants for necessary documents.

A source said landlords who fail to report to authorities within 24 hours will face a fine of up to 800 baht per rented room. The fine will double if officials search rooms and find unregistered tenants. Those who rent to illegal migrant workers will face jail terms of up to five years and fines of up to 50,000 baht.

Factories with living quarters for migrant workers are also required to report to authorities, the source said.

Narong Maikhiew, head of Village Group 5 in tambon Suan Luang of Krathum Baen district, said migrant workers renting in his community were mostly registered, so would face no problems.

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