OCPB vows to deal with unscrupulous property owners

The Office of Consumer Protection Board will adjust its announcement regarding utility fees charged on tenants by owners of hostels or apartments in case the owners of the premises are tricky and impose other charges on the tenants to compensate for lowering utility fees as laid down by the announcement.

OCPB deputy secretary-general Pikanes Tapuang said that, under the announcement, an apartment or a hostel owner cannot charge utility rates exceeding 20 percent of the rates charged by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority in the case of Bangkok or Provincial Electricity Authority and Provincial Waterworks Authority in case of the other provinces.

The announcement will become effective on May 1.

It was reported that some hostel or apartment owners had already lowered the utility rates charged on their tenants but, at the same time, introduced new fee for the utility used for common property to compensate the loss of revenue from overcharged utility fees.

Mr Pikanes insisted that the purpose of the OCPB in issuing the announcement was to protect the interest of the consumers.

But if it is found that the announcement does not work because the hostel or apartment owners were tricky, the office would adjust the announcement to deal with the unscrupulous property owners.

Starting May 1, he said consumers could lodge complaints with the OCPB if they felt they were taken advantage of by the hostel or apartment owners.