Expats in Cambodia approve new safety-first construction laws

Published:  13 Nov at 6 PM
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Expats in Cambodia are in support of the government’s strict new property construction laws.

Following the disastrous collapse of a seven story building in Sihanoukville which caused 28 deaths and 26 injuries, Cambodia’s government has issued new rules for all constructions. Basically, should a faulty building cause death, injury or damage to an adjacent building by collapsing, developers will face fines, building license cancellations and suspension from any further construction projects. F

or unlicensed buildings already completed, the new law allows application for the necessary permits and also encourages changes where necessary, thus reducing the possibility of collapse causing more deaths, damage and injuries. Any necessary work must be completed within a time frame set by the authorities. Cambodian politicians have welcomed the ruling as a necessary safety measure, but are cautioning the law must be fairly applied across the entire country.

Expats who’ve bought new-build homes or had existing properties restored are also welcoming the new rules, as standards common in the countrywide construction industry have often been regarded as sketchy at best and possibly dangerous at worst. Over the past several years, Cambodia has seen an influx of Western expatriates arriving from neighbouring Thailand due to tighter regulations as regards long-stay retirement visas.

Current concerns about the new regulations are based on the fact that larger construction companies tend to be backed by the powerful and wealthy, leading inspectors to err on the side of loose interpretation of existing rules. This practice is common across non-first world Southeast Asian countries, thus preventing effective law enforcement by officials.
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