Renting property in Thailand is not complex, as long as you understand a few basic facts and keep your common sense with you.
There are literally hundreds of property websites that will help you to find a rental property in Thailand, but before you start your search you should clarity your personal budget and have a rough idea of where you want to live.
It’s worth visiting your chosen location at various times of the day and week to understand things like traffic and noise.
When you define a budget, remember you will almost certainly have to pay two months’ in advance as a ‘security deposit’ as well as one month’s rent in advance.
So, if your budget is THB 20,000 per month you will need to have THB 60,000 to move in.
Whilst you do not need a real estate agent to help renting property in Thailand, they can provide valuable local knowledge as well as access to rental properties that may not be strictly on the market.
They can also help you with the legal agreement and yes, signing an English language (if you are an English speaker) rental agreement that you understand is imperative.
For their services, real estate agencies will normally receive commission equal to one month of your rent, and this is paid for by the landlord.
The new rental law which came into effect on May 1, 2018, only impacts landlords with five or more residential rental properties, and even now a number seem to be ignoring it.
In short, any agreement you sign should be fair, and it should be something that you understand fully.
It should also be clear about the costs that are due from tenants, for what, when, and by what payment method. Costs can include electricity, water, rubbish (garbage), wi-fi, amenity fees, etc.
On the day you move in you will almost certainly have to sign an inventory. Make notes regarding condition of any appliances, furniture, etc, and take photos too. They could be invaluable at the end of your rental.
Make sure that you also obtain a contact number, either for the landlord or property manager that is available 24-hours.
The length of the rental is also an important part of the contract. In most cases you can expect to pay a little less for a one-year rental agreement compared with a six-month deal. There is no harm in asking.
The agreement for renting property in Bangkok also need to be clear about pets, sub-letting and any communal rules within the property, to name a few.
Your rental contact should also agree a fair termination clause, should you need to break your agreement before it expires. You should expect to lose some element of your initial deposit, but the exact amount needs to be clear and within your written agreement.
Most stories regarding broken rentals are down to not singing a proper rental agreement, and not clarifying who is responsible for what during the lifetime of the rental.
The most important part of renting property in Bangkok is to have a rental agreement you understand.
If things go sour when renting property in Thailand and you have evidence of mistreatment or unfairness, the government body that can help is the Office of the Board of the Consumer Protection.