Finding cheap Bangkok property rentals is not an impossible task – as long as you’re realistic about your expectations.
For this article we will define “cheap” as being under THB 5,000 per month, excluding any additional personal costs for things like electricity, water and wi-fi.
You will not be likely t0 find any kind of rental property for less than THB 5,000 per month within close proximity to any of Bangkok’s burgeoning mass-transit networks.
If you want to be close to the BTS or MRT you will need to budget at least THB 10,000 per month, and accept being a 30 minute commute to the centre of the city.
Do not expect masses of space. The chances are that your rental property will be less than 25 sqm in size, and quite possibly just a single room.
Do not expect your property to be new. Bangkok property rentals in new buildings command a premium. Your sub-THB 5,000 per month unit could well be located in a 20-year-old building, or older.
Do not expect great fixtures and furnishings. You will probably not be the first or the last to live in your Bangkok property rental, so expect some signs of normal wear and tear.
Finally, do not assume that air-conditioning will come as standard. Fan rooms are more common in the sub-THB 5,000 per month price bracket, and this can be a problem for tenants who value their cool space.
Real estate agencies will be very unlikely to handle any rental properties for the simple reason that it will not be worth their time based on the commission they will get. That’s why most Bangkok real estate agencies will only have rental properties prices above THB 20,000 per month.
Although you will find Bangkok rental properties for less than THB 5,000 per month without an agent, you should be aware that it’s standard practice to pay a two-month deposit and one month in advance before you move in. So that THB 5,000 burning a hole in your pocket suddenly becomes THB 15,000.
Probably the most important advice we can pass on is that not all low-priced Bangkok property rentals are advertised in English, or even advertised anywhere at all.
If you have a preferred area to live, we suggest taking a Thai colleague or friend to walk the streets and talk to street vendors, local shopkeepers, and have a look at any Thai language signs that will be posted on walls and doors.
We know this method has worked for many, many people who have been searching for cheap Bangkok property rentals.
With all that said, we must stress that you should not accept anything you’re not happy with.
Every tenant should understand and sign an agreement, and that can be anything from three months to two years.
Landlords will be more receptive to one-year or two-year tenancies.
If your agreement is in Thai, get a Thai friend of colleague to read it with you, and ensure you understand every aspect. Make sure an inventory is taken of all the property that comes with your rental, and understand what you are responsible for, and what you are not.
Ask questions, through your Thai friend, because there is a strong chance the landlord will be Thai with little English language skills. Be clear what happens, for example, when the shower stops working or there is a problem with the electric.
As with all tenancies, we strongly suggest that you visit your chosen location three or four times at various times of the day and week. This will give you an idea of traffic levels, commute times and noise levels. You’ll also get to learn about the local area, and where the best places are to eat and shop.
Earlier we said that not all sub-THB 5,000 Bangkok rental properties are advertised. There are exceptions.
Here are a couple we’ve found listed on popular Thailand property portals. We cannot guarantee they are available right now but it will give you an idea of what to expect.
1. This 26 sqm studio in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok is listed at THB 4,500 per month. The building is 24-years-old. This unit appears to come with wi-fi, an on-site shop and 24-hour security. It is listed as being almost 3km from Ladprao.
2. This apparently sparsely furnished 25 sqm studio is for rent at just THB 1,500 per month. For the location – which is listed as being less than 0.5 km from the BTS network at Bang Wa, this looks like good value.
One thing to note about replying to Bangkok property rentals listings is that you’re unlikely to get a reply if (a) you’re not able to confirm a viewing within a few days, and (b) you don’t get the help with Thai language.
Almost all of the Bangkok property rentals priced below THB 5,000 per month will be owned by Thais, so your detailed English language request for more information might just get binned.
As you can imagine, properties at this price level do move quickly. You should too.