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Tips for renting a condo in Thailand


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Tips for renting condos in Thailand.

  1. If possible, try to pay 1 month’s rent and one months security deposit. Avoid the dreaded 2 month deposit.
  2. If an agent is acting as the landlord for the condo rental, make sure you see a valid power of attorney with the owners ID card or passport, and house registration. You want to make sure the agent has been given the authority to rent the condo on behalf of the owner.
  3. Make sure the lease contract is clear. Sometimes, English lease contracts are bad translations of a Thai version. This is important for clarity if there is ever a dispute. If you get a contract with an English version and a Thai version, make sure the contract states that the Thai version will always prevail, as this is the law. Make sure get a accurate translation of the contract before signing it.
  4. Make sure the contract is clear about what happens if you terminate the contract or break the lease before the end of the term. Are you responsible for the remaining months or not. If you can, try to get them to allow you to terminate the lease by giving 30 days written notice for a reasonable cause. Make sure the contract is clear about what happens to your deposit. It should be fully or partially refunded.
  5. Make sure the lease contract mentions that normal wear and tear or routine maintenance will be the responsibility of the owner during the lease and will not be deducted from your security deposit at the end of the lease.
  6. Make sure the contract states that the landlord should be responsible for repairs to the condo where the damage to the condo or the need for repair to the appliance was not the fault of the tenement.
  7. Make sure you are paying the government rate for electricity and water and it’s not being marked up by the landlord. If it is being marked up, make sure you are aware of out before hand so you can make the decision to rent or not.
  8. When your lease ends, make sure you have the agent or landlord do the final inspection while you are still there. That way you can sign a doc regarding any deductions from your deposit with no surprises later.
  9. Make sure the contract is clear on who is responsible for the condo maintenance fees. Normally, this is the responsibility of the condo owner.
  10. It’s important to know that if both Parties agree, some of these things can be left off or changed. Reasons for this are if the condo unit is in high demand. If you agree to something different, make sure it is clear on your contract.
  11. Disputes on condo rental contracts are handled by the Consumer Protection Agency and or the Civil Courts. To avoid disputes, deal with a reputable agent such as Cornerstone Real-estate.
  12. It’s important to note that most of these items are in the law for landlords  that rent  5 or more units. However, some landlords will circumvent these laws by putting additional condo units in a family member’s name such as a spouse. Therefore, when renting, you should always consider these laws as a good practice to follow no matter what.
  13. Make sure the contract states your security deposit will be refunded within 7 days after you leave. If that’s not possible due to final utility costs won’t be known, then you should agree that the remaining deposit minus the estimated final utility bills  will be returned within 7 days and then rest will be reconciled after the utility bills are received and paid.
  14. Make sure the contract is clear on whether or not you can sublet the unit. If so, do you need the permission of the landlord or not.
  15. Never rent a condo without seeing it first. Avoid renting places over the internet before you come to Thailand.

As a Thai Legal Protection member, one of the benefits of the membership is a consultation on all these tips and a review of your condo lease before you sign. Learn more at https://thethaiger.com/legal-assistance or watch this video: 

 

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The above is all good advice.  I would add one more element, if renting condo, but especially a house.  The property sector here is unregulated and is staffed by many unscrupulous so called 'freelance agents', often local ladies on motorbikes who set themselves up as Estate Agents, or for US readers, Realters. They have no qualifications and no permit to operate.   They will do anything, tell you anything, omit anything, that will impact their commission. Despite what they may tell you, they will only act in their own best interests and not yours.  Always try to deal with the condo or house owner directly.  Drop the agent if you can and if not, keep them at arms length.

There is a housing unit not far from me that is built over an old lake.  Everyone locally knows that it floods each year and that houses get flooded on a regular basis.  Because of its prime location, houses there get rented out on a regular basis by local ladies acting as agents and nobody mentions the flooding to the poor folk who sign a year long contract.

It truly is renter beware.  

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25 minutes ago, Pinetree said:

The above is all good advice.  I would add one more element, if renting condo, but especially a house.  The property sector here is unregulated and is staffed by many unscrupulous so called 'freelance agents', often local ladies on motorbikes who set themselves up as Estate Agents, or for US readers, Realters. They have no qualifications and no permit to operate.   They will do anything, tell you anything, omit anything, that will impact their commission. Despite what they may tell you, they will only act in their own best interests and not yours.  Always try to deal with the condo or house owner directly.  Drop the agent if you can and if not, keep them at arms length.

There is a housing unit not far from me that is built over an old lake.  Everyone locally knows that it floods each year and that houses get flooded on a regular basis.  Because of its prime location, houses there get rented out on a regular basis by local ladies acting as agents and nobody mentions the flooding to the poor folk who sign a year long contract.

It truly is renter beware.  

I can't really say avoid agents. There are plenty of good ones out there. So, maybe, deal with reputable agents.

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1 hour ago, TLP said:

I can't really say avoid agents. There are plenty of good ones out there. So, maybe, deal with reputable agents.

Except maybe for Bangkok where it's harder to know how the actual owner of the condos are

 

I see no real need for an agent in Thailand 

I've rented in a few places and always found my way to the actual owners of places fairly easy 

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I used an agent once

A big too, Siam Real Estate in Phuket and they outright lied to me

 

Telling me I would be renting a 1bdrm apartment and tried to put me in a hotel room, basically 

 

Thankfully I saved all our email correspondence and had proof so got all my money back

 

 

But I rented this from the US because I would be landing Dec 10th back when it was a massive high season

 

But after that

Always on the ground straight with owners 

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6 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

Except maybe for Bangkok where it's harder to know how the actual owner of the condos are

I see no real need for an agent in Thailand 

I've rented in a few places and always found my way to the actual owners of places fairly easy 

It is just a preference people have to use or not use an agent. The point of this thread is not to talk about agents. Some are good and some are not. Just like using a visa agent. Some prefer and some want to do it themselves. For some of us, time is money and they hire agents so they can spend their time productively on other things such as their business. For a retired guy, he may see it differently. He sees it as a way to save money by not using an agent and he has the time to look for condos himself or spend time at immigration and so on. To each their own. So, if you want to use an agent, make sure you do your research so they are reputable. 

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7 minutes ago, TLP said:

It is just a preference people have to use or not use an agent. The point of this thread is not to talk about agents. Some are good and some are not. Just like using a visa agent. Some prefer and some want to do it themselves. For some of us, time is money and they hire agents so they can spend their time productively on other things such as their business. For a retired guy, he may see it differently. He sees it as a way to save money by not using an agent and he has the time to look for condos himself or spend time at immigration and so on. To each their own. So, if you want to use an agent, make sure you do your research so they are reputable. 

The point of the thread can be to add that there are a lot of shady agents in Thailand and that people should be aware of that 

 

And that you can also point out they they aren't really needed once you are on the ground and know a few people and the area....

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On 11/18/2023 at 1:21 PM, Marc26 said:

The point of the thread can be to add that there are a lot of shady agents in Thailand and that people should be aware of that 

And that you can also point out they they aren't really needed once you are on the ground and know a few people and the area....

I don't think that is necessary. What I do think is necessary is the following:

If you choose to use a property agent to rent a condo, you need to consider the following before you move ahead. 

1. Make sure the agent has the authority to rent the condo on behalf of the owner. You can confirm this by making sure there is a copy of the owner's ID card or passport attached to the back of the lease contract. The passport would be preferable, as you can check if the signatures match on the contract. Or better yet, insist the owner is present and sign the contract together. 

2. If the owner is not present, insist the agent shows you a power of attorney where the owner has granted the agent power of attorney to rent the condo on behalf of the owner and the authority to sign the lease contract instead of the owner. 

3. Before using any agent, check to see if they have any reviews on google and search the agent name or company name in google to see if any complaints show up in forums or Facebook posts. 

4. Try to ask friends and co-workers to refer you to an agent that they have used in the past that gave them good service.

5. Never rent a condo through an agent from outside of Thailand. Always insist to look at the condo first in person. 

6. Make sure you get the proper legal advice on this and have a lawyer review the contract before you sign it. 

7. Follow the advice in this post of mine.

Learn more here by watching this video:

 

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On 11/18/2023 at 1:12 PM, TLP said:

Just like using a visa agent. Some prefer and some want to do it themselves. For some of us, time is money and they hire agents so they can spend their time productively on other things such as their business.

Its not a bit like a visa agent.  The visa agents are facilitating a known, legal, government product, that they charge for.  Renting agents often lie through their teeth regarding a variable un regulated product,  that can lead to fraud, misrepresentation and cover ups.  Totally different to visa agents, 

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On 11/18/2023 at 1:21 PM, Marc26 said:

The point of the thread can be to add that there are a lot of shady agents in Thailand and that people should be aware of that 

And that you can also point out they they aren't really needed once you are on the ground and know a few people and the area....

The problem I found here in Phuket as an owner if you put a "FOR Rent" sign outside the house you get bombarded with agents calling you, knocking on the door, the whole world and his wife are agents here, you also have to add ""No Agents" on the sign, 

Take a look at FB how many property groups, 

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31 minutes ago, Pinetree said:

Its not a bit like a visa agent.  The visa agents are facilitating a known, legal, government product, that they charge for.  Renting agents often lie through their teeth regarding a variable un regulated product,  that can lead to fraud, misrepresentation and cover ups.  Totally different to visa agents, 

They are the same and different. They are the same when people say, don't use an agent because you can pound the pavement in your neighborhood and find a condo by yourself. Just like you can spend the time and effort to process your own visa extension, as long as everything is normal. That is the comparison I am making. 

There are bad visa agents who take your passport and your money just like there a bad restate agents who for example will rent a condo out without the owner approving and keep the money. Telling the overseas owner its still not rented yet. I think my tips on how to find and deal with agents is enough for people to use to be careful of.

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