Bangkok Rental Guide
As an expat in Bangkok, you may need to rent your accommodation while in Bangkok, this Bangkok Rental Guide helps answer and explain some of the questions or concerns you may have. You will find that the rental process in Thailand is a much more straightforward procedure than what takes place in other countries, such as Japan or Singapore.
Unlike most countries where the tenant and the landlord have their own representatives for the deal, real estate agents in Thailand work for both the potential tenant and the landlord of the said property. This reduces confusion, and also makes it easier and faster for you to find a rental property.
When you look for the right property, you have to specify to the agent the type of accommodation you are looking for. The most important aspects to consider while looking for your Bangkok accommodation are as follows:
- If you have children, choose a property that is located near your child’s school.
- It would also be good if you could find a place near your workplace, or at least where there is easy access to transportation to your office.
- The accommodation should cater to all your lifestyle pursuits; this means that it should be near or at least have access to transportation to theaters, supermarkets, medicals and the post office.
- Specify the type of accommodation you are looking for; like a townhouse, condo, apartment or a single detached house.
- If you have pets, make sure you find out if it is okay to have your pets stay with you.
- If you have a large family, you will require more bedrooms; so ensure that the property has sufficient rooms for the comfort of your family.
- You can choose between furnished and unfurnished accommodation. Naturally, if you have your own furniture, it is better to opt for unfurnished accommodation; however if you don’t have your own accommodation, a furnished place is a better option for you.
- Last, but not least, tell the agent your budget which the agent has to keep in mind while looking for places, and making negotiations.
Some other aspects to consider before choosing a rental property is its water pressure. If the water pressure is low, you will not enjoy continuous water, and there is actually not much you can do about this. Rentals with air conditioners should be new looking, not noisy and should efficiently cool the room.
Check the surroundings for any ongoing construction that may hamper the enjoyment of your property. Similarly, check out the neighbors as you wouldn’t want to stay in the proximity of noisy, nosy and grumpy neighbors. Find out which pets the other flat owners own so that you can not only tolerate its’ presence, but also to ensure that they go well with your own pet.
With all this information, the agents will provide you with a list of properties that best suit your needs and requirements. It is always better to view only properties you think are feasible for you, instead of wasting time and money viewing all the properties the agent proposes.
If you choose a more reputed real estate agent, they take the effort of picking you from your place of accommodation, and drop you off after viewing all the properties. This saves your time and money as you need not ride round in circles looking for the properties.
The best time to head for viewing of 4 or more properties is in mid morning, when you will be able to avoid the morning and evening rush hour traffic. After viewing all the properties, you will find that based on your preferences, all the properties have their own plus and negative points. You have to rule out the properties with maximum negative aspects, which cannot be modified or changed to your preferences.
It is up to you to decide if you take one or more days for viewing properties as some people are happy with the first property they see while others make their decisions after seeing all the available properties in Bangkok. On an average, it is better to take a look at 6-8 properties, preferably under the guidance of a single agent.
On choosing the right property, the agent has to make an offer to the landlord, including any improvements and additions you need for the property. After some counter offers by the landlord, you will finally reach an amicable contract with amicable rent and terms.
It is the agent who frames a lease contract for the property for the owner, in English language. Make sure you go through it to ensure it has standard terms in them like a lease term of a minimum of a year, a security deposit of a minimum of two months’ rental, that rent should be paid monthly in advance and complete details of the property with the full name of the landlord. If you have chosen a high end property, you may find your lease document split into two documents where one is for property and the other for furniture. The reason they do this is to minimize the tax liability of the landlord.
Once both you and the landlord agree on the terms of the agreement, a date will be set for signing it. This is when you meet the landlord, and when you have an opportunity to create a good impression on the person. In Bangkok, and other Asian countries, with a good impression, you find it easy to cement a great relationship between two people.
Make sure your agreement is created in triplicate so that one copy is for the tenant, one for the owner and one for agent’s files. You also need to include your passport copy and ID card copy as appendices for the agreement.
As Bangkok is a cash economy, you will have to arrange cash for your deposit payment. It is not possible to use your credit or debit card for making payments. Besides cash, you could however also use a bank transfer or cashier’s check for making payments. However date these documents before your move in date to avoid complications when you move in.
By the time you move-in, the agent will help you with the installation of your internet and cable TV connections, at no cost. Usually, the agent meets you on the day you move in to the property to hand over the keys to you. They will also list out a furniture inventory if the property is a furnished one.
Keep this document safe as it is important to both you and the owner as it mentions the state of the property when you move in. this helps eliminate any arguments you may face about its condition in the future. After you move in, you can expect a call from your agent only after a few days’ time to ensure you are well settled and have no problems.
Bangkok Rental Guide: Hints and Tips
Besides all these tips, there are some additional points to remember during your rental process in Bangkok.
- It is not advised to negotiate on more than one property at a time. You have to start with your first preference, and it is only if the deal fails should you move on to the second property. You will only spoil both yours and the agent’s reputation by rejecting a property even after the owner agrees to your offer.
- Change agents only if you are not happy with their methods, or have lost confidence in them. Remember that in Bangkok there are no fees payable to the agent for finalizing the deal. It is the landlord who pays the agent fees in the form of commission.
- When you place an offer to the property owner, take care not to insult then with an unreasonably low offer. Quote something reasonable lest the owner thinks that you are not serious about your bid or proposition.
- There is no strict percentage or rule followed in your negotiations. Basically, the longer a property is empty, the more willing the owner is to negotiate. However if the property has high occupancy rates, don’t expect the owner to budge too much from the offered rate.
- Remember that under no condition at all is it possible to negotiate for a lease term of less than a year with your landlord. It is only in service apartments that you can have lease terms of less than a year; in condos, houses and flats, you have to chalk out a lease contract of a minimum of a year.
If you have any other questions or concerns regarding rental property in Bangkok don’t hesitate to contact us.