Searching, finding and renting a Bangkok condo, apartment, house or townhouse is a pretty straight forward process that can take as little as 24 hours and long as several months to a year. Whether you’re thinking of moving to Bangkok or have lived in Thailand for a while and look to change homes will usually make a big difference to how long it takes to find a new home. For the most part, searching is most time consuming but when you finally find the property you wish to rent, moving in is usually the easy part. Here is a rundown of all the cycle in which you you must search, find, rent and move out of a Bangkok rental property.
Bangkok Condo Search
Due to the vast number of rental properties, searching for a condo in Bangkok is usually initiated online. Once you find properties of interest you can schedule viewings with the property owners or real estate agents. Most foreigners use a real estate agent as it’s free of charge and makes the process of renting a condo in Bangkok much easier. Once you inquire about properties you like online you will go physically view the properties.
Tutorial: Easily Inquire about Multiple Bangkok Properties in one Click
Booking your Bangkok Home
If you do not need to immediately move in, and you visit a property that you really like you can book it by paying a small booking deposit. This booking deposit which is usually a small % (10+% of the rental fee) will hold the condo until you plan to move in. The booking deposit will count towards your full security deposit which is equal to 2x the monthly rent. You can also pay the full security deposit to book your room until your move-in date but most people wait until at least they sign the lease. Your full security deposit is refundable at the end of your lease.
Signing Rental Agreement (Lease)
Once you choose the property you wish to rent, you must sign the lease before you can move-in. Your Bangkok real estate agent or the landlord will prepare a lease and send you the draft so you can go over all the terms. If you are in disagreement with any of the terms, your real estate agent will negotiate with the owner (who probably speaks Thai) and try to come to terms to finalize a lease that satisfies both parties. At the time of preparing the lease both you and your landlord must provide copies of your identifications which may include passport and/or work permit. Once you’re ready to sign the lease you can begin the move-in process.
Paying your Security Deposit & Moving In
In order to get the keys and move in your new condo you must first have the (refundable) security deposit (2x the monthly rent) fully paid and then pay your 1st month’s rent on the day you begin your lease. It is recommended that the security deposit should be paid directly to the landlord via cash or bank transfer. In rare cases your Bangkok real estate agent will be instructed to handle the deposits by the landlord. how to avoid any potential scams.
Setting-up & Paying your Monthly Bills & Rent
Paying rent is is most commonly done by simply depositing the monthly rent into the landlord’s account via Thailand bank transfer (if you have a Thai bank account) or by depositing the cash in an automated deposit machines located basically on every Bangkok soi. The machines go by different names such as (CDM – Cash Deposit Machine or ADM – Automated Deposit Machine) but all are very easy to recognize and simple to operate. All you need to is your landlord’s bank account and you can deposit cash directly into their account quickly and instantly. In some cases you can pay your rent directly to the juristic office at the condominium or apartment.
You are responsible for paying your monthly utility and service bills when renting a property in Bangkok. For most condo rentals, the power and water bills will be kept in the property owner/landlord’s name. This is sometimes true with the cable TV and internet bills if they are pre-installed in the rental unit. The bills will be sent to your mail box every month and can be paid with cash at the building’s juristic office or any 7-Eleven convenient store. In some instances you must set-up the internet and/or cable TV services in your name.
Renewing your Lease or Giving Notice
When you must decide to either renew your lease or give notice is usually specified in the lease you signed upon moving in. Usually the landlord requires 30-60 days notice when you plan to move-out. It is important to notify your landlord whether you wish to renew your lease or move-out so they can make arrangements for a new tenant or be prepared to refund your security deposit.
Moving Out & Security Deposit Refund
If you have decided to give notice and move out you must return the property to the landlord in the exact condition (minus normal wear & tear) as it was when you originally rented it. All utility bills in the owner’s name must be paid in full at the end of your lease as well in order for you to receive a refund of your security deposit. If the landlord determines you did not damage the property and all your bills have been paid, you could receive your security deposit as you hand over the keys to the landlord. This is not always the case, some condo owners will hold the deposit refund until 30 days after you move out. If this is not acceptable for you, make sure you specify the refund timing in the lease. Since apartment buildings are often owned by a corporation it is usually the policy for most apartment buildings to issue the refund 30 days after moving out and there is no way around it as the money needs to flow through the corporate channels.