Deciding to rent a place to live, whether you choose a condominium or a house, is a mandatory rite of passage for everyone willing to stay in Thailand longer than most tourists do. But sometimes, leases can be complicated to understand, and unscrupulous owners like to take advantage of your naivety. In the list below, we have combined a few tips to keep in mind before putting your signature on a lease agreement.
Barrier of language when signing a rent contract
First, make sure the lease agreement has been translated into English, except, of course, if you are fluent in the Thai language. While the Thai version of the document shall prevail, having an English translation will help you understand all clauses written in the contract. Depending on the value of your rent, it is not a bad idea to ask a professional translator to have a look at the agreement to check for its accuracy.
What is included?
In a renting agreement, some costs have to be taken care of by the renter and some that need to be paid for by the owner. It is important to understand what you will end up paying after sealing the deal. Most of the time, utilities, such as electricity, water, and gas, have to be paid by the renter directly. However, items such as Internet and TV subscriptions are sometimes included in the rent. Finally, major repairs and renovations should be covered by the owner.
How long is the contract for? How much deposit should be paid and can I exit the contract at any time?
This is another important point to consider. Most leases run on a yearly basis, though it is possible to find apartments leasing for shorter periods. Before receiving the keys to your house or condo, you are expected to pay for the first month of rent, as well as a deposit, which usually equals to one month rent. The deposit is then paid back at the end of the contract, provided it is not renewed, minus deductions for wear and tear caused by the tenant during their use of the property. Make sure you pay close attention to the cancellation clause of the contract, as it will determine when you are allowed to legally terminate the agreement. Owners with more than 5 units have the obligation to allow cancellation at any time, provided it is announced at least 30 days in advance.