PHUKET: Renting a villa or apartment long term is very popular in Thailand, especially in resort areas such as Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Koh Samui.
Many would-be buyers are deciding to hold off and rent for a year or more while they get to know the area and learn the ways of Thailand without so much risk.
Renting long term is very cheap here compared to locations such as Europe, Singapore or Hong Kong. You can find a two-bedroom pool villa for as little as 35,000 baht (US$1,000) per month. The majority of rental properties are fully furnished and offer all usual amenities.
Using an Agent
It is highly recommended that you use a reputable real estate agent to ensure you get the right advice, property selection, assistance in viewings and negotiating the best rate possible. Going it alone is not advisable.
Rental prices range from as little as 10,000 baht per month for a studio condo, to more than 400,000 baht for luxury high-end villas with stunning ocean views and staff to cook, clean and provide first-class service.
The average three-bedroom pool villa (sleeps 6) in a quiet area such as Rawai or Nai Harn, with lots of restaurants, bakeries, bars and shops nearby, and very close to the famous Nai Harn beach, go for 40-60,000 baht per month.
Rental terms and utilities
A long term rental is usually one year, with some for as little as six months. This is, however, negotiable with the owner. The rental price includes – in most cases – maid service, pool cleaning and a gardener, but utilities such as electric, water, cable or satellite TV and internet are normally extra. You must check with your agent or owner at the outset to avoid disagreements later on.
Most villas and apartments have internet available, but not always broadband so you should check on the speed available if this is an important criteria for you.
Typically rent is due on the first of each month in advance and must be paid to the owner’s account as agreed at the time of booking. Failure to make payment on the due date or within seven days of the due date is grounds for immediate eviction. Some owners will agree a discount on the monthly rental price if a tenant is willing to pay six months or one year in advance.
The owner will require a security deposit on booking, which is normally two months’ rent, and is held by the owner until check-out. As long as all utilities and other bills have been paid and there is no damage to the property, then the deposit will be returned in full, usually within 21 days of departure. This delay is due to the owner waiting for utility bills to come through.
On checking in, the owner should provide an inventory list for you to check, agree and sign. We strongly recommend you check furniture, take photos, and inform the owner of any damage or scratches at the outset, to avoid any disputes at check-out time.
Before you move in, the owner should provide a standard lease agreement with the terms which you must agree with him or her prior to occupation. Never move into a rental property without signing a lease agreement with the owner.
For most people, renting here is a positive experience. The cost of living is far lower than the likes of Singapore or Hong Kong and it has a lifestyle which is hard to rival in any location worldwide – a great quality of life and an infrastructure to support a long-term stay.
For more information, contact Kevin Hodges, Siam Real Estate at 076-324042, email [email protected] siamrealestate. com or visit siamrealestate.com
— Kevin Hodges