How to rent a house in Thailand - 5 ways from personal experience

I have long wanted to write this article and collect everything related to the search for houses (apartments) in Thailand, in one article. You can consider this as a generalizing post.

In fact, you have only 5 ways to bookhousing in Thailand, but they can be divided into 2 parts - in advance via the Internet or upon arrival on site. In each of the ways there are advantages and disadvantages, as well as three characters with whom you may have to contact: a homeowner, a real estate company and an illegal one helped. Below are the nuances of communication with each character, as well as instructions for finding a home, based on personal experience.

The content of the article

My experience

To begin with, I will list my experience of self-housing search and links to homes and reviews. I lived in Chiang Mai in a condominium (1. 2), in Phuket in the houses (1. 2. 3), on Samui in the houses (1. 2) in Bangkok in apartments (1. 2. 3), in Krabi in the house (1), in an apartment in Hua Hin ((1).

When I lived on Samui and Krabi, I drove alongsurroundings and made 2 catalogs of houses for self-rent, use. There is a map, photos, contacts. There are not so many objects there, but there will be something to rely on in their searches.

Catalog of houses in Krabi in Ao Nang (72 houses)
Catalog of houses on Samui (72 houses)

Features of renting a house on Samui - the beach, weather, prices, shops
Features of renting a house in Krabi - the beach, weather, prices, shops
Features of rental housing in Hua Hin - proximity to the sea, prices, shops
Phuket House Rental Tips
How do real estate agencies and help in Thailand

Apartments were also made several reviews of a smaller scale, and also gave advice on the search.

Tips for renting apartments in Thailand
How to rent an apartment in Bangkok - guide, examples, prices, areas
Overview of 8 Phuket Apartments
Overview of 12 apartments in Bangkok
Overview of 30 apartments in Chiang Mai

Options how to rent a house in Thailand

Reservation with the owner of the property via the Internet

First of all, this is an option for those who ownEnglish language and will be able to disassemble in the tube a mixture of Thai and English languages, which is spoken by the Thais, and which the expats ironically nicknamed “Taiglish”. Yes, yes, you will have to communicate by phone or, at best, by email, because nothing like the type RoomGuru for renting private houses there.

Hotels in Thailand>

Looking ahead, I want to say that it is not worth muchcount on this option, so a negligible amount of housing surrenders, because the business is going so well. Moreover, many Thais do not speak English well and you simply can’t really talk on the phone (Taiglish requires real-life experience in order to at least sort things out on the phone). And only some advanced homeowners use the Internet in their business, you can chat with them by email. But you know, if you wrote to the owner in the mail, and he did not answer, then this is a common thing, they can respond and 2 weeks. But more often than not there will be no answer at all. It remains a mystery to me why they indicate their e-mail on their business cards, perhaps it is more solid.

E-mail is specified, but will they answer

E-mail is specified, but will they answer

Suppose you decided to try to findhousing in Thailand remotely, it means you need the contacts of the owners, the best emails. You understand that usually such information is not freely available on the Internet, but you can find something. Where can I find out contacts:

  • From friends / relatives / members of the forum / colleagues. The advice may seem trivial, but start from this point, because sometimes useful contacts come up from a boss or an unfamiliar office colleague who returned from vacation last week.
  • In social networks. Both VKontakte and Facebook are equally useful in this regard. You can ask a question in a lively public or run a search on demand for “renting a samui house” or “renting a villa samui” - as a rule, each resort has several villas or resorts owned by Russian-speaking owners. When asking a question, get ready for the black realtors to spam your lichku, but you leave them "for later." You should be interested in a kind soul, who will give you the number of the owner of your resort, just for two packs of buckwheat as a gift. And in English-speaking social programs there is a chance to contact the owner of the house directly.
  • Do bloggers who live or lived on thatresort where you're going. You can always ask a blogger to ask about the contacts of the owners of the place where he lived. At the same time, you will receive up-to-date feedback on the conditions of rent and stay, pictures and exact location. There are some bloggers who have accumulated a small base of houses during their travels and searches for housing, for example, like us: Samui and Krabi.
  • Search Google, with queries "samui house forrent ”, or“ samui apartment for rent ”, or“ samui villa for rent ”. Accordingly, instead of samui you need to substitute the resort you need. The format of housing, choose according to your financial capabilities, the main thing - when searching to cut off the websites of agencies. The option is not the best because the Thais, for the most part, still work in the old-fashioned way: with agencies or posting a sign on the gate. Exception expensive villas, under which a whole site can be made.

When you get contacts, when communicating withlandlord specify details regarding the house. Do not get carried away with questions, write down the data for the transfer of money in the deposit and make a transfer. Only for this you need to have a currency account and be able to transfer from it to a Thai account. There is (well, it is always there) the possibility of running into an unscrupulous Thai who takes the money, and when you arrive you will be lost. How to deal with this then is the topic of a separate post, but for now we believe that the Thai is honest and your money guarantees you a calm settlement in the house that you like.

There is another way to rent a house from the owner -via Airbnb. This is a service for renting houses, apartments, apartments, etc. It works the same way as any hotel reservation system, but only for private accommodation. The advantages are that there are photos of housing, a detailed description, reviews, payment with a regular bank card, and a guarantee that if there are problems upon arrival, then the money will be returned. Cons - in addition to homeowners, and agents are sitting there, and there is not always a monthly discount.

Sign up on the link and get a discount of $ 32 from Airbnb on apartments around the world. Valid on the first booking, the reservation must be from $ 70. The bonus is valid for a year.

Get $ 32 off>

In any case, be sure to look for it, too, sometimes there are good options.

Booking at the agency via the Internet

Option for those who do not know English, or notHe wants to spend his time looking for live contacts and telephone calls / correspondence with the hosts. By the way, on the spot upon arrival you can also find a house without knowledge of English, simply by applying sign language. But for those who do not want to spend 3-4 days on independent searches (and in a season and a week will leave), you will also go to the agencies. It is the “agency agencies”, to several at once, because communicating with each in turn you risk hanging in long correspondence with people who are often prone to tropicosis.

Contact the official firms better, if notverified contacts. At each resort in Thailand there are several licensed, working "in the white" agencies. These agencies can take more than the owner or the black realtor, but in response they take upon themselves certain obligations to select the house and check the conditions of the lease, they accompany it upon arrival. Well, the permit (work permit), as a kind of guarantee that the company really exists and works. But you need to understand that almost any agency has negative reviews, so it all comes down to finding the smallest of evils.

If you are traveling to Thailand for the first time, thenI recommend to book a house or apartment in advance. This is done only through a realtor. Yes, they are not engaged in the cheapest housing and take a commission, but this allows you to avoid unnecessary trouble in an unfamiliar country. Believe me, independent searches on the site is a difficult task and it is not worth it. You're going to rest.

Send me a request, advise a trusted realtor, whom I myself trust. And then in recent times a lot has become a scam.

Send request>

  • Look for the house yourself on the site. If you want to get a quick result, do not be lazy - pick up several housing options on the agency’s website that suit you by description. Then, in the letter, indicate the numbers of objects from the site and wait for an answer - which one is now available. Employment data on the site does not always correspond to reality.
  • Do not compose a poem. If it is important for you that the agents themselves find the house - please indicate the minimum information in the application. The area, number of bedrooms, the presence of a pool, kitchen, distance from the beach and your budget. Be sure to read the agency's FAQ on the site where the sample application is posted, it will save your time and speed up the selection of housing. Guaranteed long answer agents will be in the event that they paint in detail all the important things for you, including the height of the water tower and wait until they find the same thing. Your application is 100% pushed to the end of the queue until they receive clear requests for the options already available in the database. Of course, if you specify a budget of 100 thousand per month, this will change the situation. But it must be cheaper, right?
  • Get ready for money transfer expenses. The fact is that the agency pays the owner of the house in baht. And you have a ruble card, but not a bat. This means that when transferring to an agency, rubles are converted into dollars, and only then - in baht. These operations are not free, and the cost of them is covered by you. The exact figures of double conversion can be obtained from your bank, but it should be understood that these are necessary expenses that will go towards the cost of the reservation. Also remember that baht is not equal to the ruble.
  • Book your accommodation in advance! Not a month before the trip, but six months, especially if we are talking about a trip for the New Year or so. Or do not be surprised then that the agent offers you options several times more expensive than you expected. Separately, I wrote about housing prices and when to book.

Booking from a black realtor via the Internet

Terms of communication with such realtors a little easierthan with the official. Clients are not standing in line for them, so the black realtor has to be more sociable, not to brush aside questions and make more efforts not to lose the client. The official in this regard zazhralis and can afford to be silent and dynamite.

  • When you find help online and get onsome kind of housing, before sending him money, think - is it necessary? You are risking. In pursuit of cheaper trips, you get a chance to run into a fraudster. Not once or twice such topics have emerged in social networks and on the forums of travelers. Stories of naive victims, who not only made 3-5 thousand rubles of the deposit, but paid for the first and last months of their stay. Then the victims of fraud spread in the network screenshots of payments, scans of some documents received from scammers and links to their profiles in the social sphere, but there is no sense.
  • Look for a person with a reputation. There are always black realtors, fraudsters, and there are normal guys who do not earn a completely legal way. To know who to contact you need to, or for a long time to study reviews on the network and draw conclusions, or to trust someone of your friends and contact only on the recommendation. In any case, the risk remains, because yesterday there was still a positive comrade “Vasya-Thailand2012”. There are no guarantees. True, in the case of an official company, the guarantee is also not 100%.
  • Do not pay large amounts. Per villa can request 100% prepayment for the first month. But the deposit for booking a house, as a rule, Thais take in the amount of 30-50% (but sometimes it happens 100%) of the cost of a monthly rent and it does not matter for how long you plan to rent a house. Homeowner is important date of your arrival. In the same place, how everything happens: it helped you to imagine your friend, pays for you a pledge and gets a receipt with the signature of the owner. Pledge is a guarantee that you intend to come and settle down. And then you come and pay the homeowner the rest of the rent. The black realtor is trying not to contact the owner as an agent, because he understands what threatens illegal work. If suddenly you do not come - you will lose money, but not the owner (the deposit is not refunded), he will hand over the house to another person in the evening. Therefore, if it helps requires a large amount, for example, for several months, then this is an occasion to think.
Receipt of deposit

Receipt of deposit

Rental with the owner upon arrival

Even if you are enthusiastic about lookingtake the plane, take a word - a long flight, a quick change of time zones and the tropics will dot the “i” already at the airport. Especially if you have a child.

  • Book a hotel room for 3-5 days. Day come to life, then look for housing. I recommend always when making independent searches to book a hotel. I use a search engine for this. RoomGuru, it shows the price of hotels at once in allreservation systems, which is very important for Asia, where their own booking systems. As a result, you get a search for the maximum number of hotels, and then choose where it costs less. You need a hotel, because everything may not be as rosy as you have painted yourself. If the goal is to find a home that meets all the requirements, then it will take time. The area for the hotel is best to choose the one where you will be looking for a house, and where there will be no problems with transport rentals, shops.
  • Buy a SIM card before starting the search. Telephone communication, as well as mobile Internet for geolocation in the process of searching are vital. Sims are sold at points of sale at malls (operator offices) or at any 7-Eleven and Family Mart mini-market at the checkout. You can connect to the Internet package using USSD commands that are posted on the website of the mobile operator or ask the Thai at the operator’s office. I wrote about the mobile Internet from DTAC and True move.
  • Progruzite yourself a map on the hotel Wi-Fi. It will save you money on mobile internetif you took the package with a small amounttraffic. Download Google Maps in great detail, in satellite mode, the area where you plan to conduct searches. In this application, there is an offline map mode, a useful thing. Alternatively, put the application Osmand or any other analogue, which also has offline maps that do not require the Internet.
  • Rent a bike. Believe me, this reduces the search time at times. I tried to look for housing on foot and on a bike, the difference is huge. On a bike, you can scour the area very quickly, but on foot in the heat you will be enough for only a few hours of walking, and you only see a couple of options during this time. Just don’t take your wife or child with you, why don’t they hang around with you, especially if you don’t feel confident behind the wheel? It is better to take a camera and take a detailed photo of all the nuances, then it will be easier for you to not get confused. Separate post about bike rental in Tae.
  • Rent a car. This option is more suitable for those who definitely need to watch the house with the family, or who do not know how to drive a scooter. I must say, this is better than walking, but because of the peculiarities of the movement will not be very convenient. First, the car will be right-hand drive, and the left-hand movement. Secondly, the roads are narrow, and it may not be possible to simply turn around or park in the right place. Still, the bike gives much more room for maneuver. Yes, and the speed is less, you lash yourself along the side of the road and look out for options, while on the car you will be collecting a whole string. Separate post about car rental in Tae.
  • Drive into each lane. The main difficulty for a beginner in a Thai locality is to get used to the reduced size of the whole surrounding. Small houses, narrow roads, imperceptible lanes. At first it will seem to you that you are driving along the solid wall of houses and wires. Then you will get used to it, but the main thing at the very beginning of the search is not to hurry. This is not Moscow and no one will signal you nervously in the back, if the speed is 20-30 km / h, they will see that you are farang and go round. Unless you are on the motorway. And such a moment, the lane may look very unsightly (for example, a small gravelly walkway), as if it does not lead anywhere at all.
  • Look for signs saying "House for rent". They saw, looked at the house outside, like it - call the number on the sign and make an appointment. It should be understood that houses with signs are dealt with the fastest, so it may well be in season that the houses are already occupied, and the plates are simply not removed.
  • Do not look for signs "House for rent". Very often, houses for rent are not indicated at all by any signs, you need to go in and ask. After a while, you will understand how the houses that are being rented look like; you will immediately isolate them from the general array. Usually it is several identical houses with the same color roofs and located a handful. There are also detached houses, but it is also often seen from them, whether the Thais live in them or they give up.
  • Ask everyone. To speed up the search process, ask. In the hotel you can ask at the sales office if they have any acquaintances who rent a house. When you rent a bike, ask at the box office. When you scour the area, you can ask in the store or cafe. Or ask the taxi driver / tuk-tuker, as a rule, they know what is in the area surrenders. And, of course, go into one or another complex of houses and look for someone from the guests to find out the contacts of the owners.
  • Learn a couple of phrases for a telephone conversation. Seriously, you won't be mooing or gesturing. The phrases “Ayin House House” and “Howe Mach” are the minimum set. Or look for a translator from local expats, or learn basic phrases and response options to understand the interlocutor, otherwise your only hope is to rent the house only to the owners caught in the act.
  • Carry cash with you. In case of a sudden discovery of the “same” house, you should take care of cash in baht. Under the law of meanness, if you agree to drive up with money tomorrow or even tonight - the house will leave for more prudent and quick clients.
  • Approximately 30-50% ofmonthly cost, and may generally be limited to one thousand, if you like the owner. Prices are taken from the ceiling and mood. Only if the house is really good, and in any case you should give money for it - it’s better not to waste money and carry a larger amount with you.
Typical houses for rent in Thailand

Typical houses for rent in Thailand

The sign House for Rent points to the lane

The sign House for Rent points to the lane

The inscription of the lease can be in Thai

The inscription of the lease can be in Thai

Rent through an agency or a black realtor upon arrival

Upon arrival it is better to look for a house yourself, ifallows time and outside the window is not the peak season. But, if you decide to contact the agencies, here they work according to the same algorithm, that the officers, that helped. The main feature of communication with agents is already in place - they terribly do not like to show their clients at home, because it is much less labor-intensive to rent housing remotely.

The application for the house is filled in the same way aswas told above. If you want your request not to be dynamic and quickly find a home - immediately tell me that you have no complaints. What you need to see only two or three houses and you will completely choose one.

If this is an agency with a large staff, thenpersonal meeting (not by phone, God knows who is sitting there), promise the agent an additional 1-2 thousand for the selection of the house, and then he will deal with you more willingly, because the money goes past the cash register. After all, with the amount that you pay the agency for renting a house, he will receive only a small percentage, which means that it is in his interest to hurry to settle another person, and not to mess around with you for a long time. But there are small agencies, where the director and the agent in one person, here you will have more attention.

And more - the smaller your budget, the smallerattention to you from the agents. Houses are cheaper than 10 thousand to engage them unprofitable. So, don’t count on their participation if you are looking for a modest accommodation and do not plan to fork out to pay for the time taken from the agent. The exception is those agents who work for a fixed payment for the selection of a house, regardless of its value.

General recommendations when renting a house

Consider the season

Book homes for the winter people start already inMay-June, and from August begins the rush of booking, which does not subside until November. Online booking of houses is convenient in any season, but the earlier you start to do it, the more chances you have to grab a decent house cheaply.

Most good options in convenient locations.zakukany years and you are only new buildings or suddenly vacant housing. Closer to September, agencies will already categorically declare that there is only one option, the maximum is two. Or take it, or - bye. But on the spot, if you have time, you can find more options. Only I recommend to come no later than the end of October-November, because it is very hard to search further.

What to ask about the house

Ask the owner or agent for the following:

  • Rental price per month. Even if you are going to call in for 6 months, first talk about the month, and then start asking about 3 months, six months, and watch the price drop. Although, if the yard is the end of autumn or winter, then there will be no decline - the high season.
  • The presence of a separate kitchen and whether it is possible to cook in the house. Yes, there are houses / apartments with a kitchen where you can use only the microwave.
  • The cost of one unit of electricity. State price - 3.5 baht. If they call you exactly 3.5 baht, then you will pay your bills yourself at the electricians office or at 7/11. But more often, the owners themselves set the price, on average they ask for 5-7 baht per unit, and greedy homeowners can take 10 baht each.
  • The cost of one unit of water. Very often it is included in the rental price of the house. Normal price - up to 20 baht per unit.
  • The presence in the house of the Internet and whether it iscost of renting a house. On average, they ask 600-1000 baht per month, but it happens that the Internet is included in the rent. If they say that the Internet will soon be connected, and you are a freelancer (that is, the Internet is very necessary), then it makes sense to look for another house.
  • Does pooling and house cleaning (if you rent a villa) is included in the rental price?
Payment receipt on 7/11

Payment receipt on 7/11

How much to cook money

Usually, if you renthouse / apartment / villa monthly, then upon arrival will have to pay the monthly rent. Plus - the same size deposit, which is taken in case you break the house. With a long lease you may be asked to pay for the last month.

If at your request in the house will installtile, then buying a stove and a gas cylinder is the care of the owner of the house (not always, but more often). If there is a tile, but the gas is over - immediately ask the owner to bring a balloon and cook another 370-500 baht - this is the cost of gas with delivery. The first digit is the normal price, the second is the price of a greedy homeowner.

Any necessary improvements for you in the house,such as carrying out the Internet (if suddenly), installing mosquito nets or wickets from dogs on the veranda, you will also have to pay. Although, it often happens that the owner himself participates in money in the amount of from 50 to 100% of the cost of work and materials. Then how do you get. Also, the owner at the stage of the first viewing of the house, you can try to ask for additional furniture.

Separately, I want to mention that if you want to removeit’s better to rent a house for 2-3 weeks and leave earlier, it’s cheaper to rent than to rent, especially not all houses are rented daily (there are houses with a minimum rental period of 3 months). Just tell the owner in advance that the house is needed for a month, but you may need to leave early. Most likely, he will tell you that the money for the remaining days will not be returned, and you simply agree to this (it can be written in the contract). The main thing, do not forget to take the deposit, so in advance and you must notify that the owner does not go anywhere.

Require a contract

Even if it is only in Thai -You need a contract for the police or for immigration, in case of buying equipment or issuing a local bank card. A copy of the passport of the owner with his autograph, a copy of your passport and a copy of the Thai equivalent of the house book with the address and the owner must be attached to the contract.

And as you must give a check where it will be indicatedthe whole amount you paid. These checkbooks are sold in every minimarket, in fact - this is a beautiful receipt for your money. And you need it in case of clarification of the relationship, if this happens.

The check is issued every month, for rent and komunalku

The check is issued every month, for rent and komunalku

Check counters and equipment

Record the meter readings. Be sure to ask the owner to show where the electric meter and the water meter are located. Take a photo of the testimony, it will allow you to avoid disputes about the fact that you owe not 3,000 for the light, but only 500 baht. If you are told the price of a single unit of electricity at 3.5 baht, then the meter is not so important, because you will pay yourself, without the participation of the owner, this is the state price. But here, too, it is necessary to take into account the nuance - payment according to the state price occurs at the beginning of the month, and if you enter the house at the end of the month, then very soon you will receive an invoice, which may contain a round sum from the previous tenants, we hit it once.

Check electricity and water meters

Check electricity and water meters

Check furniture and appliances. The TV should show, the refrigerator should be cold, the kettle should be boiled, the light bulbs should be lit everywhere, and on the street as well. Air conditioning - do not leak and work with the remote, ceiling fans - spin in several modes, and the gas in the tile to burn. Check the door locks, mosquito nets, the water heater in the shower, the work of drains and the toilet, the Internet, furniture doors, mirrors and glass.

In fact, it is not necessary to do all this inthe presence of the owner, you can complain about the problem in the evening of the same day. But all expensive and fragile devices and items need to be examined and turned on with it. It is necessary with a smile, without this, our Russian severity, when we make it our whole view that if the TV does not turn on now, then someone will get it in the face. Generally, get used to smile, this is a good habit in Thailand.

The only thing that is worth checking straight ahead isIf you work over the Internet, this is the speed of the Internet. When you watch the house for the first time, ask for the Wifi password and measure the speed with some Speedtest (I always have this app on my phone), get a rough idea. Also, it would not be amiss to ask how many routers are in this complex of houses, if there is only one, this is not good. It is better if the router is either in each house, or at least one for a couple of houses.

P.S. With apartments, the situation is almost the same. Anything to add? Be sure to write in the comments.

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Choosing insurance is now unrealistically difficult, so to help all travelers, I compile a rating. To do this, I constantly monitor forums, study insurance contracts and use insurance by myself.

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Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper

First, choose a hotel on Booking. They have a good offer base, but the prices are NOT the best! The same hotel can often be found 20% cheaper in other systems through the RoomGuru service.

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