There are many different areas to live around Bangkok so do take your time to explore each neighbourhood or soi, and assess how it meets your own personal needs. Bangkok does not really have a central area, although many people regard Siam as the center.
Popular areas include:
It is very easy to find accommodation in Bangkok as it is a renters market. It is possible to view accommodation one day, and be in the following day.
Rental prices vary in Bangkok depending, as with many places, on the location and size of your condo or house.
Between 3,000-6,000 baht a month affords a one room "apartment" in an old style Thai building. The buildings are usually clean, but smaller and may not have security. The kitchen, bedroom, and living space will all be in one space and the bathroom will be Thai style (i.e. a wetroom).
7,000-15,000 baht should find you a very nice condo. If you are looking in more central areas then you will have less space than if you are further outside of "main" Bangkok. For example, 15,000 baht should be able to secure you a 40sq metre one bedroom condo in Ekamai, fairly close to Sukhumvit Road, however you will probably be able to find somewhere almost double the size in On Nut, only two BTS stops further away.
If you have a budget of 15,000 baht and above, then the world is your oyster in terms of location, size and facilities.
Deposits are usually required. This is usually equivalent to 2 months of rent. Check your contract before signing it for the amount and conditions. If you leave your condo in the same state as when you moved in, you are usually entitled to the full at the end of the contract.
Common rental sites in Bangkok include:
Another online resource is the Thailand classifieds on EasyExpat.
The Bangkok Post has classifieds which list condominiums available to rent. This section is also available online at www.classifieds.bangkokpost.com
Join the Facebook group Desperately Seeking Bangkok for classifieds and information. People often advertise available condominiums, or you may post a message about your requirements and budget and see if you receive a response.
Also ask your friends and colleagues if they can recommend services or know of open accommodations. They can often offer you advise on the best places and warn you about areas or condos that aren't worth the trouble.
Agents in Bangkok (and Thailand) are paid by the landlord and not you, so they are keen to help you secure a property. They usually receive the equivalent of a month's rent from the landlord. Though there are many agents in Thailand, a significant portion only focus on expats with large budgets. If you do choose an agent, make sure to find an agent you can trust and feel comfortable with.
Many apartments also have an information office that is open during business hours (generally from 9:00 to 17:00). If you see a building of interest, inquire at the office about availability see if they will show you a space. If you don't speak Thai, bring a friend or advisor who and ask questions about the price per month, contract length and amount of money required for deposit.
When inspecting the apartment, it is important to check the same kinds of things as you would in any flat. Do all the windows and doors open and close properly? Are there any marks on the walls? Are the sockets/plug-ins conveniently located? What goods and furniture are included in the rental price?
Generally, Bangkok is a very safe city. As long as you exercise common sense, just as you would in any other big city, you should be able to live, work, and enjoy in a safe environment. However do give some thought to safety with regards to where you choose to live. Perhaps visit the soi (neighbourhood) at night to see if you would feel safe returning home. Is it well lit?
Most condos and complexes have security guards working on a front desk and manning the gates - however, do be careful. Stories of people finding items missing from their property with the guard found to be the guilty party are well known. Always make sure you keep your accommodation locked.
When looking at accommodation, enquire what safety measures are in place. Some buildings have a key access code/swipe pass that only allows residents to access the buildings or the lifts. Is there CCTV? How big is the building? It is easier for staff to know a resident in smaller buildings, making it easier to spot strangers. If the building is big, it is much harder to keep of people in the building. Also note that most access passes have the name of the residence printed on them, and so if you lose your keys, it will be obvious where you live!
It is always sensible to have a written contract, so everyone is clear about their responsibilities. If you are living in a condominium building, determine who is responsible for the maintenance fees. This is very important to come to an agreement on as repairing big things like a lift (elevator) can be very expensive! Also be sure to double check the arrangements for utilities, such as the electric bills, and the rate you will pay. Check that the water supply is connected as connection ordinarily takes at least a week - which is a long time to be without water!
Contracts of 6 (or even 3) month's duration are not uncommon, but you will be in a more favourable position to negotiate on rent if you agree to a 12 month lease.
This should be specified in the Rental Agreement. Usual notice period is a month. If you end the lease before the agreement specifies, be aware you risk losing some or all of your deposit.
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