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How do you rent property in Thailand?

By Virginia Ewart-James

Tenancy agreements

A tenancy agreement is the legal document between a tenant and a landlord detailing the terms of renting a property. They are usually for a term of one year, although shorter terms of three months may be negotiated dependent on the landlord.

Each tenancy agreement should include the following details as a minimum:

  1. Tenant’s and landlord’s full name

  2. Full address of the property.

  3. Monthly rent amount.

  4. Deposit amount.

  5. Term of the tenancy including the commencement and termination dates.

  6. Break clause (if applicable) stating how and when the agreement can be terminated.

  7. Tenant and landlord obligations.

Prior to the commencement of the tenancy

The tenant is required to pay a deposit and one month’s rent in advance. It advisable to carefully read all the tenancy agreement and check with the agent or landlord of any clauses you are unsure of, as the tenant is bound to these terms and agrees to pay the rent on time upon signing the tenancy agreement.


One or Two months rent should be expected for a deposit. The deposit is held with the landlord and it is refundable at the termination of the tenancy provided that all the rent is paid in full and there is no damage to the property.

Break clauses

A break clause allows for the tenancy to be terminated before the expiry date provided that it is exercised under the terms of the tenancy agreement. A tenancy can only be terminated with a break clause or if the tenant is in breach of their obligations. A break clause needs to be exercised with the correct notice period, which is usually two months. It is advisable to serve notice in writing as proof of the termination, and any other termination required by the tenant is at the discretion of the landlord.


An inventory is a list of all the items in the property and should be provided to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy. The tenant is advised to check the inventory against the contents in the property, and any discrepancies should be noted and the landlord should be notified with photos where possible.

Rent reviews

The rent remains the same for the term of the tenancy agreement and it cannot be increased within this time. Should the tenancy be renewed, negotiations between the landlord and the tenant may occur and any amendments to the terms of the tenancy documented in a memorandum of agreement.

At the end of the tenancy

It is recommended for tenants to keep all receipts for rental payments alongside all other written (hand or email) communication with the landlord until the end of the tenancy, and once the deposit has been returned.

Questions to ask your landlord

1. What is included?

Are any facilities or utilities included in your rent? It is common for water and waste removal to be inclusive, but electricity, internet and TV to be exclusive. Likewise, should your rent include cable or satellite TV, check if any English language channels are included in the package.

2. Electricity rates

Confirm the electricity unit rate as most condominium landlords charge above the government rates, so check their tariff against the local price in order to budget accordingly.

3. Greenery

If the property has a garden or plants on a balcony, establish who is responsible for the care of these.

4. Unwanted visitors

Pest control is an essential part of regular maintenance in Thailand both inside the property and in the garden. Termites can cause irreversible damage so check with your landlord whose duty it is to ensure that your home is pest free.

5. Drinking water

It is not advisable to drink water straight from the taps in Thailand, so check with your landlord the option of getting filtered bottled water delivered or using an under sink filter.

6. Point of contact

Get current contact details for your landlord or the managing agent of the property in the case of any emergencies or should you require essential repairs.

7. Taxes

Should the tenancy agreement be in the name of a company, check whether the agreement should be issued in one part or three to cover space rental, furniture rental and maintenance charges which is subject to VAT at seven percent and withholding taxes.