House Rental

Home sweet Home
by Bangkokmouth

houses

Not that this section will be of any great interest to the casual visitor to Bangkok, but for many people who have been here a fair number of years, apartment living begins to take its toll, and many (including me) begin to seek out the comforts of a house to rent. I say comforts, because like apartments, you very much get what you pay for, especially in Bangkok.

You could just go straight to a real estate agent if you’re interested in renting, but they are only interested in you if you are looking for properties that normal people like me can only dream about. When I was looking for a house, my budget was 10,000 baht a month. I did approach a couple of estate agents but they just laughed in my face. Real estate agents in the capital specialize in 50,000 baht a month stuff with swimming pools, and maid’s rooms, and lush, tropical compounds. If you’ve got that sort of bread to chuck about, then more power to you.

But that certainly doesn’t mean you have to spend anywhere near that kind of money. I know people who rent veritable palaces for 6-8’000 baht a month , and indeed my own home is a very tidy 3-bedroomed, front and back garden affair for 9,000. House-hunting is a thankless job. It took me 3 months of looking around every housing estate in east Bangkok to find something I really liked. If you are serious about going house-hunting, you need to be either fluent in Thai or have a reliable Thai friend who is preferably mobile and doesn’t mind giving up their time.

As you drive around the streets, you will see plenty of houses for rent, but approach any rental negotiations with extreme caution. Look carefully around the house. Check EVERYTHING out. Does the toilet flush ? Is there a water pump that has power enough to get the water up to the second floor ? What is the size of the electric meter ? (some houses have a pathetic 5 amps and you’ll get a powercut if you have the iron and kettle on at the same time. If you put the hairdryer on as well, you'll probably be the next man on the moon), How much is the deposit ? Most importantly , who is responsible for fixing things when they go wrong ? ( and if the house is old, they certainly will). Many of the house-owners live well outside Bangkok, and if you suddenly wake up one morning to find that you have no water or electricity, then how long will it be before they can come and sort it out. This all sounds a bit negative, and you must be wondering what the advantages of living in a house could be. If there is only one advantage, then the fact that you have genuine privacy away from some of the absolute sleazeballs that you can find yourself living next to in an apartment building, then that is the only advantage you need.

Q: What type of house do you live in? Was the process painless?

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