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Renting a Condo in Chiang Mai – Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q page)

Renting a Condo in Chiang Mai - Frequently Asked Questions  (F.A.Q page)

Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Condo in Chiang Mai

How long does it take to find a condo to rent in Chiang Mai?

Tracking down a suitable condo for rent in Chiang Mai honestly takes as long as you want it to. With literally tens of thousands of condo units throughout Chiang Mai, you could go all out and land a place within a matter of hours or better, adopt a more unhurried approach by staying a few days to a week in temporary lodgings and save yourself property-hunting burnout! Once you’ve sourced a fitting abode, though, waste no time in putting down a holding deposit so as to reserve the condo unit.

Can you tell me what condos will be available in advance?

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you what properties will be available more than a few weeks out.  As units can get rented or re-rented very quickly. For us to try and say what will be available in one months time is nearly impossible, let alone in two to three months time.

What’s the minimum rental period for condos in Chiang Mai?

Whilst some condo owners here do accept stays of a month or less, most require a minimum term of six months. As a rule though, the longer the commitment, the more economical the rental rate and the better the value!

Do I need to provide my own home wares?

The vast majority of condos for rent in Chiang Mai come fully furnished and, in fact, many are equipped with everything you could possibly need so completely turnkey! On occasion, you may be expected to supply your own household linens (such as bedding and towels) or kitchen utensils but all of which can be obtained quickly, easily and inexpensively in the city.

Can I keep a pet?

Admittedly, it can be tricky to locate rental accommodation in Chiang Mai that allows any kind of furry companion. Far more often than not, neither the building management nor the individual owner will agree to your sheltering a pet. So for this reason Perfect Homes operates a strict no pets policy in any of its condos.

How much is the charge for renting a condo in Chiang Mai through Perfect Homes?

Nothing whatsoever! Since all costs are borne by the condo owner, our service is entirely free for would-be tenants!

What documents do I need to rent a condo in Chiang Mai?

Absolutely none other than, for identification purposes, your current passport.

Do I need a specific type of visa to rent a condo in Chiang Mai?

So long as you’re in possession of a valid visa, visa exemption or visa extension, it’s of no consequence which to lease a condo here! What is important to note, however, is that Thai entry permits and extensions thereof are measured in days whereas a rental contract is calculated in whole months so it’s advisable to align as closely as possible the length of time you intend to spend in Thailand with the duration of the condo lease agreement in Chiang Mai in order to minimise the number of leftover days on the tenancy.

Do I need to supply character/employment references or undergo a credit history check?

Although nowadays very much the norm in the west, you won’t be subject to either as a prerequisite of renting a condo in Chiang Mai!

 Will I receive a rental contract, what does it record & will it be in English?

Fear not, Thai law actually mandates the issuance of a proper lease agreement signed by both the tenant and the landlord (whichever of the property owner or their representative (either the condo’s juristic person or a local property management concern)). Legally binding and admissible in court, lease agreements in Thailand outline the responsibilities of the landlord (lessor) and the “duties and liabilities” of the tenant (lessee) as well as a series of terms and conditions. And to further safeguard the interests of the two parties, the rental contract is normally accompanied by an itemised list and schedule of condition for the condo unit and its contents. At Perfect Homes, our lease agreements and inventories are written in English as standard but can, of course, be rendered in Thai if you wish!

Does a rental contract have to be taken in the name of a Thai person?

Not at all! It’s perfectly permissible for a foreigner to rent a condo in Chiang Mai under their own name.

Why do I have to hand over a security deposit & how much is it?

As convention dictates when renting real estate anywhere in the world, a security deposit is collected upfront from the tenant and held by the landlord as insurance against any damage, breakages, unpaid bills, or unauthorised additions or alterations to their property during its occupation; but which is fully refundable upon or shortly after the tenant vacates the property…provided they haven’t violated the lease agreement in any way! Before being okayed to rent a condo in Chiang Mai, it’s customary for the tenant to have to put down a security deposit equivalent to two month’s rent.

Does Chiang Mai Immigration need to be notified of foreigners who live in a rental condo?

Indeed they do! Long been the law in Thailand but actively enforced only this past year or so, the burden of registering the stay of non-Thai nationals falls squarely on the landlord (either the condo owner or, on their behalf by proxy, the building’s juristic person, a designated property management company or a visa agent). To comply, the landlord must report certain particulars of each and every foreign tenant staying in the condo unit within 24 hours of their moving in or risk being fined!

To whom do I pay the rent & by what method?

The moment you’ve endorsed the lease agreement, the holding deposit you parted with previously serves as your first month’s rent with future rental payments in the amount and no later than the due date mentioned in the contract going to the landlord directly. Each condo owner has their own chosen way of claiming monthly rental payments but, in Chiang Mai, most prefer the funds to be transferred into their bank account.

Besides rent, what other monthly bills are there when renting a condo in Chiang Mai?

As laid down in the small print, tenants are also obliged for paying utility charges separately but which, unlike the rent, are invoiced in arrears. Thankfully, condo residents benefit from needing to pay only the cheapest tariffs for mains electricity and water alike. Do bear in mind, though, that depending on when exactly you moved into the condo, more than likely you won’t wait a full month before the next utility bills are delivered!

How do I access the internet in a rental condo?

With almost no exceptions, condos in Chiang Mai are outfitted with their own building-wide WiFi network; the use of which, like that of all other on-site communal facilities, typically doesn’t incur any extra expense for residents. Otherwise, out of their own pocket and with the condo owner’s approval, tenants have the option of installing private home broadband or purchasing a mobile data package. Though there’s widespread coverage of internet within the city, do make sure you check the availability of WiFi, broadband or 3G/4G services at condos further out before signing on the dotted line!

Is regular housekeeping included when renting a condo in Chiang Mai?

A condominium, in its strictest sense, is neither a hotel nor a serviced apartment so ordinarily, no it isn’t! But if you really can’t face tackling that week’s worth of dirty dishes or carpet of dust under the bed, most condos here are happy to offer up their own staff for room cleaning on a daily or weekly basis for a fee or else a tenant can independently hire a mae baan (the term locally for a housekeeper or maid) with the going rate for domestic help throughout Chiang Mai between around 300 and 500 baht a day.

Who’s responsible for maintaining the inside of the condo unit?

On top of keeping the place spick and span, it’s the tenant’s job to take care of routine replacements such as swapping out a spent light bulb, minor fixes like clearing a clogged toilet plus repairing or exchanging anything of the condo owner’s that they’ve damaged or broken whether accidental or not. But if the air-conditioning has suddenly stopped working or the built-in washing machine has sprung a leak then that’s the landlord’s not-so-happy task to resolve!

What happens if I need to terminate my lease early?

Whatever the reason to depart prematurely from the condo, rental contracts in Thailand set out in black and white that if the tenant ends the lease ahead of the pre-agreed move-out date, they’ll forfeit every single baht of their security deposit. And where a break or takeover clause is clearly spelled out in the lease agreement, the decision to return the security deposit or not rests solely at the landlord’s discretion.

How do I renew my lease?

Once they’ve run their full term, lease agreements in Thailand don’t roll automatically into a periodic (month-to-month) tenancy as they commonly do in the west. So if you’re itching to extend your stay in the condo unit, simply inform your Perfect Homes at least a month in advance and a fresh rental contract for a new fixed term will be drawn up!

 How soon after check-out will my security deposit be refunded?

After removing all personal belongings, returning the condo unit to the same clean, habitable state and layout in which it was taken, settling all outstanding utility bills and handing back the key/keycard, landlords are usually given up to one month to release the tenant’s security deposit (less any official deductions) though, in practice, the refund tends to be actioned at the time of checking out.

Do you have any other questions about leasing a condo in Chiang Mai that you’d like answered? By all means, fire away below!

(18) Comments

  1. Bert Simmons

    on   said 

    Thank you for the great information, though I have one question.
    I have heard that you cannot put toilet paper down the toilets.
    Is that really the case and why?

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      HI Bert,
      Yes, you run a very high risk of blocking the toilet if you start putting toilet paper down the toilets here. Not so much so in more modern builds but certainly in the older property. They used to use smaller soil pipes and they don’t generally use toilet paper in the same way we do in the west.

        • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

          on   said 

          HI Eric, 100% of our condos have the modern sit down toilets and a few have the electric ones. It should not be an issue.

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Dear Justin, Thank you for the question, The condominium by law should have its own insurance, then the owner has the option to take out his/her own. But the honest answer 95% of owners in Chiang Mai do not have individual insurance for their property. This obviously can cause issues or disputes between the building and owners.
      We are yet to find a company that offers true renters insurance.

      If you are only staying a short period of time then always have your own travel insurance, but for longer stays we have to say be aware as your personal belongings in the condo are your responsibility.

  2. Lola

    on   said 

    A western property manager in Pattaya told me that I should use caution in giving the depositbto a Thai person because they may not return my security deposit if something small happens, or even if thwy don’t feel like it. Is this true in CHIANG MAI? Should I try to use only a foreign property manager? Soni get the deposit back?

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Dear Lola,
      Thank you for your question.
      95% of property owners are very fair and in Chiang Mai that number seems even higher. What we always recommend is going through a reputable rental agency and using one of their contracts, not the owners. What this really provides is another layer of protection and a middle party to act as witness or mediate any major issues with the deposit.

      Also be careful listening to rumors as 90% of the people we have spoken to claim their land lord kept the deposit, was due to the fact that the tenant broke the contract and the owner was within their legal right to withhold the deposit.

      So best advice we can give is to use a reputable agent with plenty of good reviews, on Facebook or Google and go with them!

      Perfect Homes

  3. charlie

    on   said 

    My understanding of the security deposit with landlords is that they will keep the security deposit, even if you have done nothing wrong, and that this should be considered as part of the cost of renting.

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      We do not believe that is simply not the case here in Chiang Mai, though we cannot vouch for anywhere else in Thailand.

    • Jonas

      on   said 

      Never had a serious dispute regarding the deposit, however I`ve had some arguments about what to cover and not. I found it quite easy to find a compromise. Maybe I`ve been lucky but like Perfect Homes mention – usally people complaining about this is just annoyed by the fact that they had to deduct cleaning cost, last electricity /internet bill or cover some item they`ve damaged. I allways expect to get at least most of my deposit refunded – but never all of it.

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      HI Sharne,
      Sorry you are looking for a lease hold on condo?
      These are normally only used on landed properties here in Chiang Mai.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

  4. Sharon Macdonald

    on   said 

    We are travelling to Chiang Mai in January and looking to rent a one bedroom condo for six weeks. Will this be possible?

  5. Hank Moody

    on   said 


    How is the deposit normally refunded by most residences/condos? By bank transfer back to the tenant´s bank account? Would not be practical to be given back a deposit worth 2 months rental in cash on Check-Out.

    Thanks for your attention.

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Hi Hank,
      Deposits more often than not can be returned via bank transfer, but only to Thai Banks. It is very rare that an owner will need to transfer to overseas accounts though if required it can be done but the bank charges will be the responsibility of the tenant.

  6. Thanks heaps Paul for your help mate. Will be arriving between April & June , no locked in dates yet, but can guarantee you will get my business, cheers again will keep in contact, looking for single bedroom condo , pool ,gym furnished, closer to the city if possible, THANKS AGAIN

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      You are more then welcome, we are always pleased to help where we can. We look forward to helping you settle into Chiang Mai shortly.


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