Looking for a condo for rent in Pattaya? Start with our Renter's Guide
Advantages of renting.
These days, an increasing number of people are renting and the quality and range of rented accommodation is better than ever.
Renting is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable too, which is great news for those who prefer stable finances. And with fewer outgoings, you can save more.
Renting offers more flexibility than owning - you can move somewhere else relatively quickly - useful if you plan to move for a new job or are going away to study. Also, it's less hassle than being an owner as you won't need to pay for property maintenance - most of that will be done for you. Owning demands more commitment.
How to find a place to rent.
What type of property should I look for?
Think carefully about the type of property you'd like to rent and which best suits your lifestyle.
For example, if you are only there during the week, a small place might do just fine. If security is important, then a ground floor flat may be out. If you have a car, then a parking space is a must.
Do you want furnished or unfurnished accommodation or would something that's just part-furnished be okay? Often it doesn't make much difference to the rental fee.
If it's furnished and you are sharing with others, do you trust them to look after the furniture - because you may lose some or all of your deposit to pay for damage even if they are responsible for it?
Other key questions to ask yourself:
- Is a separate guest toilet necessary?
- What facilities are there for washing and drying clothes?
- Does the property have all the appliances I need?
- Do I need a balcony, terrace or garden?
Where should I look?
It can be difficult to find good property to rent. Sifting through adverts in newspapers is hard work and the time from print to publication often means that by the time you see the ad, the property has long since been rented to someone else.
Renting privately or through an agent.
Dealing directly with private landlords to find a property can be worrying… You'll have to meet a total stranger at a property and, of course, landlords are unregulated and don't need to be part of a professional trade body or trade association. Lettings agents offer greater peace of mind and security.
What to look for on viewings.
When you have decided on properties that you like, you or your agent can arrange a viewing of the property.
Make the most of this opportunity by:
- Checking how well the property has been maintained - look at gutters, windows, roofs.
- How much storage space there is.
- Checking to see how the place is heated and how well insulated it looks - this will affect your bills.
- Asking to see the gas safety certificate and operating instructions for electrical items. Are there enough sockets for your needs?
- Finding out which furnishings will be in the property when you move in. Does it meet the fire safety regulations?
- Running the taps, bath and shower, and flushing the toilet. Do they all work? Ask to be shown that the air-conditioning system and hot water works - and that windows open.
- Asking yourself how secure it feels? Is there access from rear gardens and alleys? Is there a 24/7 security service, CCTV?
- For condos, asking if you have your own secure post box. How clean are common areas - how often are they cleaned and by whom? How are any common grounds maintained? If there is a vehicle space.
- Finding out how close the transport links are - is it an easy commute to shopping, work, pleasure and beach?
- Visiting at different times to establish how safe/quiet the area is.
- Asking if road works are planned or new houses are going up nearby - this would add to noise.
- Talking to existing tenants (if they are still there) and neighbours. Ask them what it's like to live there.
- Ask tenants what the landlord is like. If the landlord will be looking after the management, asking if you can meet him.
How to beat the crowd.
Good places go fast, so here are our tips for getting ahead of the rest to secure the best property:
- Use Seaboard Properties alert facility to notify you as soon as relevant properties become available.
- Start viewing in good time. Have a cash reservation fee ready (and get a receipt for it).
- Have copies of references from your employer and previous landlords available, together with your bank details, documents proving your ID and full address with postcodes for the last three years - the agent will need these for the reference check.
- Be ready to sign a tenancy application form - this will allow the agent to check your references and run a credit check.
Contract and finances.
Prior to moving in to your new rental accommodation you must sign a tenancy agreement, or lease. This document will detail the rights and responsibilities of both you and your landlord, as well as:
- The rental property address.
- The amount of money to be paid as a security deposit.
- How much is to be paid in rent and the frequency of payments.
- The duration of the lease agreement.
- The name and phone number of the landlord.
- What bills (if any) are included in the rent?
- Are there any charges for the cleaning of communal areas etc.?
Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Even before you start searching for a property to rent, it's important to understand the legal aspects of being a tenant.
When you become a tenant, you take on certain responsibilities in exchange for certain rights. Your tenancy agreement will typically be 4-5 pages long and very detailed. It lists your responsibilities so read it carefully. As a minimum, it will show:.
- The names of the landlord and tenant
- How much the rent and deposit is
- When the rent will be reviewed
- The address for the landlord or agent who will be looking after the property.
Tenants have responsibilities and obligations such as:
- Paying the rent on time.
- Paying all charges for electricity, gas (supplied to the property), metered water (if provided for in the Tenancy Agreement) and telephone.
- Keeping the property reasonably clean and tidy.
- Reporting the landlord as soon as possible of any damage or repairs needed.
- Repairing or paying for repair of any damage caused intentionally or carelessly by the tenant or the tenant's guests.
- Do basic maintenance - e.g. change light bulbs and remote control batteries, smoke alarm batteries.
- Making sure that any limit set (in the Tenancy Agreement) on the number of people allowed to stay in the property at any one time is adhered to (does not apply to short term stays by relatives or friends).
- Making sure the property is used mainly for residential purposes.
- Respecting neighbours - so not making noise, putting rubbish in the wrong place or obstructing common areas.
- Allowing the landlord reasonable access to show prospective tenants, buyers or valuers through the property.
- Leaving at the end of the tenancy, removing all goods and rubbish, leaving the property reasonably clean and tidy, returning all keys, pass cards or other such devices, and leaving all other chattels provided by the landlord at the property.
- Do not Sub-let, unless the landlord allows you to do so in writing.
The landlords responsibilities and obligations include:
- Signing a Tenancy Agreement with their tenant and giving the tenant a copy before the tenancy starts.
- Making sure the property is clean and in a fit and habitable condition at the beginning of the tenancy.
- Maintaining the property in a reasonable state of repair during the tenancy.
- Doing any necessary repairs and giving the tenant 24 hours' written notice of entry to repair.
- Paying the tenant back for any urgent repair work the tenant had to have done (as long as the tenant made reasonable attempts to notify the landlord before having the work done).
- Paying all outgoings (rates, insurance premiums for insuring the premises, land tax, etc).
- Making sure the locks and fastenings are adequate.
- Giving the tenant rent receipts, if rent is paid in cash or by open cheque.
- Giving the tenant a written statement saying what period rent paid relates to, if asked.
- Giving the tenant at least 60 days’ written notice of a rent increase.
- Giving the tenant 48 hours' written notice of an inspection.
- Taking reasonable steps to ensure that tenants aren't disturbed by the landlord's other tenants.
- Telling the tenant in writing if they intend selling the property.
- Resolving disputes with tenants quickly and fairly.
The agent's job might be to market the property, arrange signing of agreements and payment of the first month's rent and deposit.
After that, you may find you are dealing directly with a landlord who will look after the management. However, most landlords tend to leave the management up to the letting agent.
The good news is that you are not expected to maintain the building - that's the landlord's job. But you should behave in such a way that the building is properly cared for.