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Long term rental Thailand: living cost and rental process

Cost of living in Thailand can be affordable as we have covered in our previous article. It all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have. If you are looking to stay in Thailand on a longer term – say 3 months to 12 months – one of the major costs you will be facing is the cost of accommodation. In this article, we will look more into long term rental in Thailand, cost of rent in Thailand and breakdown the rental process.

Table of Contents

What can you rent in Thailand?

First of all, we will go through a few common types of property available in Thailand. 

Condominium / Apartment
There is a slight difference in definition of condominium and apartment. To keep things very simple, a condominium is more expensive, but with the additional money you pay, it comes with better facilities than an apartment. CBRE has a very good explanation on these differences in case you are interested. Modern condominiums come in 25 to 60 sqm, with some larger ones spanning up to 90-100 sqm.

Serviced apartment
As the name implies, a serviced apartment is like having an apartment but with extra services. These extra services may include concierge and cleaning, some also provide breakfast to guests. 

House / villa
Generally, we also refer to this kind of accommodation as a detached house. This means you have an entire house along with a garage and a garden to yourself (most commonly fenced, 1-2 story building).

A smaller housing unit with 1-2 walls shared with your neighbors. Townhouses are usually 2-3 stories tall and have a usable area of 100+ sqm.

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Modern condos in Thailand are usually equipped with great facilities such as gym and swimming pool.

How much is long term rental in Thailand?

Impact on property location on cost of rent

Location plays a very big role in determining your cost of rent in Thailand. To illustrate this, we will compare land cost (highest land cost measured in THB per sqm) from a few selected provinces among Thailand’s 77 provinces for your reference. Our source is the data from DDproperty & Thailand Treasury Department.

  • Bangkok: 250,000 THB/sqm (Silom 250,000 THB/sqm, Sukhumvit 187,500 THB/sqm, Phaholyothin 125,000 THB/sqm)
  • Chiang Mai: 60,000 THB/sqm
  • Chonburi (Pattaya): 55,000 THB/sqm
  • Phuket: 50,000 THB/sqm
  • Krabi: 18,000 THB/sqm

The figure above is the highest land cost which we display for comparison purposes only. Hopefully this can demonstrate the importance of location. Keep in mind that in reality, you will be able to find units with a lot lower cost per sqm.

Long term rental in Thailand: cost considerations when choosing a place to stay

Rental in city center areas

If you are looking to stay around Bangkok’s CBD/shopping district, condominiums and apartments are the most common options. For example, if you wish to be among expat communities with good proximity to public transportation like BTS/MTR- your rent will likely be around THB15,000 to THB50,000 per month depending on the size (range from 30 sqm to 70 sqm) and the quality of your condominium. 

If the same condominium were in the center of Chiang Mai or Phuket instead, monthly rental cost would go down drastically to THB7,000 to THB30,000 per month.

Rental outside the city center

However, if you are looking for a more quiet personal space, a detached house in a less central area would be a more valid option.

All major cities like Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya etc. have a wide range of affordable house rental which can cost between THB8,000 to THB30,000 per month for a 3-bedroom detached house size around 120 to 300 sqm. However, do note that many of these houses are located outside of the city center and you may need to drive a car or ride a motorcycle for about 10+ minutes to get into the city.

A detached house / townhouse is also an option for people who are looking to stay in Bangkok. Those in the suburbs cost roughly the same as renting a condominium in the city center, but you can get twice the space. There is a caveat though: you will have to face traffic jams on the commute every day. Detached houses in the city center can be very costly, and can cost up to THB100,000+ per month to rent.

long term rental thailand_detached house

A 4-bedroom detached house in Chiang Mai can be rented at THB25,000 per month. The same price as renting an apartment in the center of Bangkok. Source: DDproperty.

Options for renting a property for medium to long term in Thailand

The most common way to rent a property in Thailand is by entering into a rental/lease agreement with a landlord. If you are not familiar with the market, having a property agent can be helpful (although you or the landlord will need to pay a fee). Property websites like DDProperty or Livinginsider are also useful. Typical duration of a contract in Thailand is 12 month, however you can also negotiate for a shorter duration. 

While Airbnb is not exactly legal in Thailand, it is still a great portal to find short to medium rent through the platform. If you choose a long enough period, the portal will automatically convert your pricing to per month pricing. However, we are not sure whether Airbnb booking would serve as a legitimate document if you need to submit booking proof for your visa application. So please do your own research on this.

Renting process & what to look out for

If possible, always visit the property before making any decision. If you are overseas, at least request for a virtual/video visit. Ideally, check everything including electricity, air conditioner, water (if it’s running, if it smells, if it has colors etc.)

Usually the rental process is simple and is the same as other markets. The contract in Thailand provided by an experienced landlord should be quite standard – you are required to pay 1-2 months of security deposit and 1 month of advance rental. So you’ll need to pay a total of 2-3x of monthly rent on the date of signing.

If you choose to use a property agent, the typical fee is half a month of rent.

Long term rental Thailand in summary: what to pick and how much it costs?

When it comes to long term rental, you should consider many things – mainly the location and type of property. Understanding the local process of renting is also important so that you can prepare yourself well before getting your place. 

Make sure you do enough research before deciding on where to live. Picking a right accommodation can shape your experience, but just as importantly it will impact your cost of living in Thailand for the long run. Therefore, it is very important to decide carefully on your long-term rental in Thailand.

Take a look at our other posts on Thailand!