More often than not renters don’t read their contract, they just grabb a pen and sign. I advise them to put down the pen, re-read the document, and think about a few things first before sealing off the deal. After all, there have been too many cases where renters become too excited to move in, only to realize that there’s a better option in other condo developments in Bangkok.
Here are the most important issues to consider before signing on a rental contract:
1. Total Rental Fees. Have you clarified with your landlord regarding condo association dues? Is your rental fee inclusive of such? You’ll find a better deal if the landlord shoulders these fees for the use of the building’s shared facilities, security, maintenance and other necessary repairs.
2.Utility Fees. Does the condo association require you to pay for gas, water and garbage disposal? If not, what’s the current arrangement in the building? You’ll be surprised that some Bangkok landlords are willing to pay for some of your utilities (though you must expect to pay a higher monthly rent) such as telephone and cable TV service connection and the like.
3. Pet Policy. Are you planning to take in your pooch with you? If so, your condo association might have policies against pets. Make sure that the contract specifies that Fido can live with you inside or else, you just have to search for another unit.
4. Rental Term. How long are you going to rent the unit? Most landlords would require you at least six months to stay in your Bangkok condo. After all, it’s still business. Look into the details of the contract and clarify about the minimum rental period that you can spend in the unit.
5. Amenities. Some landlords might lure you with the amenities in the building. Who can’t resist the pool, the fitness room or the roof garden? Just be sure there is no extra costs that come with the use of these amenities so you’ll be safe from any unwanted fees.
6. Environment. Have you visited the condo for rent in Bangkok at night? Do you find any issues with the noise in the building? Is it near the elevators where you’ll hear passersby any time of the day? Is it on a lower level that the the traffic jam noise wakes you up? At any rate, you might want to rent a condo that’s a true sanctuary and not a source of headache in the long term.
7. Contract Details. Are the important details in the contract spelled out properly? This includes the rental term, the rental fee and other necessary information that no occupant would want to have issues with in the future. For some reason, numerals and number words are often dissimilar in some contracts.
8. Representation Rights. As a tenant, you don’t have any voting rights in the condo association. The landlord retains his ownership of the Bangkok condo unit. In some sporadic cases, Thai landlords may provide you with a power of attorney which entitles you to have some of his legal rights and therefore secure you a vote in the association. Are you informed about this? In most cases where this is not the arrangement, you may still attend the association’s meetings but only as an observer.
9. Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). As tenants, you are not safe from adhering to the set of rules that the condo association enforces to all occupants in the building. Take time to read the CC&R and make sure that you can abide by the rules stipulated in the document so you won’t be caught in a nasty situation in the future. There’s no way that a landlord will exempt you from following the rules since any violation that you commit will also involve him in the association’s hearing. That’s why you have to make sure that the landlord discusses the CC&R with you before you affix your signature in the contract. If you think that regulations are unfair on your part, it’s an indication not to sign.
10. Late Payments. No one could be so sure about his financial standing. Ask the landlord what are his rules with regard to late payments. Does he have any leeway? Will you be paying additional fees if you miss one month of rent payment? In most cases, if a tenant also fails to pay for the association dues, the condo association will be forced to take legal action which can cause a lot of trouble for the concerned parties.
11. Co-renters. Does the landlord limit the number of folks who can stay with you in the condo for rent in bangkok? If so, ask how many people you can share the unit with.
12. Rental Application Form. Before taking tenants in, most Thai landlords would want to be guaranteed that their occupants are able and willing to pay for the agreed rental fee and other expenses. A rental application form is therefore necessary to check if the renter’s income would suffice to the rent. Other information would include credit history and bank account information. Aside from this, the landlord may also ask for a character reference letter. Because of this, you have to make sure that your finances can support not just your rent but also your other needs.
12. Buy Option. Is the landlord willing to negotiate a sale with you after spending a few years in the Bangkok condo for rent? This may be too early to tell but some Thai landlords may be screening tenants in the hopes of selling the condo unit to them in the future. If you are interested in such offer, then it’s time to flex out your mental muscles in calculating the buy vs. lease option method.
These twelve factors to consider before signing your condo for rent in bangkok contract can help you study your options well. Who knows? The unit where you’ll be renting may just be the condo that you’ll have full ownership rights in the future.