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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!:)

After several trips to Chiangmai over the years, my husband & I have decided to retire in Chiangmai this June.

Doing research on property rentals on the Internet and reading from various posts on different forums are confusing. Most of the Real Estate Agencies have rentals on condos range from 10,000B and up and yet, I just read someone who rented a 2-3 br house for less than 10,000B. Understanding location is everything, what's the best way to rent either a condo or house? Real Estate agents or word of mouth from the locals?

1) How does one find available rentals, either condos or house from local residents? Neither one of us speak Thai!

2) If a RE agent is needed, where to find an honest and reliable agent? The last one we had was not a pleasant experience. They also charged to show 3 condos and one house. Same complex for 2 condos and one house nearby.

3) What is a reasonable monthly rental of a 2/2 condo and perhaps, a 3/2house? I understand houses will be lower in rent, but they are also out from the city. We don't intend to buy a vehicle.

4) Is there such a thing as "taxis" in Chiangmai? We know of "red-cabs" and they would come to the residence to pick one up and take them to wherever.... Is the fare still 20B one way, anywhere in Chiangmai?

5) How are the landlords in Chiangmai? Are they reasonable and do necessary repairs when needed in a responsive manner?

6) What to look out for when renting? Either a condo or house? Just read about the deaths of 2 tourists.... electrical wires not grounded, etc......

7) Which neighborhoods to avoid when renting? The last time we were in Chiangmai (November 2009), an agent showed us a couple of condos near the Rail Rd. Stn. and later was told that it wasn't a good area.....

8) What's the sewage system like? Can one fush toilet paper down the toilet? This may sound strange, but living in China for a year now has caution us not to take anything for granted! :confused2:

Any help is appreciated! Thank you!
 
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Hi and welcome to Expatforum.

Yes location is definitely key. The 3 bedroomed homes inside CM you read about may have been those I rented - in which case they were cheap (for central locations) because they were in not particularly 'desirable' areas. The first worked out fine, good neighbours etc, the second less so. A lot of noise, some drunks over the road always fighting and playing their karaoke, etc.

Still on balance I preferred living there, amongst the Thais, than in the 'moo bahn' - relatively secure, enclosed, purpose-built villages, on the fringes of town. But that's a matter of personal choice - I didn't want to be surrounded by expats, plus I wanted to be within walking distance of the centre, not having to rely on tuk-tuks.

The moo bahns are mostly no nearer than the super highway 'ring-road', some considerably farther away. They range from rather delapidated to quite luxurious, and the prices reflect this. I've seen two bedroomed bungalows in a very small piece of land within a moo bahn estate being rented out from 6,000 baht. But if you are a regular traveller into town, and you don't intend getting a bike or a small car, then you have to factor in the 80/100 baht tuk-tuk cost each way, or the 20b p/p cost if you can find a baht bus heading your way. Wherever you live, if you don't have transport of your own, it's worth finding two or three English-speaking tuk-tuk drivers and getting their phone numbers. I tended to use the same ones all the time - I had a number for all times of day and night.

I've never used a property agent to find somewhere to rent. Word of mouth, 'To Rent' signs outside properties, asking around the farang-owned bars was easy enough. The Thai wife of one bar owner seemed to have dozens of contacts for places to rent cheaply - unfortunately she's moved away now, or I would give you her number.

How are the landlords? Some very good, some very bad. Pot luck really, unless you can find one on recommendation. I've had one excellent one, and one average one. Both returned deposits at the end of the stay, no questions asked.

There are some great condo buildings near the river, and the university, good areas, but they can be expensive. But if I were you I would rent a cheap condo on a monthly basis for a while until you've checked out CM properly, and got a better feel for the place.
http://frogblog-thaidings.blogspot.com/2008/10/clean-thais-smelly-foreign-farangs.html
 

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Hi Siuahd913,

Welcome to the forum. Jone is hot and humid, so not the best time to move house, but there are some advantages....read on :)

1) The best way to find a decent rental at a good price, is to be here and I'm afraid. My two first rentals here were 18k and 12k respectively, because I used rental agencies. Once here I am often told about houses for much less. As an example, I went to see a 4 bed house with garden on the Hang Dong road that will be available in a few months at just 5k a month! Another, on a nice moo bahn with community security, club, pool, tennis, play ground, etc (two bed) for 4k a month. The prices are rock bottom at the moment, but the agencies are not reflecting it. Its probably worth taking a short term rental and looking around once you are here - it saves long term.

1b) Don't worry about the Thai language bit, rental agreements are uaully dual language (they can be bought preprinted from Lotus Tesco etc!). If you do use an agent, in CM, they are vry likely to have at least fair English.

2) Never been charged by an agency - crikey usually they drive me around to look. If they want paying to show you, then walk away.

3) Houses can be in or out of the city in CM. There are plenty of little back steets with town houses and small houses. Bigger houses and moo bahns are out of the city, but usually have pretty good transport option - Song Taew from my Moo Bahn to city centre is 15-20 Baht. If you live near some shopping centres (malls) like Airport Plaza for example, they have free buses that run both ways! Condos are not as common in CM as they are in BKK, but there are some here. I have heard of them as low as 2.5K a month (fair way out of town). Personally I prefer houses.

4) Yep, Taxis (with and without meters), tuk tuks, song taews, motorbike taxis (rarer) and even samlors. Take your pick - that's pretty much price order! Red Cab is a central (i.e. aroubnf Muang CM) better known here as song taews. There are also blue ones, yellow ones, green ones and white ones - they all go different areas arounbd CM and have different pricing schemes. Usually you stick your arm out for a Song Taew unless you privately hire one, then the price is up to your haggling. Taxis will pick you up and so will tuk tuks (if pre arranged). 20B is good for local trips on song taerw, longer trips (should they be nice enough to take you) will cost up to about 40B. Yellows are from 15B. These are fairly new prices, it doubled a few years ago as it had been 10 baht a long time.

5) Mmmm difficult question. How are landlords in the USA? Exactly, depends. My present landlord is reasonable, but it took him 2 months to pick up a faulty fridge and I've not seen it back yest (2 weeks and counting). Usuaslly you pay the money and they leave you alone. Some repairs they will do, some you may have to suggest you contract out and take it off their rent to get them moving, others they will just shrug about. It can be hard getting deposits back here, there's always a reason not too, so consider it a lease price and if you get some back at the end, its a bonus!

6) Yes, Thais do not seem to understand the importance of earthing. By l;aw the showers and water heaters MUST be earthed, but laws are often ignored here. If you are worried, then have it checked. You must remember thi is a third world country, even if it is developing (and in less debt than our own first world countries!!!).

7) This is where local knowledge comes in. Its impossible to list every good street and every bad one (and highly subjective), so stay somewhere for a short time and move! Personally I would suggest you visit late at night, just sit out side in a taxi or loan car at about 10pm and see if you hear dogs, music, motorbikes etc. Moo Bahns usually have better class of people vbecause the prices are higher, but don't rely on that meaning they are better neighbours. When I lived in a Thai community people were a lot friendlier to me than the Thais are on my moo bahn now, and foreigners (farangs) ain't much better either. That's personal view only. Keep an eye out for loads of local soi doigs too - their mess and barking can be a real pain.

8) OK, Thai toilets in modern houses can just about take loo roll, but used sparingly. Personally I have gone native and use the spayer its much cleaner and more comfortable and no paper to buy either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks for the quick response!

Keeping all the "pointers" in mind, we will set forth to look for a place to stay before commiting to a lease of any sort.

My hubby and I have always been adventurous in the past and getting "older" shouldn't stop us! But, there's always a but, being cautious never hurts!

I thought May was the worst month to come to Chiangmai, no? Any tips on short term condo rentals or service aparatments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks for the quick response!

Keeping all the "pointers" in mind, we will set forth to look for a place to stay before commiting to a lease of any sort. I prefer a house to a condo, but really have to weigh the transportation costs and rent.... Besides, condos may not have the best sound insulations between neighbors.

My hubby and I have always been adventurous in the past and getting "older" shouldn't stop us! But, there's always a but, being cautious never hurts! Any tips on short term condo rentals or service aparatments? Heard or read some horror stories on one or two service apartments; convenient locations, but management is something else!
 
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