To Rent an Apartment or Condo in Bangkok?

by : Maddy Barber

By info at 4:48 am on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 Edit This
Many people ask, 'what's the difference between an apartment and a condo in Bangkok?' Well, condos are individually owned units whilst an apartment is a block of rental units owned by a company, family or individual.
There are, of course pros and cons to renting an apartment over condo and hopefully this article will shed some light on the apartment versus condo rental issue, and help you with your final decision.
Rental prices
When it comes to price, I don't think it differs very much whether it's an apartment or condo. The rental rate is usually determined by the location, age and grade of building, size of unit, number of bedrooms, facilities, decor and furnishing.
For a guide on what your rental budget will buy, click here.
Utility bills.
Now, this is where the main disadvantage lies in renting an apartment over a condo. Apartments tend to have a minimum charge for water (usually around 1000 baht per month) and a surcharge on electricity (around 5 - 6 baht a unit compared to the 3.5 baht charged by the MEA). All this can amount a hefty difference in utility bills at the end of every month.
I live in a 3 storey townhouse with a family of 6 and my water bill has never exceeded 500 BHT a month, ever. We do a lot of washing and drinking too!
Building management fees
These fees apply more for condominiums since apartments have already accounted for their operating cost in their rates. This is usually around 40 baht per square metre and most of the time; this fee has already been included in the rent. However, if you got you a really good deal i.e. a nicely furnished 95 sqm 2 bedroom in the CBD for 25,000 baht/month, then it's likely that your landlord will not be paying the building mgt. fee for you. I think that's reasonable enough.
At the end of the day, whether you are renting an apartment or a condo, who you rent it from is extremely important. With condo owners, I feel that it's a lot easier to negotiate on the rent since these individuals can be more flexible, compared to an apartment which charges standard rates that are usually non-negotiable. However, finding a suitable condo for rent is a little trickier on your own since you'll have to know where there is a unit for rent and the owner's contact. That is where real estate; and property agencies like Bangkok Findercan help you.
The other thing is maintenance. It's definitely a lot more convenient if you are living in an apartment since there is usually an in house maintenance guy hired by the building at hand. However, I know of many condo owners who take very good care of their property and have their own handyman who usually respond within a day. The cost can be foot by the landlord or the tenant depending on the initial agreement. Again, the cheaper the rent, the more you'll have to account during your lease tenure.
Apart from that, apartments and condos both offer 24 hour security and feel safer for most, compared to living in a house. There is also NO chance of flooding inside your home, which is a major concern for most people looking to rent or buy in Thailand.
Those are the main points really. Now, are you ready to start your home search? Here are apartments for rent and condos for rent in Bangkok.