Depending on who you ask, renting a condo in Chiang Mai will either be met with sighs of frustration or happy stories of great agents and owners. While renting a condo in Chiang Mai isn’t always a walk in the park, there are some things you can do to make the process easier for you!
This post is coming from personal experience, as my lease is up in a few months. I’ve been thrust back into the real estate world of Chiang Mai after two years of living in the same condo.
I found my condo pretty easily the first time around, so I’m hoping that this experience will be the same. Going through my search, I realized that there are probably people out there wondering the best way to go about the whole process.
So without further ado, here’s a quick guide to renting a condo in Chiang Mai.
Before we get into it, are you following me on Instagram and Pinterest? If you haven’t, go ahead do that now! My Instagram has all the behind the scenes of my Thailand life, and you’ll see what life is like living as an ex-pat in Thailand.
If you’re currently looking for a condo in Chiang Mai, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
(Update!!!! 10.27.20 I found an awesome condo! Can’t wait to take you guys on my decorating journey!)
Finding The Perfect Condo in Chiang Mai – What To Do
Decide What You Want From a Condo
Before you start looking for a condo in Chiang Mai, you need to decide what you want from a condo.
Do I want to be close to a mall?
Will I have a car or motorbike?
Do I need the area to be walkable?
If you plan to work, do you want to live close to your job?
How many bedrooms do I need?
How many square feet do I prefer?
Do I want a pool or gym?
Questions like these can help you get a better idea of what you’re looking for in a condo. You’ll be able to narrow down buildings and areas. This way, when you start searching, you won’t waste time on areas that aren’t your cup of tea.
Explore, Explore, Explore
When you first move to Chiang Mai, exploring can be a bit overwhelming. You’re not exactly sure where everything is or what you want from a certain area. However, exploring is super important to find a great condo in Chiang Mai.
Prices vary wildly from area to area and even in the same building. So get out there and look around. I recommend looking online and making a quick list of a few condo buildings that interest you, then try to hit them one by one. You’ll be able to see what stores are in the area and what the streets are like.
Scour The Web For Chiang Mai Condo Listings
Once you have your criteria, you can officially begin your search for a condo. During my searches, I typically use a few different avenues.
Thankfully, most of the condo listings are available in both English and Thai. I’ve fared the best looking on Facebook Marketplace, which I’ve displayed below.
Select Rentals, and you have the option to view condos on the map.
Or you can look at them in list form.
Take Your Time Looking Around The Condo
Once you meet with the owner at the condo, take your time looking around. Most condo’s in Chiang Mai will come furnished, but you may have to purchase some items for your condo yourself.
[If you’re sure what to buy for your condo, I put together a quick guide of 10 things you might need – 10 Things You Absolutely Need In Your First Apartment]
My mistake when I got my first condo in Chiang Mai was not taking my time. I was nervous, I went by myself and I desperately needed to move.
The agent pointed out that there was a cooking hood, and I was so excited that I didn’t look up to see the said exhaust. Turns out the cooking hood wasn’t connected to anything! This meant that every time I cooked the food smell would cycle right back around into my room. -__-. Needless to say, I felt like quite the chump.
The offending cooking hood and missing exhaust fan. How did I miss this??
Moral of the story: Don’t be like me. Take your time and look for any red flags in the condo. Or, go with another person. Two are always better than one and they might ask questions you didn’t think about.
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate
Don’t be afraid to negotiate when looking for a condo in Chiang Mai. There is no such thing as “the market price” in condos here. You’ll see condos in the same building, with the same furniture and same square footage with wildly different prices.
For example, the other day I found a condo online that was built in 2019, 32sqm, with a digital door lock for 9,500 baht (300 USD). I found the exact same sized condo, in the same building priced for 15,000 baht (474 USD) on the same website. That one didn’t have a digital door lock and it only had a minifridge. Not impressive.
Needless to say, no one is checking to see what other people are pricing their condos, hence the varying prices. However, this means that when you go in, you have a better idea of what the condo is actually worth.
You have some wiggle room, so offer below the asking price and see what happens. If they reject your offer, there are a dozen more condos with your name on them.
Triple Check Everything Before Signing The Lease
This is one of the most crucial steps, and it’s the last hurdle to jump before moving in. You’ll meet up with your agent and the ower of the condo to sign the lease.
During this meeting, double and then triple check your lease before signing it. Your lease will typically be in both English and Thai for your convenience. You can take this time to ask for any amendments or clear up any questions you may have.
However, check to make sure the Thai statements match up to the English ones. I’ve seen some contracts defer to the Thai part of the contract when the English translation left out some important information.
If possible, take a Thai friend with you. Or take your time to translate your contract to make sure things are up to snuff.
Your lease will contain information about how to pay your rent, any penalties for late payment, and your deposit amount. If you’ve asked your landlord to provide anything before moving in, this should also be written into the contract.
Check to see if there’s anything in the contract about fees you’ll need to pay at the end of the contract, such as cleaning or maintenance fees. This way there are no surprises when it comes time for you to move out.
Are you looking to move into a condo in Chaing Mai? Or do you already live here? Let me know if there’s anything you think I’ve missed!