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Frequently Asked Question

Detailed below are the most commonly asked questions we have received to date. If you cannot find an answer to your particular question, please feel free to contact us :
What is the different meaning of apartment and condominium?
What terms can you rent apartment and serviced apartment?
What is the minimum rental contract, and what are the terms and conditions?
What if I have to leave Thailand before the lease is finished?
What taxes am I subject to pay to rent and rent out my property?
Do I have to pay an agent any additional fees for finding me a property in Thailand?
Does the law protect me as a tenant?
What is the difference between a Lease and Leasehold?
Deposit?
Utilities bill?
Maintenance fee?
Rental procedure?
a. How fast can you find me somewhere to live?
b. What documents do you need when renting apartment?
What kind of Visa can I get to stay in Thailand?
How do I get a Work Permit?
How safe is it to live in Thailand?
Will I need to bring my own furniture? And can I buy quality furniture in Thailand?

What is the different meaning of apartment and condominium?
A condominium is like a flat (apartment) you can own in common with other owners of units within a high-rise with complete facilities. This means that each tenant is a shareholder in the building and they pay a monthly management fee based on the square meter size of their apartment to maintain the building and public areas. Foreigners may own a condominium freehold; with full rights of ownership. An apartment is a building owned by one owner who lets out units within the building on a short or long-term basis.


What terms can you rent apartment and serviced apartment?
Serviced Apartment , or called corporate housing, apart-hotels, temporary rentals, interim housing, short-term accommodation, business rentals. All these are names for the same service: an exclusive, fully furnished and equipped apartment or executive home that's ready to move into, no utilities charge. It is an apartment with maid service, plus a range of facilities and services depending upon each property. Minimum contract for rental serviced apartment is at 6 months.

Apartment is a building owned by one owner who lets out units within the building on a short or long-term basis. Most of apartments are fully furnished and equipped apartment or executive home that's ready to move into, but less a range of facilities and than serviced apartment. Minimum contract for rental apartment is at one year.


What is the minimum rental contract, and what are the terms and conditions?
Most rental periods are for one year, although some shorter terms are available. In most cases you will need to pay a 2-month deposit, and 1 month in advance when you sign the contract. Your deposit is returned to you 1 month after the termination of your lease. This allows the landlord to ensure that all the bills incurred for phone and utilities are cleared before releasing the security deposit. Under Thai law they are liable for any outstanding bills on their premises.


What if I have to leave Thailand before the lease is finished?
Generally, if you have to leave before your first year is complete you will forfeit your deposit. We can negotiate that after the first year in an apartment you can leave with 60-day notice without forfeiting your deposit


What taxes am I subject to pay to rent and rent out my property?
Once you have acquired the property, you must pay property taxes on it. If you rent out the property, the tax is 12.5% per year on the annual rental revenue (Tax on operation). This explains why so many local owners want their lessee to pay tax for them, as they don't want to lose 12.5% of their revenue.


Do I have to pay an agent any additional fees for finding me a property in Thailand?
Our services are free to you. We earn a commission from the landlords for finding tenants for them. We offer a valuable service in assisting the landlords in finding new clients. Since commission rates are standardized across the marketplace, we always have our customers' best interests in mind. Although the landowner pays us, our success comes from your satisfaction, so we know that tomorrow's customer comes from today's satisfied customer.


Does the law protect me as a tenant?
It is of great importance that you make a solid contract agreement otherwise you may be vulnerable. The wheels of justice turn very slowly in Thailand and any legal action can take a long time to reach court and be resolved. Of course we will do everything in our power to negotiate on your behalf using our longstanding relationship with the landlord as leverage to help resolve any disputes. Also we will never place you with landlords that we know have not been able to deal with disputes. You are our priority, not the landlord.


What is the difference between a Lease and Leasehold?
When you rent an apartment, you sign a Lease. Typically, a lease is for a minimum 12 months in Thailand, although some landlords may consider a shorter or longer term. When you sign a lease, you are required to pay a 2 month deposit which is refundable when you move out, less any charges for damage to the property. There are 2 types of Land Title Deed: Freehold and Leasehold : Leasehold means that the buyer is only leasing the property from the land owner for a pre-determined period of time. Thai law stipulates that a property sold with a Leasehold title deed is only valid for up to 30 years. Renewal for a further 30 years only is at the discretion of the lease holder (land owner). Property owned by the Crown Property Bureau is always Leasehold. Some private property owners may also sell their property with a leasehold title deed. These are the conditions in operation today (2005), but they may change at any time in the future. Obviously, buying leasehold property has its drawbacks. Freehold gives full ownership rights to purchasers, including the right to buy, sell, or lease the property, pass it on to their heirs, and to develop the property within the guidelines under Thai law. Foreigners may own a condominium freehold; with full rights of ownership.


Deposit?
Most rental periods are for one year, although some shorter terms are available. In most cases you will need to pay a 2 month deposit and one month rental in advance when you sign the contract. Sometimes, especially for longer contracts, the landlord may require 3 months deposit. The deposit is refundable when you move out, although the landlord may deduct expenses for any damage to the property during your tenancy.


Utilities bill?
If you are renting, most buildings will pay the bills for you and add them to your monthly rent. It is a good idea to find out the cost of utilities before you move in so that you know how much you will have to pay. If you are living in a house, we can advise you on the best methods of payment. For example, most utility bills can be paid direct from your bank account and the receipts sent to your residential address. Nowadays, you can also pay utility bills at any 7/11 store. When buying, you should also inquire about telephone and electricity connection fees.


Maintenance fee?
It's important to indicate clearly exactly who is to be responsible for maintenance of the property. As the tenant, you have an obligation not to damage the property and in an emergency you may be responsible for making repairs to prevent further damage, but you have a right to have the property maintained in good working order. Generally the landlord is responsible for maintaining the premises in a habitable condition. That doesn't necessarily mean that your landlord is going to fix the plumbing himself but he or she does have to pay for the plumber to come make the repairs. (Make sure the lease is clear on who contacts the plumber, though.) If specific repairs are necessary at the time you sign the lease, you'll want to document them within the lease. Include a description of the problem and the date by which the landlord has promised to complete the repairs.


Rental procedure?
a. How fast can you find me somewhere to live?
As soon as we know what you are looking for we will prepare a list of locations to visit. We only need a couple of hours notice, and we have a very good success rate. We want to make sure you are happy with your choice so don't have to worry about wasting time. We'll take as long as (or as short) as you need. Naturally, it's all part of our service. We will work with you to find the most convenient and comfortable location, and show you a range of properties until you decide on the one you like best.
b. What documents do you need when renting apartment?
The foreign renter shall provide documents as follows: - A certified copy of the passport - A contract rent agreement: the relevant paperwork as contract between the landlord and the tenant. ( At the end of the contract, the landlord will conduct a final property evaluation, any expenses will be deducted and the deposit returned to the tenant) - A copy of work permit (if any)


What kind of Visa can I get to stay in Thailand?
There are four basic types of visas available for visitors and residents to Thailand . Transit visa - valid for 14 days will be issued to those people arriving in Thailand without a visa. Technically you must have an onward flight ticket, but in practice this visa will be issued almost without question. Note : There are a few countries (not many) that do not require visas and will get a three month entry stamp on arrival - in general these countries are the ones that grant the same rights to Thai nationals visiting their countries. Tourist visa - issued by Thai embassy abroad - these visas will be valid for 60 or 90 days (varies from country to country). Of note is that you may apply for more than one Tourist visa at a time and these multiple visas may be used up consecutively. Many quasi resident visitors to Phuket (who do not work - or want to avoid the red tape of a Non Immigrant visa) live for years on a tourist visa (and go shopping in Singapore or Penang every three months). So long as you are solvent and not engaging in any local business activity, there is nothing wrong with this approach. Non Immigrant visa - issued at an embassy outside Thailand and valid for a 90 day stay, this visa may be extended within Thailand for periods up to one year at a time. There are three basic grounds to obtain and renew a Non Immigrant visa. 1) That you are employed (and have a work permit) in Thailand . 2) That you have Thai family. 3) That you are retired and can prove adequate pension or other financial means to support yourself. Ownership (or long lease) of property has no bearing on the extension of a Non Immigrant visa. Lengthy form filling and copying of personal documents (in duplicate) are required both when you first apply and for every subsequent renewal of this visa. If you hold a non Immigrant visa, you should obtain a Re-Entry permit if leaving the country if you do not wish your visa to lapse. Resident visa - rarely issued and hard to obtain. These visas are issued on a very selective quota basis. Qualification requirements include reading and writing Thai, a fairly strong local financial status and some good (influential) Thai references.


How do I get a Work Permit?
First, you must have a Non-Immigrant visa to apply for a work permit. Thailand Work Permit Processing : We assist in securing Thailand work permits for qualified individuals employed by qualifying employers and the process is as follows:
• Confirm & Identify Your Correct Non-Immigrant Visa
• Preparation of Your Work Permit Application
• Preparation of Letter of Employment
• Assembly of All Required Documents
• Our Licensed Lawyer will Represent You for Filing the Petition Factors to be aware of :
• You must be present in Thailand on a non-immigrant status entry permit, on both the day your work permit application is submitted, and the day it is picked up.
• Your work permit will expire on the same date as the Visa entry permit you use to pick up your work permit. This generally means that your first work permit – if issued against a 90 day entry Visa permit, will have only 10 weeks validity, once issued. Most clients will need to use work permit to apply for extended entry permit – and once that entry permit extension is issued, apply for a renewed work permit whose expiration date matches the new entry permit.
• In most cases, for each work permit issued to a foreigner, the sponsoring company must have 2 million baht capitalization, and at least four Thai employees. If a company has four Thai employees, plus 2 million baht paid-in capital for each work permit requested, it is normally very easy to obtain a work permit.
• A job description is often the determining factor in the approval or denial of a work permit. Unless the written job description requires skills that a Thai does not or is unlikely to possess, the application will not be approved. Our licensed Thai lawyers are skilled in writing professional and accurate job descriptions in order for you to gain quick approval.
• The work permit once approved allows you to work at the noted company and location. If you change employers or place of work, you must make a new application. Also if you resign or are terminated or laid off, according to the law, within 10 days of this, you must return your work permit to the Labor Department. Don't count on your company doing it. It is your responsibility and you are liable to return it to the Labor Department.
• During the processing you must not let your visa expire . The Labor Department's system links the non-immigrant visa (“extension of stay”) you listed on your application to the work permit paperwork. A typical time frame for approval of the work permit for a company of 2 million baht registered capital is up to 2 months in Phuket but the government is trying to reduce this.
• To satisfy new government tax rules, monthly salary of work permit holders generally needs to be at least 50,000 Baht (you must be paying monthly personal income tax on at least this amount).
• Your Work Permit is connected to the duration of your visa, so when your Extension of Stay expires, you will need to renew your work permit. If you have an unexpired multiple-entry visa, all you have to do is go over the border and then return. If required to go outside Thailand to obtain a new visa, you will need to provide the Embassy or Consulate with copies of your work permit and new recommendation letter from your company, company registration documents, and financial and tax reports. This must be done prior to your work permit expiration.
• Ensure Visa is renewed at least 3 days prior to expiry to avoid any delays to renewal of work permit.


How safe is it to live in Thailand?
Thailand has an enviable reputation as a very safe place to visit and to live. The people are friendly, and there is relatively little crime against foreigners. However, like anywhere else in the world, there is always the potential for crime. If we feel an area you visit is not safe, we should advise you and suggest alternatives. We all want you to enjoy your stay here! You have probably read the recent news about the Muslim unrest in the three southernmost provinces. The government is working to solve this problem. Despite the rhetoric of a few Muslim hot heads, relations between Muslims, Thais and foreigners throughout Thailand have always been friendly and tension-free. Knowing some of the people involved in security work in the Kingdom, we are confident that Thailand will continue to remain a safe and pleasant country to live in.


Will I need to bring my own furniture? And can I buy quality furniture in Thailand?
There are plenty of fully furnished apartments and condominiums available. If you don't plan to stay in Thailand permanently, it may be better to leave your furniture in storage back home. It will probably be too heavy for the tropics anyway. Even if you plan to rent or buy a house, you can always get one fully furnished. If you prefer to furnish it yourself, we can advise you on the best places to shop.


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