Renting Real Estate in Pattaya
As a tenant, it is important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities. Being aware of the laws as they relate to renting can help you avoid or resolve tenancy problems. The areas in which problems can arise include:
Every tenant is entitled to a receipt upon payment of rent. Make sure you always request a rent receipt. Don't throw these out as they are your record of payment and could be needed should a dispute arise regarding overdue rent, etc.
Landlords are required to notify their tenants of pending rent increases in advance.
As a tenant, you do not have the right to stop paying rent if the landlord/agent won't do repairs on your residence. Read the section on Repairs and Maintenance to learn better ways of resolving these types of disputes. If the premises are unfit for living in, however, you can end the tenancy.
Repairs and maintenance
There are specific responsibilities for both the tenant and the landlord/agent with regards to maintaining a rental property. Let's look at the tenant's responsibilities first. The tenant is obliged to:
- Keep the premises reasonably clean.
- Be careful not to cause damage to the premises.
- Inform the landlord/agent as soon as possible if any damage is done. It is a good idea for the tenant to write to the landlord/agent with this news, while keeping a copy of the letter.
- Get the landlord/agent's permission to install fixtures or make additions, alterations or renovations to the premises. It is best to obtain this permission in writing.
- Avoid causing a nuisance, and ensure visitors also don't cause a nuisance.
- Ensure that the premises are not used for any illegal purpose.
The landlord has to:
- Keep the premises in good repair.
- Ensure all the doors to the outside have locks and that all windows can be secured.
- Give the tenant a key immediately after changing any lock.
- Avoid disturbing the tenant unnecessarily.
With regards to repairs, landlords are generally responsible for all repairs, unless the tenant is the one who has caused the damage. If the tenant has damaged the premises, then the associated repairs will be at the tenant's own expense.
If you as a tenant, believe that repairs are needed, then Contact Us your landlord/agent (preferably in writing) and arrange a time for these repairs to be conducted. You should never pay for or do non-urgent repairs yourself. If the requested repairs are not completed within a reasonable period of time, follow-up with your agent.
In most cases, refusal by the landlord to maintain the premises in good repair constitutes a breach of contract. If your landlord does break their agreement in this way, you may have the right to end your lease and move out.
If urgent repairs are required to your rental premises, you should initially try to arrange for the landlord/agent to fix the problem. If they cannot be Contact Used, you may need to go ahead and organise for the repairs yourself. Examples of urgent repairs would include:
- A blocked or broken toilet system,
- Serious roof leak,
- Burst water service,
- Gas leak,
- Dangerous electrical or structural faults,
- Serious storm, fire or flood damage,
- Any fault or damage that renders the premises unsafe or insecure.
Tenants are usually entitled to be reimbursed for urgent repairs. Once the repairs are complete, the bill can either be sent directly to your landlord/agent or paid by yourself. If you pay the bill, make sure you obtain a receipt. A copy of this receipt can then be sent to your landlord/agent when you invoice them for the cost of the repair work.
As a tenant, you are entitled to live in privacy. This means that during your stay at the rental premises you should not experience interruption or interference by the landlord/agent or anyone acting on the landlord's behalf.
To ensure this occurs, the landlord/agent is required to obtain agreement from the tenants prior to visiting the property.
Legitimate reasons for the landlord/agent to enter the premises include:
- General inspections. There is a limit to how frequently property inspections can be performed.
- Performance of duties defined in the lease, e.g. maintenance.
- Valuation of the property.
- To show prospective buyers through the property.
- To show prospective tenants through the property if the current tenant has been given written notice to move out.
Sub-letting occurs when the premises houses both the 'head tenant', whose name is on the lease, and one or more 'sub-tenants', who are not registered on the lease. The head tenant holds all responsibility for the premises, while sub-tenants are not entitled to any rights or protections that may be provided under the lease agreement.
Almost all all lease agreements in Thailand preclude sub-letting without the express written consent of the landlord. Therefore, the tenant must get the landlord's written permission before bringing in other people. If the landlord agrees, and you do sub-let the premises, it is you who will be responsible for the behaviour of the sub-tenants. If they damage the residence and will not pay for repairs or if they neglect to pay rent and etc., you are the one who must pay these costs.
If you are thinking of sub-letting, Contact Us your Real Estate Agent and discuss this with him to obtain as much information as possible. This is a weighty decision and you must be aware of the consequences of 'taking on a sub-tenant'.