Tips on Lease Agreements
Given the absence of formal legislation, Thailand may be described as a pro-landlord country and the only protection tenants can seek, from a legal perspective, is through the use of a lease agreement. Here are some of major factors, found on a lease agreement.
The amount of rent paid, for use of the property per month can be freely negotiated between you and the landlord. Once set, rent can't be adjusted for the duration of the lease agreement. But landlords can hike their fees, usually at the renewal of a lease agreement, though they will have to notify their tenants of any pending rent adjustments.
Landlords will often ask for a security deposit, equal to 2-3 months worth of rent, together with one month in advance. This deposit is refundable at the end of the contract period, without any accrued interest charges. But the landlord is allowed to inspect the property to determine any required repairs or unpaid bills; if they find anything, they can deduct that amount from the security deposit. The security deposit cannot be used to pay your last month’s rent and will be forfeited if the contract is terminated before the first year has elapsed (or according to agreement).
Contract duration and termination of a lease agreement
Long-term rental contracts will usually span one year. Some contracts will allow you to renew the contract upon expiration, provided a 30 day notice is given before expiration. If the contract is terminated by the tenant before expiration, the deposit will automatically be forfeited. If a diplomatic clause is included, a tenant can issue a 60 day notice and get back his deposit. Tenants do not have the right to stop paying rent, if the landlord fails to do repairs, but if the house is uninhabitable the tenant can terminate the lease. Subleasing is explicitly prohibited. If a tenant is adamant about staying on the property after being issued an eviction notice, the police can be called upon to evict the tenant. The landlord is not allowed to claim abandoned property as compensation for unpaid rent or damages.