Renting in Bangkok

Recently, I moved out of a rental unit, completing a 6-month stay at a newly-open condominium complex . I paid my deposit of 2 months rent—30000 baht, the rent outright (because I didn’t have a bank account at the time), and the electricity bill monthly.

No issues … until, I moved out.

The landlord claimed 2 items as damages

  1. Cleaning
    • Dirty bathroom floor
    • Shower door of the same bathroom—I forgot to wipe it down.
    • Washing of bed sheets—which are brand new because I misplaced the original.
    • Washing of the blanket—which I did not use because I used mine.
  2. Bookshelf damage
    • This is my fault.
    • I lit a tealight candle and it burned the IKEA-ish veneer above it.
    • It’s purely cosmetic. Still, I am to blame.

Claim #1: Cleaning

Cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry cost 1500 baht. I’m glad I swept the kitchen and living room area, because that could have another 1500 baht!

Typically, You can hire a maid for 500 baht to clean a 1 bedroom unit. Mine was approximately 27 square meters. Hardly, a penthouse unit.

Claim #2: Burn marks

Damage to the bookshelf is 3500 baht for labor and materials. Plus, an additional 500 baht for cleaning afterwards—huh?

So, in total, charges amounted to 5500 baht. I can’t say much, because the owner held my deposit and mysterious things can happen.

And mysterious things DID happen

…. when she returned the rest of my deposit, 24500 baht, without settling to the above charges.

I questioned her about this. She explained that she wanted to return the deposit without any further delay. Having never asked for return expediency, I’m fairly certain that she was NOT looking out for me and that the 5500 baht was enough.

I replied that the delay is not the problem and that we did not agree on anything. She told me “if there is an additional repair, we will notify.”

I’ve documented everything that I could, including an album of the unit when I moved out.

In the end, I’ve learned that in the Land of Smiles, Thais are incredibly kind, but when it comes to money and saving face, it can be tenacious.