Many Bangkok agents focus on their property databases – either growing enormous lists or marketing the same limited portfolio to everyone. (To find out why, see my blog post on
what makes a good real estate agent in Bangkok). I don’t. Instead, I offer a highly professional, ethical bespoke service that focuses all my attention on my customers – from helping them find their perfect home, to negotiating with the landlord, and acting as their special agent throughout the contracted period and beyond. That’s why so many of my clients become my friends. But don’t take my word for it; see what my customers say here. In short, I love what I do, I work extremely hard, and I never give up!
The main difference with many western countries (such as Australia where I’m from, for example) is that there is usually no exclusive contract between an owner and an agent. This means all agents can in theory access all available properties, which is why you find many of the same properties listed on many different websites. As a result owners tend to use a number of agents to sell or rent their property – in fact, as many as possible in the hope one of them will find a buyer or tenant. Unfortunately this results in low service standards, with many agents acting as part-time freelance opportunists. This is exactly what 1D Property is NOT about! We believe you need only one highly professional agent that’s prepared to work extremely hard to find your perfect home in Bangkok. Yes, the industry here is different from what you may be used to at home, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept poor ethical standards and low-quality service.
Wandee is my formal name and the inspiration behind my 1D logo. It means “good day” in Thai. However, most Thais are generally called by their nickname, even in quite formal situations, e.g. Lek (small), Fon (rain), Poo (crab), etc. Lek is often given to the youngest child, but because I’m also Australian my nickname has evolved into “Lekky” over the years!
Don’t worry. I don’t put all my properties on my website, and we’re often quite slow to upload our new listings because we’re much more focused on servicing our customers. The property search tool is useful but it isn’t at the core of 1D Property’s personal service. Looking after the customer by providing a truly professional, personal and bespoke service is much more important to us! Most properties in Bangkok are accessible to all agents so I would much rather focus our efforts on finding your perfect home and then pull out all the stops to secure it for you.
Yes, it is. 1D Property Co. Ltd is a registered company in Thailand. I am also one of relatively few Bangkok agents accredited with the Thai Real Estate Broker Association after studying for an exam.
1D is a play on my formal name Wandee, which means “good day” in Thai. And making sure you have a good day is exactly why I started 1D! By the way, many customers and friends call me by my Thai nickname Lek – or “Lekky” if you’re Australian.
The landlord pays the agent’s commission, which is typically equivalent to 1 month’s rent for every 12 months of tenancy. Landlords often pay the agent from your initial rental deposit when the rental agreement is signed.
Despite the horror stories on the Internet, withholding a deposit for no good reason is not common practice (and has never happened to a client of mine). Part of my service is to make sure your landlord is fair, and I place a lot of attention on making sure you have a reputable landlord before signing an agreement. Fortunately I have great relationships with many landlords because they appreciate my personal service model. Deposits are usually forfeited for damage, unpaid bills and when a tenant breaks their lease before expiry, although sometimes I can negotiate a “diplomatic clause” where an expat won’t lose their deposit if they are unexpectedly transferred by their employer.
Renters usually pay the equivalent of 2 months rent as a deposit, and 1 month rent upfront. So expect to pay 3 months upfront in total before you move in.
The standard contract period is 12 months, and almost all landlords expect this as a minimum. Shorter contracts are harder to find but not impossible. I’ve had some success negotiating shorter contracts but there’s often a caveat or quid pro quo. For example, one customer requested a 7-month rental agreement because he was uncertain whether his company would extend his employment contract. The landlord agreed to the shorter term on condition my client signed for an additional 12 months if his employment was extended. Fair enough. Sometimes I can arrange to take over an existing lease that’s being terminated early but, again, the landlord may prefer to start again on a 12-month agreement. Sometimes I can negotiate a “diplomat clause” where an expat family does not lose their deposit in the case of an unexpected transfer by the tenant’s employer.
Yes, despite a perception that foreigners sometimes get short shrift from the law. There isn’t a rental tribunal system here, which means your priority in a dispute should be to negotiate a positive outcome before it ends up in court. I prefer to go one step better. Part of my service is to ensure we do everything possible in the initial search period to avoid potential pitfalls and disputes. Choosing a fair landlord with a great track record with expats is a good start. Then I work with you to make sure your contract is as watertight as it should be and the relationship with your landlord continues to be fruitful throughout the term of your agreement.
Bangkok is forming increasingly distinct neighbourhoods that have particular attractions for expats, especially since the BTS Skytrain and MRT were built more than a decade ago. I’ve divided Bangkok into 9 broad districts that expats traditionally prefer including:
- Sukhumvit area (upper, middle and lower)
- Silom-Sathon area
- Siam-Lumphini area
- Victory Monument-Ari (or “Aree”) area
- Ratchadaphisek area
- Bang Na & surrounds (“surrounds” includes Pattanakarn and Srinakarin roads)
- Thon Buri
Please check out my Neighbourhood Guide or let’s have a chat.
Yes, I can often get something back because I have very good relationships with many landlords who appreciate my service model and the quality clients I introduce to them. I also work hard and never give up!
Under most rental agreements you stand to lose all of your deposit if you terminate early. Sometimes I’m able to negotiate a “diplomat clause” in an agreement where an expat won’t lose their deposit if they’ve been unexpectedly transferred by their employer. Also, if you agree to a multi-year contract then I can often negotiate keeping all or part of your deposit if you terminate early after the first year. Few landlords will agree to refund your deposit simply because you’ve found a better home or you’re terminating early for reasons other than those stated clearly in your agreement. 1D Property always checks your rental agreement to ensure appropriate terms are in place before you sign. After an agreement is signed, I can sometimes negotiate an outcome with the landlord depending on the circumstances and our relationship – especially if the property is attractive and I’m confident I can find another tenant quickly.
A diplomatic clause is when a landlord agrees to refund a tenant’s deposit in the event the tenant is forced to terminate the lease early due to unforeseen employment-related circumstances such as an unexpected transfer overseas. The clause mostly applies to expats for obvious reasons, hence the name.
Usually the clause applies to a multi-year agreement, and only kicks in after the first 12 months is completed. In other words, the tenant still stands to lose their deposit if the terminate in the first 12 months of a multi-year lease. Some diplomatic clauses progressively decrease the amount of deposit that is withheld over time, e.g. 100% is withheld in the first year, 50% in the second year, 0% in the third year. The tenant usually has to provide evidence of the “unforeseen circumstances”, such as a letter from their employer and the cancellation of their work permit.
Many landlords are understandably reluctant to include a diplomatic clause unless they have access to a regular stream of expats who can easily replace the tenant. This is often the case with apartment blocks, which are operated by a single owner or company, and which target expats working with multinational companies. They may even have an ongoing mutual arrangement with the company to accept the clause as a quid pro quo for a replacement tenant.
No. The industry is unregulated and agreements vary widely. I’ve even seen one that was just a few sentences scratched on the back of a niteclub flyer! I take agreements very seriously and our standard rental contract is as robust as the one you’re used to in your own country, refined and picked over by some very tough local and expat contract lawyers! In fact, many landlords appreciate the vigour I apply to contracts.
Paying for utilities is different for condos and apartments. For apartments, utilities are paid to the apartment office which usually applies a surcharge. For condos, townhouses and houses, water and electricity bills are paid directly to the the supplier, which can be conveniently done at a 7-11. Don’t risk paying your bills late because the MEA is quick to cut you off and slow to put you back on!
In April/May the temperature soars past 35° – and 1D Property gets calls from clients about their electricity bills, which in some cases have doubled or worse. No, your supplier isn’t ripping you off. More likely, your aircon and fridge are working overtime just to keep pace.
To keep bills in check, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority recommends the following:
1. Keep your aircon at 26° for efficiency.
2. Get 1D Property to check your aircon is being serviced twice a year.
3. When you get home, open the windows for a bit to let the hot air out before you turn on the aircon.
4. Switch to high performance air conditioners (SEER).
5. Check the seals of your fridge.
The Bottom Line: You shouldn’t be paying more because your landlord isn’t fulfilling their end of the deal. We can help. Call us!
Not very often. We prefer not to co-broke with other Bangkok agents because, sadly, few of them match 1D Property’s high standards of professionalism, service and ethics. However, sometimes we find an exception and we always insist on a signed agreement before working with them. When we do co-broke with another property agent, we keep our client and the landlord fully informed and we ensure total transparency. We also make sure our agent partner is continually meeting the same exceptional standards we apply to ourselves.
Not very. Most landlords in Bangkok speak English to a degree these days. But I’m right here by your side when they can’t! Some older landlords, however, generally prefer dealing in Thai which is where my dual Australian-Thai background is handy.
Drivers and maids are best found via by personal recommendation, and I can sometimes help with this as I meet lots of great families. I have established relationships with removalists and handymen (I use them myself) and will be happy to recommend them.
Yes, but it’s not straightforward. Foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand, but you can own an asset on land owned by a Thai. A condo unit falls into this category but only if the total foreign ownership of the entire condo complex isn’t higher than 49%. In fact, many new condos openly advertise for foreign investors up to the legal limit. Another option is to form a company with 7 non-voting Thais in which you have 49% ownership.
I have great relationships with many landlords, so please feel free to put all those requests through me and let me handle it. Mostly they’re just a little busy and need some charm! See my blog post on what to look for in a good Bangkok property agent. 1D Property has our own brilliant Mr Fixit as well (see the fabulous 1D team below). Landlords love him because he’s competent, reliable and conscientious.
The BTS Skytrain and MRT have completely changed Bangkok over a decade and it’s true that many expats’ lives revolve around them. Neighbourhoods within a few hundred meters of a BTS/MRT stop are the most popular. Still, many expat families have a car (and quite often a driver), which is necessary if they live, for example, in Bang Na which has several international schools such as Bangkok Patana.
I have two lively cocker spaniels that we brought with us from Australia, which means we cannot live in a condo or apartment. Some apartments/condos allow small dogs and cats but it’s a very limited market. Gated communities are usually easier. Generally, Bangkok is tough for pets.
Hiring a pest control service every 6 months is common in rental contracts here. BUT, many landlords will only wear the cost of termite control, and not things like cockroaches, wasps, fleas, flying thingies etc. Landlords can be flexible and, like everything in Thailand, it depends on how good your agent is! Pest control costs between 5,000 Baht and 25,000 Baht per time so if yours is at the lower end then chances are you’re getting termite control only. Contact us and let’s see if we can negotiate a better deal. 😉
Yes it is. Don’t let the chaotic street scenes mislead you. Petty crime or violence is relatively low key but, like anywhere, a good dose of common sense usually gets one through the day. The world-famous friendly Thais go out of their way to avoid a confrontation but if you’re looking for trouble then they will help you find it!
Yes. The most well-known one is True Visions, which can also set you up with an Internet connection and a mobile phone. They have all the usual movie, history and general interest channels. True is the choice of rugby madmen like my South African/Australian husband as they show live Test matches and Super Rugby. They also show some live American Football. True does not show live Premier League football, for which you need CTH.
Many homes are partly or fully furnished. Some landlords can sometimes be surprisingly accommodating with special requests, especially if they own lots of properties and can move stuff around. It’s often easier with apartments, which typically have similar furniture and fittings in a block. So if you really don’t like that garish red Ming dynasty teak television cabinet then we can often get it quietly removed.
Yes. My South African-Australian husband eats it most days. A good rule is to stick to the busiest streetstalls with loads of deliriously happy locals. Or better still, come with me!