I checked out a 1 bedroom (aprox. 70 sq. meter) rental condo on Soi 13 at The Trendy.
These condos are privately owned and when you rent you are renting from the unit’s owner.
If you use a property agent rather than communicating directly with the owner be very careful because the situation is rife with the temptation and opportunity for the agent to cheat you. Don’t take anything for granted and make sure to talk directly with the owner to confirm all details, e.g. security deposit details, payment methods, etc. Don’t let the agent handle or hold any of the money such as deposits, monthly rentals, etc.
Standard terms include no more than one month rent as a security deposit, all association fees to be paid by the owner and utilities paid by the renter.
Beware of any deviations from these standard terms.
Typically, the agent will get 1 month’s rent out of 12 for bringing a tenant who signs a one year lease.
This commission is paid for by the owner not by the renter and the agent may get more if they can negotiate a really juicy price.
Standard Thai practice is for the published listing price (including those listed on internet sites such as Acute realty and Thaiapartments.com) to be about 10- 20% higher than the actual asking price.
The practice is basically a free shot for the owner and agent to take advantage of a renter who isn’t familiar with the market.
The agent for the 1 bedroom at The Trendy initially asked 30,000 and dropped to 28,000 without resistance when a discount was requested. This was for a short term rental (2-6 months).
The current market for Bangkok apartments is extremely soft and farang suitable condos rents are down about 30% from a year ago with many already bought units sitting empty and the absentee owners desperate for any type of income. All the newly built condos are sitting mostly unsold with very few potential buyers as a result of the unfavorable exchange rate and the world wide recession. Corporations have cut back their oversees staffs, tourists are staying home because of lower, less certain income, and unfavorable exchange rates. The likelihood of violence after the upcoming elections is not helping the market.
My guess is that 1 bedroom condos at The Trendy can be had for 20,000 a month.
The proper way to negotiate such a large reduction in price is to tell the agent to communicate your lowball offer directly to the owner and let the owner make a yes or no decision.
The agent may be reticent or refuse outright to pass on lowball offers. An accepted lowball offer will likely severely impact her commission but you must insist if you want to take maximum advantage of the currently depressed market.
If one owner isn’t willing, contact other owners renting identical units. All the major condominium projects near The Reservation currently have multiple vacant units generating zero income for their owners.
When I was being shown units by one property agent, there were several doors with rental signs and the owners phone number printed on them. Extrapolating over all the floors there are likely several dozen vacant units at The Trendy.
Don’t be shy about writing these numbers down and calling them.
If you want to try bluffing, call the agent back the next day and tell her another owner was willing to accept a lower rent and request she call her owner again with your offer.
There is no way for her to know other desperate owners aren’t caving to market pressure and the current state of the market makes your claim plausible.
Condo owners have had empty condos sitting unrented for months and will accept almost any quasi-reasonable offer. If you are renting short term and they can get another shot at a long term tenant in a few months where hopefully the market has improved. Your lowball offer will look like manna from heaven.
Given how bad the rental market is right now, “Anything is better than nothing” is the prevailing mentality.
I personally find The Trendy unappealing.
It’s located right in the middle of The Reservation. The good news is that its right in the middle of the The Reservation. The bad news is that its right in the middle of The Reservation.
Going up and down the elevator and walking in and out of the lobby, I ran into 2 farang with obvious recently long timed bar girls in tow.
There are a lot of dodgy farang in town and, in my home, I would prefer not to be around them.
It’s the same mentality that drives owning a car and motorcycle. Not having to constantly deal with scamming taxi drivers removes one source of negativity in your life and makes you that much a happier person.
The Trendy is also a little too close to the nightlife.
On the ground floor is is a beer bar called Spangky’s where girls are employed.
Do you really want Soi Cowboy taking place on the ground floor of your home?
Here are some pics of a furnished 1-bedroom.
Although only two years old, the hallways and elevator lobbies had an air of benign neglect about them with kick marks on the moldings and varnish peeling off some of the doors.
A close examination of The Trendy also reveals that it was built to a certain price point.
Minimum quality materials and poor workmanship are evident in the common areas.
The rooms I was shown featured cheap wallpaper, low priced fixtures, and slap together built in furniture.
A close look at the building reveals a basic no frills concrete structure with a thin veneer of shiny floor tiles, brushed aluminum, and laminated wood paneling to give it a shiny appearance.
Reminds me of certain girls who look good under the stage lighting but shock the hell out of you in the light of day.
For some others, this apartment and this location is ideal.
You are right in the heart of the nightlife district with everything within a couple of hundred meters of your front door.
To each his own.