Many people ask, “what’s the difference between an apartment and a condo in Bangkok?” Well, condos are individually owned units whilst an apartment is a block of rental units owned by a company, family or individual.
There are, of course pros and cons to renting an apartment over renting a condo and hopefully this article will shed some light on the apartment versus condo rental issue, and help you with your final decision.
When it comes to price, you’ll be glad to know that there is no difference whether it’s an apartment or condo you choose to rent in Bangkok. The rental rate is usually determined by the location, age and grade of building, size of unit, number of bedrooms, facilities, décor and furnishing.
Now, this is where the main disadvantage lies in renting an apartment over a condo. Apartments tend to have a minimum charge for water (usually around 1000 baht per month) and a surcharge on electricity (around 5 – 6 baht a unit compared to the 3.75 baht charged by the MEA). All this can amount a hefty difference in utility bills at the end of every month.
I live in a 3 storey townhouse with a family of 6 and my water bill has never exceeded 500 bht a month, ever. We do a lot of washing and drinking too!
Building management fees
These fees apply more to condominiums rather than apartments which have already factored this cost into the rent. This is what you call the community fee that goes to maintaining the buildings, facilities, security etc. For condos, this cost around 25-40 baht per square metre depending on the building and its location. The more exclusive your condo. The more your fees are going to be! Most of the time, this fee has already been included in the asking rent by the landlord. However, if you managed to push the rent down significantly and got you a laughing good deal i.e. a nicely furnished 95 sqm 2 bedroom in the CBD for 25,000 baht/month, then it’s likely that your landlord will be expecting you to pay this management fee instead! That’s fair enough don’t you think?
At the end of the day, whether you are renting an apartment or a condo, who you rent it from is extremely important. With condo owners, it is sometimes easier to negotiate on the rent since these individuals can be more flexible, compared to an apartment which charges standard rates that are usually non-negotiable. However, finding a suitable condo for rent is a little trickier on your own since you’ll have to know which building and what unit is available for rent. You’ll also need the owner’s contact too! That is where property rental agencies like Bangkok Finder can help you.
The other thing is maintenance. It’s definitely a lot more convenient if you are living in an apartment since there is usually an in house maintenance guy hired by the building at hand. However, I know of many condo owners who take very good care of their property and have their own handyman who usually responds within a day or two. The cost can be foot by the landlord or the tenant depending on the initial agreement. Usually, structural repairs, electrical wiring and plumbing costs are borne by the landlord, and minor repairs are the charge of the tenant. However, the cheaper your rent, chances are the more you’ll have to account for in maintenance cost during your lease tenure.
Apart from that, apartments and condos offer 24 hour security and feel safer for most, compared to living in a house. There is also NO chance of flooding inside your home, which is a major concern for most people looking to rent or buy in Thailand and the other bonus is, NO MOSQUITOS! That truly is bliss.