How to Rent a Condo in Chiang Mai Thailand

The city of Chiang Mai is in Northern Thailand and is a popular destination for tourists. It’s also home to a large number of Expats, who choose Chiang Mai as a retirement destination. Many of whom are from Australia who relocate to this beautiful part of Thailand seeking a lifestyle change.

Rent a condo in Chiang Mai

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Chiang Mai Real Estate Options

The first port of call for those who want to rent Chiang Mai Apartments is to seek assistance from one of the many Chiang Mai Real Estate agents. The Chiang Mai real estate market has an abundance of condos for rent and like many of the main cities in Thailand. Condos for rent are fairly easy to find.

On our first visit to this city we knew nothing about Chiang Mai property, so we chose to seek assistance from a local Real Estate agent to get a feel for what was available.

Being new to the city we had no idea on the processes involved in renting a condo. Chiang Mai real estate is quite easy to navigate and with the benefit of hindsight for our subsequent stays in Chiang Mai we chose to find our accommodation ourselves.

Chiang Mai rentals work similar to most countries in that once you decide on a property a lease needs to be drawn up and signed by both parties.

Keep reading and we will explain the easiest way to rent a condo in Chiang Mai.

Monthly rentals in Chiang Mai Thailand.

A good starting point prior to arriving is to search online for Chiang Mai real estate for rent via the Chiang Mai estate agent’s websites. This will give you a starting point on what’s available within varying price ranges.

Something to consider when viewing these listings is that it’s not uncommon to find properties listed on the websites that are no longer available.

Having said that. They will act as a guide. Also bear in mind that in most cases the price shown is not for short term apartment rental. Chiang Mai long term accommodation prices are usually what’s displayed.

Your arrival date will determine what price you pay. High season is usually October through to February. This is when the weather is best and when most tourists visit. It’s also the time of year when many festivals are held including the annual Loy Krathong festival in November, when thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky. It’s an event not to be missed. 

During this time in Chiang Mai, condo monthly rental prices are at their peak and there may be less to choose from. Especially if you are looking for short term rental. Chiang Mai condo prices in low season from approximately March to September will generally be lower.

How to find a Chiang Mai Condominium for rent

Our suggestion prior to arriving in Chiang Mai would be to book a hotel for a few days and during this period personally visit the condo building and enquire about availability. Unlike our home country of Australia, in Chiang Mai it’s possible to view a condo and move in straight away. Usually within a day or two. Sometimes sooner, depending on the apartment building.

Most condo buildings have a front reception area, so you only need to check if they have rooms available. You will usually be asked how long you want to stay and if they have any rooms, they will show you straight away.

If you are staying for a few months you will normally not have any problem finding a room quickly. The minimum stay for condos in Chiang Mai is one month. Any less and you are better off staying at a hotel.

Some condo buildings do not rent one-month terms but there are plenty that do, especially in the newer buildings. However, the longer the rental term the more choice you will have.

Pricing will be determined by the quality of the premises and the length of stay. The longer the lease the cheaper the monthly price.  If you are looking for Chiang Mai apartments with pool, Gym and sauna you will be spoilt with choice in the newer buildings. These buildings are at the top end of the price scale but offer great value for the services available.

It’s very difficult to give an average per month price on what you will pay, as it depends on budget and lifestyle choices, however, as a guide prices vary from a few hundred dollars per month for a basic studio apartment to approximately a thousand dollars per month AUD for a single bedroom apartment in a new building. For a two or three bedroom Chiang Mai condo expect to pay more.

There are of course many cheap apartments in Chiang Mai as well as expensive high end places.  

Once you decide which condo you would like to rent, the process involves signing the lease agreement, paying the first month rent, the deposit (usually two months’ rent in advance) and moving in. Thailand is very much a cash society so normally monthly rental and deposit will need to be paid in cash. The two-month deposit is returned when you leave at the end of your lease.

Unlike our home country rentals are not delayed by tenant background checks. If you decide on a place and have the funds available, you can settle quickly and move in straight away.

To summarise these are the steps required to rent a condo in Chiang Mai.

1. Our advice is to visit the condo personally. (many are within walking distance of each other)

2. Inspect the room and facilities. (Take note what’s included e.g. Internet or Cleaning service)

3. Make sure you enquire about extra charges for electricity and water. (It’s normal that utilities are extra)

4. Once you find one you like negotiate the price. (Don’t be afraid to try and negotiate within reason for a better price)

5. Sign the lease and decide on a day to move in. (We have sometimes moved in on the same day)

All condo’s come fully furnished ready to move in.

TIP: You often need to pay in cash so be sure to have the funds available when you are ready to sign the lease. For example, if you are paying 20,000 Baht per month rent you would need 60,000 Baht up front. You will probably have difficulty at ATM’s getting that amount out in a single transaction and some have limits on how much per account per day.

Where to find the best condo in Chiang Mai

For anyone looking to rent a condo in Chiang Mai most of the popular properties are located within the city centre. If like us, you don’t have your own vehicle then you would probably be looking for a place that has plenty of public transport. There are of course condos in the surrounding suburbs but as a general rule the further out of the city centre you travel a vehicle is required, as public transport at times may not be available.

The majority of condo buildings have studio and 1 bedroom apartments but if you are looking for a 2 bedroom apartment, Chiang Mai has plenty to choose from and you will find virtually whatever you are looking for.

Popular locations for expats and anyone looking for Chiang Mai long term rentals are the night market area and the trendy Nimmanhaemin area. We have rented in both these locations and there are plenty of options to choose from.

Chiang Mai Map of best condo locations
Map showing locations in relation to Chiang Mai’s old city

Below is a video of our 1 bedroom apartment which was located in the night market area of Chiang Mai. Apartment monthly rental in this condo was 15000 Baht. For currency converter click here.

This condo was close to the Mae Ping river and the popular tourist attraction of the Night Bazaar with an abundance of shops, stalls and restaurants. It is also home to many of the city’s top hotels and is very popular for short term visitors given its proximity to entertainment venues and the moated old city which also has many guest houses catering to holiday rentals in Chiang Mai.

Apartments for rent long term can be found ranging from older style buildings which are normally cheaper, to ultra-modern condos.

In contrast, the Nimmanhaemin area of Chiang Mai has a different vibe, without the hustle and bustle of the night markets and is very popular for long term expats and young digital nomads who are attracted to Chiang Mai given its low cost of living.

It is home to many of the best coffee shops which seem to be on every second street and it’s common to meet backpackers and young travellers using the coffee shops as a working space.

Nimmanhaemin has many of the newer condo buildings which are located relatively close to each other and it’s quite easy to visit a few condo buildings within one or two blocks of each other.

For a preview of a 1 Bedroom condo in Nimmanhaemin area check below.

Styles of accommodation – New or Old Condo Building

For anyone looking for a rental apartment in a new condo, Chiang Mai Nimmanhaemin area has plenty to choose from, with many new projects having been constructed in recent years.

The newer buildings cater well to western styles with modern amenities such as pool, gym and some have coffee shops and rooftop relaxation areas.

Rooftop of Condominium Chiang Mai
Ros enjoying a drink at the rooftop of condo in Chiang Mai

The rooms come fully furnished with Television, lounge, fridge, air-conditioning, kitchen with microwave, hob cooking plates and range hood. Most however do not include built in oven or dishwasher. Bedrooms will include King size beds which are the norm in Thailand.

Cutlery, cooking utensils, bedding and linen are all included so it’s quite easy to move straight in. Any additional personal items can be easily purchased from nearby department stores or markets.

The apartments in the newer buildings tend to be smaller than the older buildings but comfort levels are quite good, and you are sure to find something suitable. Rental prices will naturally be higher than older buildings which reflect the amenities available.

Although also available in some of the older buildings you will generally find that the newer buildings will have fibre internet connections wired directly to rooms. High speed Internet access in Chiang Mai is both reliable and affordable. Depending on the building you may find that internet access is included in the monthly rental.

The older condo’s will generally have larger living spaces. The room setup will have most amenities including fridge, microwave, cooking hob and cutlery. Lounge area will have sofa and Television and the bedrooms a king size bed. Again, most essentials should be included. You will often find in many of the condos new and old, a washing machine.

Some older buildings may have a pool and gym but usually not to the standard of the newer buildings. The furnishings in the older buildings although functional will often be much older and bathrooms will often reflect the age of the building. 

One advantage the older buildings have, is that they are often in great locations and the rooms larger. Rental prices will also be lower. You may be lucky as we have and find a room in these buildings that has recently been renovated.

At the top end of the scale is the luxury condominium. Chiang Mai like any large modern city has a selection of properties that have every amenity you could possibly want with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, including spa’s, Study, media rooms and high-end furnishings. For those seeking Chiang Mai luxury apartments many of the larger condo buildings usually have some penthouses.

Is it possible to buy property in Chiang Mai?

Foreigners are able to buy condominiums providing certain conditions are met and we know many expats, some from our home country of Australia that own their condos outright. Many of these Expats are in Thailand on a retirement visa. Click here if you would like to find out more about the Thailand Retirement Visa process.

To assist with purchasing property there are legal firms which specialise in foreigner real estate transfer, located in Chiang Mai. Apartments for sale are often targeted toward foreigners in many of the new condo projects.

Chiang Mai real estate for sale is also advertised by many of the local real estate agents. Purchasing property in Thailand can be tricky and it is wise to seek legal advice before signing any purchase contracts. Lanna Lawyers are a well respected law firm in Chiang Mai.

Last Words on apartments for rent Chiang Mai Thailand

Renting a condo in Chiang Mai is a straight forward process and we hope that you have found this guide useful.

If you would like to know more, or have additional suggestions feel free to reach out. We are always happy to know your thoughts. 


4 thoughts on “How to Rent a Condo in Chiang Mai Thailand”

  1. Gday Alan
    It was great to learn about the rental market in Chiang Mai from your well written article. Thanks very much. I intend to rent in Thailand from September to March each year when I retire next year (not sure exactly where).
    I noticed in your article that you do not have a car. Is this a logistical, financial or lifestyle decision? Can you utilise available public transport / hiring options to satisfy all your travel needs?
    I ask this because it was my intention to hire vehicles when I wanted to look around and visit place such as National Parks and remote villages. However, I have seen on the car rental sites that there is a limit of 65 years of age which will pretty much preclude me from doing this.
    How do you manage?

  2. Alan Cuthbertson

    Hi Mark thank you for your kind words. You are right we don’t have a vehicle. We choose not to be tied down with a vehicle, partly because transport options are plentiful and cheap within the main part of the city where we are located. The other reason is because we use Chiang Mai for our base for only part of the year so didn’t feel a need to buy any vehicle.

    In the main centre of Chiang Mai it’s very easy and cheap to get public transport such as songthaew (Red Bus with bench seat) Tuk Tuk or Grab Taxi.

    If we are travelling further afield we have in the past hired a red bus driver if it’s a location that can be reached and returned within a day. Alternatively we have taken small tours from local travel agents or travelled with friends that have cars.

    We haven’t hired any vehicles which has not in any way restricted our travels so far. Hope this helps. I’m sure you will love your time in Chiang Mai.

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