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Apartment Deposit Problems..


Enjibenji

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Basically, I was staying at Sitara Place in Bangkok, from September - January, just over 4 months. My contract finished 2 days ago, and I left the room. The procedure there is, they will check everything and then return the deposit once everything is checked.. by the way I should say my deposit is 38 000 baht.

I got a call today saying that there was damage to x x x x and x pieces of furniture and I would have to pay for it. Unknown to me that I must have went and took a hammer to these pieces of furniture in 'one of those times', I went back to check the room and see. I should state now that in the contract, it says I do not have to pay for ordinary wear and tear, and that a maid will come to clean the apartment once contract is finished, in which I payed 1000 baht previously for.

I went there and they had a printed an A4 paper with 11 pictures or so of the so called 'damage'. They had wrote the amount I would have to pay to get it fixed (or not pay, deducted from my deposit). Now the fun part happens. Went inside, shown first piece of 'damage' - a bit of candlewax on the back bed board. Supposedly I'd have to pay 500 baht for this (that was the sum written under the picture of this piece of 'damage'). When the office girl showed me, she pointed to it, touched it by mistake, and when she done that, the wax was basically falling off. No effort needed.

Another piece - some coloured nail polish on the sofa. By the way, I should say that the sofa is a piece of shit and wouldn't cost more than 2000 baht for the whole thing. Not that I was using nail polish - was the girlfriend one time when she was staying. And the boss did look a bit dumb when she told him a product called stay clean, readily available in bangkok, will clean it easy - about 60 baht to buy in shops. Why dumb? Because he said that will be another 3000 baht deduced from my deposit, because they'd 'have to change the whole sofa cover'.

Some more stupid things like this, something which I could have cleaned in about 5 minutes. But they wanted to suck me dry of my money. 500 baht in a few places for stuff like that.

3 chairs had small chips on the legs, I know I wasn't the cause for them all (if any!). Why? In my 4 months of living there I must have used them about 4 times to sit down on. They weren't knocked over once. And they are pretty solid chairs, even if they were knocked over, it probably wouldn't do any damage. It would take something pretty hefty and strong to cause it. Think that is another 4000 baht or so he's wanting to take out my deposit.

However, the 2 biggest ones were damage to the mattress.. costing 5000 baht to REPLACE, and a sliding door of the ''teak wardrobe'' which had a fuc_king tiny chip or 2 in it. I should say that he said I will DEFINATELY have to pay for them.

The mattress is in perfect condition but has about 3 springs broken on one side of it. I first questioned the office lady to how long ago the mattress was changed when she showed me it, she said 6 months ago. Later, when I was talking with the boss, i asked him - he said 1 year ago. It's already relatively old already. I questioned him, if some overweight/big guy was staying in the apartment, and some springs broke because of his weight, would he have to pay for a new mattress? His answer was yes, of course. I'm about 70Kg, I don't go jumping about on beds anymore or anything like that. Bullshit. He even had the cheek to say that I can have the mattress if I want for 5000 baht. The spring damage could have been caused 1 day after purchurse by chance. It's only natural that over time springs are going to break. But yet he's expecting to take 5000 baht to replace it.

Next, the wardrobe door.. the damage would be less than the size of a 1 baht coin which is on the bottom side edge of it... and this would cost 6000 baht due to having to take it out, pay for someone to come collect, take it to another city '2 hours away', repair, and come back and fit again. By the way, it's quite a big door, but it aint solid, it's light and hollow. To make it a bit worse, in all honestly I can't remember doing it, I didn't take a hammer to it, nor did I go about kicking it, nor did I walk into it. Infact, you'd have to if you wanted to damage it, the place it has the chip is on the side edge at the bottom. It didn't hit with the other door on the other side of it or anything like that too, when you open it, it has a stopper on it to 'protect it' from banging with the other sliding door. To make it worse, when I was cleaning the floor around that area before, I didn't see any damage at all. And then, the boss said i tried to repair it before because he saw some black tape or something. Well, I certainly didn't try to repair it at any time.

I'm going back in 2 days once he has 'assessed' the damage. As I stated previously, he said I'm already getting 11 000 baht of my deposit deduced at least. Once again, the contract does say any wear and tear damage should not be payed for.

I think he's trying to play me for dumb. Probably thinking, and trying to take advantage of the fact that he knows i'm young and will let it slip (he knows i'm 18 years old).

So... any ideas? Anyone have this problem before? I have no problem if serious damage was done by me (I broke something a while back and had to pay 2000 baht for it.. which by the way, was steep for what it was), but I won't let him keep my hard earned money.

Edited by Enjibenji
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Yes. It is quite common for condos and rentals to try and take your deposit. I stayed in one condo that did not want to return my deposit and started to make up all kinds of ridiculous stories. My deposit was one month's rent, so I just stayed an extra month and left a nice mess for them to clean up.

I would not rent a place that asked for an exorbitant deposit as I don't trust ever seeing it again in Thailand. I'm sorry to hear about your hassles.

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Unfortunately, this seems to be standard practice in a lot of areas and the only way around it is by taking photo's before you move in and taking photo's when you are moving out in front of them, however, that is, after the fact for you and unfortunately, they already have your money.

Fighting to get it back can be quite difficult, to the point, sometimes that you give up and go away or you have a flight to catch to your home country and then you are not a bother anymore.

The only time that I've seen a friend get his deposit back from renting was when he went to the owners house with a Lawyer after the owner had tried to avoid paying him three times previously by making up damages that he was supposed to have done. The Lawyer only said a few words, holding the agreement in his hands and the money was suddenly there. Other people, on other occassions have not been so lucky!

I hope all goes well for you and you have success. It's time these people realise that foreigners have to work hard for their money too.

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Why did you move out before getting the deposit back? Normal proceedure would be; on your last day a check would be done on the inventory you signed and condition of the apartment. When all is agreed you hand over the keys for the deposit and leave.

it's standard at that apartment, written in the contract. After it has ended, the room will be checked, and then deposit is given.

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Why oh why do so many people put up with these ripoff antics and come back for more ? Look over accomodation BEFORE moving in and write it down and have it signed by SOME-ONE RESPOSIBLE (IF THAT IS POSSIBLE) , TiT , THE money extraction country , I left thank my lucky stars , the door is wide open .

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TIT my arse: Sorry, but this happens the world over and it's especially bad for young people.

I remember renting a flat in the UK as a student: Being a bit green and a first-time renter, those landlords smell you a mile off and they will've spent your deposit before you've finished moving your stuff in. Your only hope is to smile, be polite and refer back to your lease agreement. You may negotiate a less obscene deduction but you haven't a snowball's hope of getting your full deposit back. Sorry.

As far as I'm concerned, this is understood the second one signs the lease on a rental - it's a whaddyoucallit? An occupational hazard. I'm sure there are fair and reasonable landlords out there... it's just that all the ones I've ever had cause to do business with are knobheads.

Edit: way to avoid it next time - take the landlord around the flat with you when you move in and log every little nick and scratch on the place. Write it up. Sign it - both of you.

Edited by Hannahcopacabana
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TIT my arse: Sorry, but this happens the world over and it's especially bad for young people.

I remember renting a flat in the UK as a student: Being a bit green and a first-time renter, those landlords smell you a mile off and they will've spent your deposit before you've finished moving your stuff in. Your only hope is to smile, be polite and refer back to your lease agreement. You may negotiate a less obscene deduction but you haven't a snowball's hope of getting your full deposit back. Sorry.

As far as I'm concerned, this is understood the second one signs the lease on a rental - it's a whaddyoucallit? An occupational hazard. I'm sure there are fair and reasonable landlords out there... it's just that all the ones I've ever had cause to do business with are knobheads.

Edit: way to avoid it next time - take the landlord around the flat with you when you move in and log every little nick and scratch on the place. Write it up. Sign it - both of you.

So what did I suggest in my post ? You can cry down your country of origin as much as you wish IT WILL NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS IN THAILAND , why do people do this so often ? Is it just to ease your pain and excuse you from having learned little from past experience ?

Sorry about your arse , but this is your chosen home , help to eliminate these problems , not excuse them with flea bitten past experiences , this is Thailand WITH ALL ITS WARTS .

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Hi Benji.

Sorry to read about your problem.

You're right, he is trying it on because of your age. (18)

Do you know 2 large farangs who could accompany you back to the landlord who look menacing?

It's worth a try.

38kb is a lot of loot!

What is the name of the apartments & location?

good luck :o

edit: Sitara Place

You could also tell him that you will name him and his apartments on "The Thai Landlord's Blacklist" :D (for foreigners)

Edited by GungaDin
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Why did you move out before getting the deposit back? Normal proceedure would be; on your last day a check would be done on the inventory you signed and condition of the apartment. When all is agreed you hand over the keys for the deposit and leave.

30 days after is normal, we wait for the phone bill, water and electric bills.

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Why oh why do so many people put up with these ripoff antics and come back for more ? Look over accomodation BEFORE moving in and write it down and have it signed by SOME-ONE RESPOSIBLE (IF THAT IS POSSIBLE) , TiT , THE money extraction country , I left thank my lucky stars , the door is wide open .

thats the correct procedure, and when you leave you go check with the owner and manager and compare with the original list and let him sign before you return the keys. That's a standard procedure all over the world.

In my country the quarantee money must be deposit in an special joined account that needs both signatures before the money can be released, try this the next time you rent.

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The best way for both parties is to check the property together when it's time to vacate, obviously the landlord should retain a reasonable amount to cover any bills (until they arrive and can be paid) with the left over cash being returned to the tenant.

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Sorry to hear this - I've been ripped off too in the past. And as a landlord I know how to handle this properly.

Your biggest problem will be the fact that you are leaving the country. There is no time for a lot of things to do. Do you have a friend who is Thai and speaks English? If yes, i would try informal negotiation by involving the Tourist Police.

Reward them all for their time. Have someone write up your side in a conscise way, focusing on the key issues and not getting carried away on the small and ridiculous stuff like the wax.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

As a landlord, one has to depend on a detailed moving in report which has to be signed by a tenant. Any issues should be listed in it - like chips and marks etc. Without such a signed report - tough.

It is clear what the boss wants - he probably spent your money and he has been playing this game for many years. You will leave the country soon, right? So forget all notions of what's right and try to be pragmatic.

Negotiate a better deal with help! Then move on. / I would consider bringing some of the oxy something stain remover stuff in case of blemishes on a carpet. And you already know how to remove the nail polish stain. Maybe you can rent a steam cleaner for an hour with someone to do the cleaning? In case you are being charged for cleaning...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

My landlady charged 10 bloody Baht per kw/h. It took me over an hour to get this reduced. You are a sucker to a landlord -

now do plan a knock out in round 1, not some fight over 12 rounds. Enlist help and be prepared for injustice like meeting the boss in the middle.

Smile and bow and try to get a better deal.

Good luck!

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Ripping off security deposits isn't a Thai thing. It's got to be worldwide, because greed isn't a rare character trait. I'm the only person I know who always gets every penny of my security deposits back. I do an incredibly time consuming detailed inventory, indicating ALL pre-existing damages at the begining of the lease. I clean the place up before leaving, so that it gives a really nice first impression to the inspector when they walk in. All the landlords ever need to do to my apartment is repaint and clean the carpet, required between tenants by law in the state where I lived not chargable to the tenant.

But it's those pages of existing damage that save me the money.

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So what did I suggest in my post ? You can cry down your country of origin as much as you wish IT WILL NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS IN THAILAND , why do people do this so often ? Is it just to ease your pain and excuse you from having learned little from past experience ?

Sorry about your arse , but this is your chosen home , help to eliminate these problems , not excuse them with flea bitten past experiences , this is Thailand WITH ALL ITS WARTS .

:o

Now now, there's no need to get defensive: If you re-read my post in the cold light of day, you'll see that I actually wholeheartedly support your sound advice, good sir.

The only aspect with which I took issue was your assertion, along with several other posters, that this is a problem with Thailand specifically rather than being an age-old method for property owners the world over to fleece their tennants.

I think Cathyy said it far better (less antagonistically) than I did, tho. :D

edit: RE eliminating / solving the problem of landlord-ripoff syndrome, isn't that exactly what we're attempting to do here by identifying preventative measures?

Edited by Hannahcopacabana
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First of all, thanks everyone for the replies. Next time (if there is), i'll definately go around checking everything in the apartment beforehand.

Hi Benji.

Sorry to read about your problem.

You're right, he is trying it on because of your age. (18)

Do you know 2 large farangs who could accompany you back to the landlord who look menacing?

It's worth a try.

38kb is a lot of loot!

What is the name of the apartments & location?

good luck :o

edit: Sitara Place

You could also tell him that you will name him and his apartments on "The Thai Landlord's Blacklist" :D (for foreigners)

I'm here till the 21st of this month, so i've got a bit of time to get my money back, although i know it won't be it all.

I do have a girlfriend here, she's the same age as me, but it wouldn't have been very intimidating for the boss when we talked, but the good thing is she can help if any Thai language is needed. I was thinking next time i'll take a few other people along to help me out.

One of the worst things is, when there was a problem with a drunk guy in the apartment about 2 months ago about 4 in the morning (and he was a HUGE! western guy, woke up everyone in the apartment complex with his voice, and about 100 people were peering down from the lobby balconies from 2nd - 7th floor), I was the only one in the apartment block who went downstairs to try and calm things down, while the western guy was pushing the security about (2 guys), as well as the boss, and even hit his thai girlfriend when she was trying to calm him down.. it was pretty ugly. The boss' wife was very, very scared when her husband was getting the abuse from this guy, she was standing next to me.

The thing is, they bloody know that I came down to calm things down, and if it wasn't for me one of the security guys would have been mauled by the giant if I didn't step in and calm him down (the security guy was getting thrown about and pushed down the street onto cars, lamposts, everything).

But seems like they don't care one bit about this. I went out of my way to help, might have saved the boss a cut, a sore head or even a broken bone. He knows this, but still he wants the deposit..

Could the tourist police help? Does anyone know?

What about the normal police? Infact, my girlfriend's uncle is one of the heads of police for south Thailand, might be able to help me out? Her aunt's boyfriend is also a lawyer, but no idea if he would/could help, havn't seen him once in my time here.

thanks everyone for the help/replies so far anyway.

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Sorry to hear, but not at all surprised. Yes, this does happen all around the world, but I believe it is more prevalent here in Thailand. I agree with some of the other suggestions/comments.

Firstly, here, one should assume that at the end of the lease, you will more than likely have to fight tooth and nail for your deposit ( or most of it) to be returned. I also agree that you should ALWAYS take the time (disregarding the landlords sour face) and go through the place with a fine tooth combe, noteing down EVERY, even insignificant imperfections in the entire room/s and furniture and get them agreed to and SIGNED OFF by the landlord. And make sure you keep a signed copy. If the landlord is not prepared to do this walk away briskly. Before you sign an agreement, YOU are in the drivers seat, not the landlord.

This advice may not entirely guarantee the return of your security deposit (after genuine, agreed deductions) but you will definately give yourself a better edge. If all else fails, and you still feel you are being ripped off , don't just give in, stand your ground, but at last, remain dignified and avoid physical confrontation.

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Sorry to hear, but not at all surprised. Yes, this does happen all around the world, but I believe it is more prevalent here in Thailand. I agree with some of the other suggestions/comments.

Firstly, here, one should assume that at the end of the lease, you will more than likely have to fight tooth and nail for your deposit ( or most of it) to be returned. I also agree that you should ALWAYS take the time (disregarding the landlords sour face) and go through the place with a fine tooth combe, noteing down EVERY, even insignificant imperfections in the entire room/s and furniture and get them agreed to and SIGNED OFF by the landlord. And make sure you keep a signed copy. If the landlord is not prepared to do this walk away briskly. Before you sign an agreement, YOU are in the drivers seat, not the landlord.

This advice may not entirely guarantee the return of your security deposit (after genuine, agreed deductions) but you will definately give yourself a better edge. If all else fails, and you still feel you are being ripped off , don't just give in, stand your ground, but at last, remain dignified and avoid physical confrontation.

Like I said before, next time i'll check everything.. for sure :o There won't be any physical confrontation for sure, that won't get my deposit back.

Can i ask you, or anyone infact. If you were in my case, and a few springs broke in the mattress (not because you were jumping about, overweight or anything, must be about 3 springs on a year old mattress), would that go under 'wear and tear' in the contract? It's a natural thing that happens with all mattresses when used over time. But he's trying to hit me with 5000 baht for that one.

Also, can anyone translate at best, 'wear and tear' to Thai?

Thanks

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Tell the landlord that your girlfriends uncle is a cop and becasue you are not happy he has offered to come around and see the landlord and sort things out, tell him you don't want to trouble the uncle to do this, but unless he comes to a sensible compromise that is what will happen.

Best of luck

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if you know that you will move out from the apartment/Condo, do not pay rent for the last month. that way, your loss is limited to one month of the deposit (in case you pay the usual 2-months-deposit).

I wonder if anyone has actually made GOOD experiences with a landlord, who RETURNED the deposit, and if those landlords were Thai or foreigners.....

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Why did you move out before getting the deposit back? Normal proceedure would be; on your last day a check would be done on the inventory you signed and condition of the apartment. When all is agreed you hand over the keys for the deposit and leave.

Many apartments insist and write into the contract that the deposit less deductions will be returned 12 or 14 or 30 days after vacating the room.

Regarding siam 2007's request for apartments with good records on returning deposits, the Pakdeerach apartments, Ramkhamhaeng 89 & 101 have a very good record of returning deposits with no nonsense. Contrastingly, the Sirirat apartment blocks on Lad Phrao 140 always try to whittle the returned deposit down to as little as possible with ridiculous deductions e.g. 200 B for each Blu-Tac mark.

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Many apartments insist and write into the contract that the deposit less deductions will be returned 12 or 14 or 30 days after vacating the room.

Regarding siam 2007's request for apartments with good records on returning deposits, the Pakdeerach apartments, Ramkhamhaeng 89 & 101 have a very good record of returning deposits with no nonsense. Contrastingly, the Sirirat apartment blocks on Lad Phrao 140 always try to whittle the returned deposit down to as little as possible with ridiculous deductions e.g. 200 B for each Blu-Tac mark.

The Sethiwan group of apartment blocks in Sukhumvit insists on 45 days and even then tries to hold on to it. But then most other things can be a struggle with them too....

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guess it would be a good idea to post my experience then..

the argument story is a long one... we even (me and my girlfriend) called the police down to the apartment as well, but my girlfriend said after it was obvious that the apartment owners and police had a special relationship going on.

basically, they wanted 16 500 baht.

i argued.

then some more.

and some more.

i ended up giving 6000.

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Why did you move out before getting the deposit back? Normal proceedure would be; on your last day a check would be done on the inventory you signed and condition of the apartment. When all is agreed you hand over the keys for the deposit and leave.

30 days after is normal, we wait for the phone bill, water and electric bills.

Not normal for Thai people!! another classic rip the farangs off situation.

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To answer the usual Thais bashers. The following link is from a local Hong Kong forum. I know “Hilda”, she is a friend of my wife and she’s Thai!

http://www.discoverybayforum.com/cgi-bin/y...4297181;start=0

Landlord from hel_l, tenant from hel_l, you can find them everywhere in the world.

The only advise, old as the world as it is Latin : Caveat emptor !

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Here is how I play it Had 1 good landlord which I rewarded by redoing her place better than we moved i . She even let us break lease & pay only first & deposit-which she agreed to let us use. We had an unusual trust factor. I even repainted the house & got her a good tenant later.Never put out a lot in the beginning there are almost as many that will let you in with a first & last.

If they want first & last + deposit give them the option to reconsider. If they are adamant Roll on Many places to rent & few to fill the bill. The first rental we had the lady seemed nice till we rented the second year & she developed a bad gambling problem. The house was in drastic need of repairs. She told me on the second lease I was suppose to call her on that.& now I have to pay to fix Her House.<deleted>. Not my house. So instead of fixing the house. Knowing she was going to screw us on the deposit. We used all the last month to pay for the last month & 1/2 of the security deposit we loaded into a truck (what was usable) & repainted a portion of the house a nice red oxide primer. She was out of pocket 3-4 coats of paint a hot water heater all the locks . I left the house uncleaned & dug a portion of the backyard up for the rest of money in cool plants that she coveted.

In the U.S. when I was younger we used the electric oven as a in house BBQ when we found out the owner was going to jack us. Too bad for him the cop that lived next door didn't care for him as a friend & told us the value of the oven & the flooring would break us even. And to watch the fire close as he lived next door. My partner was older & a little more vindictive & busted a bunch of sheetrock & studs with the 20 LB. sledgehammer. He still wanted the owners head. I don't rent anymore but am wise to how it works. If you read the signs you can almost always tell if the landlords are shits.

While it does not get your money back, it definitely leaves the impression on the losers mind & if they stop to ponder why me..... They might just see the error of their ways.

In short I would never stick my neck out on more than first & last & always use up the security deposit as your last.

By the way red oxide primer is an absolute bitch to paint over. And I am more than fair & usually upgrade good landlords rentals if they are fair with me.

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