Insurance and Tax

Find out what the insurance and tax requirements are for rented accommodation in Thailand...

Insurance

Rental insurance is not a common practice in Thailand and is not required by law (although with a more expensive property, the landlord may request that the tenant has insurance cover). Insurance companies offer rental coverage for foreigners as well as locals.

The following are usually covered by household insurance but it is necessary to check the individual policy's fine print:

  • Water damage
  • Tsunami damage
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Fire damage
  • Broken windows
  • Furnishings and valuables

Taxes

The landlord is legally responsible for paying House and Land Tax, which is 12.5 percent of the rent received, unless this is less than market rent, in which case the tax can be assessed on deemed market rent. Although this is the landlord's obligation, in practice many leases include a covenant by the tenant to pay this tax direct to the Revenue Department.

Furthermore, in practice many landlords will use two or three documents when they rent out property. The first document is a lease of the house or condominium, the second may be a Service Agreement for the use of furniture and the third may be a Service Agreement for services provided e.g. cleaning of common parts, supply of telephone, etc. House and land tax is only chargeable under the first document, but the second or third documents will attract VAT at 7% (currently) so it is more tax effective for the landlord to use several documents, and the "rent" is actually weighted and payable as a "service fee".

When a prospective tenant is negotiating to rent property, the documentation should be studied carefully to make sure the tax and other obligations are clearly and unambiguously described.