It’s easy to rent a home in Phuket, with options ranging from simple, unfurnished two or three-bedroom single-storey houses for less than 10,000 baht (US$325) a month to fully-furnished two or three-floor mansions with swimming pool and maid’s quarters for hundreds of thousands of baht.
Most home rental leases in Phuket can be made for three months or more, with some residences available for even shorter periods. The longer the lease, the better deal you can negotiate. If you don’t require the services of a hotel or villa resort, renting a home can be a comfortable holiday option.
Cheaper home rental is available in Phuket Town, Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn, and Kathu. These areas are in the hinterland, away from the bustle of the tourist dominated west coast, but within easy reach of the southern beaches. They are also fairly near the international school.
Another popular area for renting family houses in Phuket is Bang Tao, above Kamala and Surin. Pricier rentals are along the west coast beach areas of Patong up to Surin and Cherng Talay. Renting houses on the east coast of Phuket, with the exception of those in marina complexes, can be cheaper as the beaches are not so pleasant and have fewer amenities.
Elsewhere in this section is a comprehensive list of Phuket property agents with plenty of houses to rent in Phuket. If you see a rental home you might be interested in, their agents will pick you up from your hotel and take you for a look. In general, the renter does not pay any fees for this service.
For those that know Phuket and are comfortable driving around, there are many houses with rental signs posted. Even if you are not familiar with the area, you can hire a car with driver for around 1,500 baht a day (without petrol) and go house hunting yourself.
Those looking for a low-end market rental in Phuket may want to hire a motorbike to get into the small streets, and ask around at local restaurants. Sometimes rental homes are not well advertised, more on the grapevine. If all else fails, you can try posting an ad with details of what you are looking for on the websites of the Phuket Post and Phuket Gazette.
Once you’ve found the home rental you are looking for, remember to read the contract carefully. If only a Thai version is available and you cannot read it, make sure you have a legal translation made by a reputable service when renting houses in Thailand. Ask if the landlord or management company will assist you with getting phone, internet service and utilities, and establish the manner in which these will be paid. It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to set up these services on your own.
Furthermore, it is common in Thailand for landlords to expect three (yes three!) months rent equivalent as a deposit, as well as a month’s rent in advance. No interest is payable on this and often people find themselves in dispute over getting the full amount back, with many landlords believing that the wear and tear on the house is sufficient to justify this.
In short, be astute when choosing a landlord and get a firm agreement on who pays for what maintenance as Thais are not known for putting much effort into upkeep of a place once its built or rented. You can avoid this when renting houses in Phuket by dealing with a foreign-managed agent who will understand your ethical expectations.