We find it necessary to remind renters in Bangkok to check the way utility bills are paid when taking up a tenancy.

Government Electricity and Water Bills

Normally, utility bills from the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) are sent to the owner of the owner of the condo or house, at the address of the property being rented.

This is fine as a tenant receives the bill in their mailbox and can pay it in the normal way. Payment of these official bills can be made at branches of 7 - Eleven, Family Mart, the MEA or MWA itself, as well as banks etc. We do not recommend settng up direct payments from bank accounts as it can take many weeks to stop them when no longer required.

Private Electricity and Water Bills

Seldomly, and this is what a prospective tenant must watch out for, landlords have the utility bills sent directly to them and then they send an invoice at a higher rate than the official rate, to the tenant. Of course this is perfectly legal but something to bear in mind.

This is the case for 'serviced apartments', a very small percentage of condominiums, and for some houses.

The landlords this applies to will offer the property at a cheap rent but charge more for the utilities. This is fine if you work and are out of property most of the time, but if you use a lot of electricity or water, a property rented at a cheap rate becomes expensive.

It should also be noted that some 'serviced apartments' charge a set fee for water usage whether you use any or not. But again, if you use a lot then you could save money but you would have to use a lot.

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