I’ve been living in Thailand for five months and using Airbnb I’ve noticed an unusual pattern of requests made by hosts in this country. The hosts request guests to pay for the electric and water bills and to give them security deposits upon arrival. Many of them expect these payments to be made to them or their co-host in cash.
Here’s how it went for me. I booked a studio apartment in Pattaya for 30 days. The host then informed me I had to pay electricity and water (at the time I had no problem with it) and then the host advised me to get in contact with his co-host. The co-host, however, was not listed as a co-host. That was a red flag as I believe guests should only communicate on the Airbnb platform and not give out our cell numbers.
Upon my arrival the co-host requested a security deposit of 3000 Thai baht. I told her I couldn’t pay her that. I then contacted Airbnb and told them what had transpired. The Airbnb case manager communicated to the host and informed him that he cannot make requests for guests to give him any payments in the form of cash, only through Airbnb. Since he requested water and electricity to be paid, then he must submit documentation through the Resolution Center. At the end of my check out he did not do that.
Here’s the scam that I figured out. So many of these hosts in Thailand rent out these rooms and use them for Airbnb. When they ask for utilities to be paid they make a request for a “security deposit”, right? But that’s for their apparent utilities they are charging you for. Think about it. If water and gas comes out to either greater, equal or less than the deposit you gave the host, they will just pay you back the difference in whatever you may pay. If you change your mind and don’t want to pay the utilities they will threaten to just keep your whole deposit. That’s what people do here. So be aware of this when you come to Thailand and book long stays.