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|Renting an Apartment in Japan|
|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 02 March 2008 07:37|
Renting an apartment in Japan is usually done by browsing through apartment cards in the windows of real estate agencies. It is rare to actually have any contact with a landlord before renting. Even after renting most things are done through the real estate agent.
Where can I search for apartments in Japan?
Listings can be found on boards on the sidewalk in front of the real estate agent (Fudosan) or in the windows. They usually have more inside if you ask.
There is still a lot of discrimination in Japan towards foreigners renting apartments. Some agents outright refuse to deal with foreigners. Just keep your head up and go to the next one. There are a few that will treat you as an equal, and help out in any way they can.
Apartments are usually rented for a minimum of 2 years. You will need to provide information about your financial background, and you will also need a guarantor (cosigner) who will need to be a Japanese citizen and earn at least 3 times the amount of rent.
If all is good and you are able to rent the place. It is time to break the bank with all the fees. You will usually be required to pay anywhere from 3 to 10 months rent in fees. In my personal experience the least amount of fees I have paid was 4 months rent and the most I have paid was 7 months rent.
What are the fees to rent an aprtment in Japan?
Tetsukekin - Reservation Fee (Usually 1 months’ rent)
This fee is paid when you apply for the apartment which holds it from being rented by someone else. It acts as a guarantee that you will rent the place. This fee is refundable after the final contract is signed.
Shikikin - Deposit (usually 1+ months’ rent)
This fee is to cover any damages done to the apartment when you move out. My experiences have been varied with the amount returned. It also can take a month or two before you will see the return. Don’t expect to get a full return even if you leave the place better then when you found it.
Reikin - Key Money (usually 1+ month’s rent)
This fee is actually a “gift” to the landlord. It is non-refundable.
Chukai Tesuryo – Real Estate Service Fee (1 months’ rent or less + tax)
The real estate agency will usually charge you a service fee equal to 1 months’ rent. The last place I rented charged me 1 month’s rent plus 1,680 yen for what I do not know.
Alternative - Guest Houses
If you are staying in Japan for 1 year or less you might be better off staying at a “Guest House ” (Gajin House.) They are virtually hassle free when it comes to finding and renting one with almost no fees usually a small refundable deposit of 10-20,000 yen. The rooms are much smaller though with rent costing the same as an apartment. But without the fees they are cheaper for short stays.
Guest Houses are more expensive in the long run, but perfect for shorter stays. If you plan on staying in Japan more than 1 year then getting an apartment is a much better idea. You can use a guest house as a base while you search for the perfect apartment. Remember take your time and find the best place that suits you!