When is the peak moving season in Japan?
It is during February - March, as the Japanese financial year & school year starts from April and ends in March, meaning more people look for a place to move in before April.
Is the average rent price raised during the peak moving season?
Rent prices tend to be set slightly higher. Also, many owners charge additional “Key Money” (usually 2 months max) taking advantage of the fast moving and competitive rental market during the peak season.
Are buildings really resistant to earthquakes?
All buildings are designed to withstand earthquakes. The old earthquake resistance standard was introduced in 1950, and it was revised and updated to the new standard in 1981 (for wooden houses in 2000) after which all buildings are built to not collapse even from large earthquakes with the earthquake scale of upper 6 or higher.
How long does it take to find and move into a new place?
It heavily depends on the situation but it usually takes about 1-2 months in case of a personal lease contract, and 2 – 3 months in case of a corporate lease contract.
Is it difficult to rent properties without speaking Japanese?
We will support you throughout the renting process and your lease period so no Japanese needed, although some landlords/management companies require tenants to speak Japanese to avoid any miscommunication.
Can I rent properties only for a few months?
There are some rental apartments designed for a short term lease, which are usually furnished and utilities-included. The minimum lease period is a month and most of them are located within the central area Tokyo/Yokohama.
Are there any rental apartment with a gym and a swimming pool?
Despite the limited numbers on the rental market, there are some luxury rental properties with such facilities.
Am I allowed to rent out/Airbnb my properties whilst I am away on holiday?
Unfortunately, it is not allowed unless you own the property. Otherwise, your lease may be cancelled by the landlord and a penalty would also be imposed as per the contract conditions.
Can I keep pets in my property?
Some properties conditionally allow pets with additional procedures to register them, and it also depends on the size of your pets. Some only allow small dogs whilst some allow large dogs as well, but many properties are still not pet-friendly.
Am I allowed to play musical instruments in my property?
There are some rental apartments that allow you to play certain musical instruments although options are very limited.
Can I invite my friends to my place and do a BBQ/home party?
Unfortunately, most apartments do not allow BBQs as it involves flame and smoke which might cause a housefire or dispute between tenants. If you live in a free-standing house with a garden, it wouldn’t be a problem to do a BBQ unless you’re being against etiquette to be overly loud. Home parties would also be okay with the understanding that you shouldn’t be bothering your neighbours.
Can I renovate my rental apartment?
Most lease prohibits you from making any renovations or big changes to your rental apartment unless upon the landlord’s approval. You can place furniture or do decorations, but if you made any permanent changes that require restoration work to revert it back to the original condition, some restoration fees would be incurred at the end of your lease period.
How do I use a Japanese room with Tatami mats?
We use a Japanese room as a guest room, living room, or bedroom. Tatami mats are easy to get scratches so it is better to put a rug below furniture in Tatami rooms, which is why many Japanese people use Futon, folding soft mattress, not to damage the Tatami mats.
Is the rent price of a popular property raised when it gets multiple applicants at the same time?
Landlords do not raise the rent based on the amount of demand. Rental applications are mostly first come and first served, and the second applicant needs to wait and see how the first application goes, meaning it is very important to secure the position of the first applicant.
How am I supposed to deal with housing problems if I don’t speak Japanese?
If you signed the lease contract through us, you can always turn to us during your lease period. Some management companies may also offer English support but there are not many.
Is it possible to change a lease term in the middle of the lease period? Also, is it possible to extend a lease?
There are 2 different lease types : ① Standard/Ordinary Lease Contract ② Fixed Term Lease Contract. Lease term cannot be changed with both types during the lease period once the contract is signed. Standard/Ordinary Lease Contract can be renewed, whereas Fixed Term Lease Contract is not renewable and can only be resigned with revised lease conditions. For lease termination, a penalty fee (usually one month of rent) will be imposed in case you terminate your lease contract within the first 12 months.
Are there any fully furnished apartments/houses?
There are furnished options on the rental market but they are generally designed for a short term lease (1 month - 1 year). Most rental properties designed for a long term lease (over 1 year) are not furnished nor utilities-included (Gas, Water, Electricity and Internet) except for high-end rental properties aimed for expat community, which are usually semi-furnished with a fridge, a washing machine, an oven, and a dish washer. Additional installation such as curtains and internet may also be negotiable upon the contract as well.
Do rental properties offer free internet?
Only some newer buildings for a long term lease, and furnished rental properties offer free internet. Otherwise, you will be required to prepare a modem/Wi-Fi router yourself and pay for the internet at your cost.
Do rental properties usually come with a free car parking space?
Car parking space is usually available with an extra charge except houses with its own car parking attached to the property. If your property had a mechanical car parking, please make sure your car fits the size and weight limit.
What is included in rent?
In general, rent does not include anything. Most rental properties are not utilities-included except for serviced apartments (furnished apartments for a short term lease).
Is it mandatory to use a guarantor company as a foreigner when renting a property?
You’re required to use a guarantor company unless the lessee is a very large and well known corporation “regardless of nationality”. The same condition applies to Japanese tenants.
What is an emergency contact person? Can it be my foreign friend?
An emergency contact person is the first person the landlord or management company will get in touch with in an emergency in case they couldn’t directly reach the tenant. This is not a joint guarantor and your emergency contact person does not have any obligations to pay rent on behalf of the tenant. It needs to be a Japanese person or a person who speaks Japanese proficiently.
Is it possible to apply for a property without viewing?
It is possible if the landlord accepts it. But in general. you are supposed to view a property before applying.
What kind of documents are required for the application?
The necessary documents are as below.
1. Residence Card
3. Certificate of Employment
4. Evidence of Annual Income
5. Information about an Emergency Contact Person
6. Japanese Phone Number
1. Corporate Profile
2. Financial Statements
3. Registration Certificate of Company Address
4. Registration Certificate of Company Seal
5. Residence Card
7. Certificate of Employment
8. Information about an Emergency Contact Person
9. Japanese Phone Number
How long does it take to get the keys after applying?
It usually takes about a week for the screening process, and another week for the paperwork and payments. It is said that it takes about 2 weeks in case of a personal lease and 3 weeks in case of a corporate contract.
What is initial costs and how much is it?
It depends on your circumstances. Please check here for the breakdown of initial costs.
Can I pay the initial costs/rent by credit card or overseas bank transfer?
Most landlords require the payments by domestic wire transfer, although there are some landlords who accept credit card. In case of a corporate lease contract, overseas bank transfer is also accepted.
When will the deposit be returned to me?
It returns to you about 1-2 months after your move-out. A cleaning fee and restoration fee will be deducted from the deposit and you will have the remaining amount returned.
Can I receive the keys before making the initial payments?
Unfortunately, No. The keys will be handed over to you only after you complete all the payments.
How do I understand the lease conditions if I don’t understand Japanese language?
We will issue a word-to-word English translation of the official contract and disclosure statement (all legally binding documents have to be in Japanese), and explain what is stated on the documents for you to fully understand the clauses prior to signing.
How do I arrange for utilities for the new place?
We will arrange for utilities on your behalf so you can start using Gas, Water, and Electricity from the lease start date. Only the internet cannot be arranged by the third party, but we can introduce an internet company who offers English support.
What is Move-in Inspection for?
It is for taking records of the actual conditions of your property which we use for move-out
inspection to distinguish what damage were originally there, and what damage are made by you, so that you won’t be charged for any unreasonable restoration fee.
What happens if rent is overdue?
If by mistake or accidentally, one or two times should not be a huge problem if you make the overdue payments ASAP. However, a penalty for late rent will be imposed in case it continues or you did it intentionally.
How do I renew or re-sign my lease contract?
If you wish to renew your Standard Lease Contract, it will automatically be renewed so no action needed on your side. If you wish to cancel it on the other hand, you’re required to give a written cancellation notice to the landlord 1 or 2 months prior to your lease end date otherwise you will be legally forced to pay the lease renewal fee. The management company will send you a notification letter beforehand so you know you’re close to the due date. You can contact us and we will support you on the cancellation procedure. Fixed Lease Contract is not renewable and you will only be able to re-sign it after both you and your landlord agree with the new lease conditions.
Will there be a rent increase if I renew/re-sign my lease contract?
It depends on the market situation but the rent is not always increased at renewal/ resignation. Mostly your lease will be renewed/re-signed with the same conditions, but we have had clients whose lease had a rent increase (appx 5 – 10%).
Am I allowed to make small holes to put pictures on the wall?
We would highly recommend using specific hooks that you stick on the wall to not leave any holes. It might not be a problem if the holes were so tiny you can’t even recognise them, but if the management company counts it as damage, you would be charged for a restoration fee for the holes when moving out.
Can I place stuff like tables, chairs or plants on the balcony?
Yes you can. But please make sure to put them back inside when it’s a typhoon or windy outside so they won’t be blown away from the balcony and cause a significant incident.
What are the steps for the lease cancellation and move out?
We will first submit the cancellation notice to the landlord to fix the cancellation date. You can then start packing your stuff and empty your place by the move-out date. All the cancellation for utilities will be handled on our end. On the move-out date, we will have a move out inspection, and you will return the keys.
I heard you can’t get the deposit back in Japan. Is that true?
You will get your deposit back but the full amount is not guaranteed. Before the deposit returns to you, required fees like a cleaning fee and a restoration fee will be deducted from your deposit, which means that the amount of deposit you will get depends on how you use the property. If you severely damaged the property to the point where the deposit cannot cover the amount of those fees, you will be required to pay extra for the restoration.
What is move-out date and cancellation (termination) date?
”Move-Out Date” is the day you return the keys and move out from your place. Whereas “Cancellation (Termination) Date” is the day until which rent will be charged. Both dates can be set on the same day although it will be quite hectic.
What is “Move-Out Inspection” for?
On the move out date, we check the conditions of your property comparing with the initial conditions using the records we take at the time of move-in inspection so we know what damage(s) were originally there, what damage(s) are made by you, and what damage(s) are normal wear and tear. We will always explain what is considered “Normal Wear and Tear” and what is not when you sign the lease contract for you to know what damage(s) you will be responsible for.
Can I still enter my place after returning the keys?
No you cannot. So please make sure you take all your stuff before returning the keys.
Am I supposed to clean my property before moving out?
There is no obligation to clean your property before moving out. However, that does help you reduce the cleaning fee which will be deducted from your deposit before returning to you. But either way, please do not arrange a house cleaning yourself as it will be arranged by the landlord regardless. We will check the quotation of the cleaning fee with you and make sure it is fairly calculated.
Can I leave some stuff/garbage if I could not arrange for garbage disposal before moving out?
You’re supposed to fully empty your property before moving out. But if you couldn’t, the management company will sort it out and the garbage disposal cost will be deducted from the deposit before returning to your bank account.