FAQ on renting

Answering your questions

Unfortunately, in most cases this is difficult. But there are photos and sometimes 360 degree photos, plus a detailed plan of the room available.

A Guarantor is either a financially secure Japanese national residing in Japan or can also be a company that is registered in Japan. It is common for Japanese nationals to use a relative as Guarantor. If you are an individual that does not have anyone available to be Guarantor or working for a company that will not be Guarantor, you can use a guarantor company.

These companies usually charge a one-off fee of 50% of rent and a renewal fee of 10,000 Yen per year. Not all properties allow Guarantor companies so your range of available apartments will be limited.

It is a payment required for a new tenant to pay the owner. Unlike bond money, the tenant cannot claim back this money at the end of the contract. In many cases, upon signing the contract, the new tenant even agrees to pay “Key” money in addition to the traditional two to three months’ security deposit. This is a traditional gesture of thanks to the property owner for allowing rental of their home. Some owners do not charge any key money to attract potential customers due to high initial costs putting a lot of people off. However, these property owners compensate the loss of key money by charging a slightly higher rent to balance out the difference.
This applies to both Japanese and non-Japanese. If you stay longer, sometimes paying key money becomes cheaper compared to higher rent with no key money.

The maintenance fee pays for the maintenance of the common areas (hallways, elevator, trash room, etc.) in your building.

It depends on property. There are pet-friendly apartments. But by default most apartments do not allow pets, if not stated otherwise.

Once the move-in date is decided, you can set up the utilities. The details might depend on the property you choose, but your agent might help you to choose and contact utility providers.

Long-term rental apartments in Japan typically come unfurnished and do not include a refrigerator or washing machine, unless otherwise stated in the listing.

Some of the bills you need to pay every month include utilities (electricity, gas, and water) as well as your Internet service. While it will depend on your actual usage, the total cost for utilities is roughly 10,000 yen per person per month.

Depending on your contract or the property you are renting, you may also need to pay a monthly fee to a guarantor company or other services.

When you make an application for a rental property, there is normally a screening process which takes around 5 days. If you pass the screening, then you can proceed to the contract signing and payment of initial fees. For applications with no issues in the screening or contract signing process, it usually takes around 2 weeks from the date of application to the date when you can move in.

While the process may last shorter than 2 weeks in some cases, it is a safe bet to assume that it will take at least 2 weeks before you can move in to a new property.

Ideally, you should start searching for a new apartment around 2 weeks to 1 month before your planned move-in date. If the property you are interested in is already vacant, your rental contract can normally begin within 2 weeks from the date of application.

If you cannot speak Japanese, we offer translation support. We also provide a thorough explanation of the contract, so there is no need to worry.

1/3rd of gross salary. The rule is one third of your Gross Salary as an acceptable level. If you are looking at an apartment that is more than one third of your gross salary, there is a likelihood that the property owner will decline your application.

You will need your passport and residence card, proof of income documents. Depending on your status in Japan, you might also be asked to provide your certificate of eligibility or employment letter, student ID if you are a student. A japanese bank account and phone number as well as domestic emergency contact and guarantor or guarantor company’s contact information.

Most lease contracts in Japan are valid up to two years. Please confirm before signing the contract.

Contracts can usually be renewed. But in some rare cases the lease period is fixed and cannot be renewed. It differs from property to property.

Physically, every apartment is connected, but each tenant have to to sign a contract with an internet provider. It usually takes some time, so be sure to apply in advance. Also, provider most likely going to install and set up some equipment directly in your apartment, so you need to be present for that.