Advisor for RENOVATION, REPAIR, REAL ESTATE and CONSTRUCTION for foreigners living in Japan

Rental Procedures and Contract Flow when renting housing.

Flow When Renting Housing

Search the property

Look for a rental apartment on the Internet.

If you find some of the properties that match your requirements, you contact the real estate agent.
*The properties on the Internet are not always available. There should be contained an OTORI BUKKEN (good looking property that lures the viewers).

Make an appointment with a real estate agent for looking at rental housing.
*When visiting a real estate agent, dress appropriately to give a good first impression to the agent. If you do not speak Japanese well, bring someone who does speak Japanese well with you when you visit a real estate agent.
You can state your housing requirements such as your budget, the nearest station, rent, size, and furnishings and equipment.
*Generally, a real estate agent will ask you about the following things such as Your name, occupation, co-occupants (number of people), income, Japanese language capability, the reason you are looking for housing, the kind of VISA, etc.
*Since in some cases you might be asked to fill out a rental application on the day you visit the agent, take identification (such as your residency card or passport) with you. You also might be asked if you have a guarantor. When forming a rental agreement in Japan, basically you have to provide a guarantor otherwise you are supposed to use a rental guarantee company. In case the tenant can not pay the rent, the guarantor is obligated to pay the rent.

*If you find housing that matches your requirements, go and look at it with the real estate agent. You can view housing free of charge. You do not need to apply to rent the apartment if you are not satisfied with it after viewing it.
A realtor shows you some of the rental housing.
*You should know in advance internal situation of Realtor.
*When viewing the housing [NAIKEN], check facilities such as the kind of Internet, the kitchen and air-conditioning, and check to make sure there is enough room for items such as a refrigerator and washing machine.
You should also check the surrounding environment and convenience such as the location of stations and bus stops, supermarkets, and convenience stores, post office, banks, hospitals, parks, etc.
Read more about NAIKEN

Application and contract

Once you have decided a housing you want to make a contract, you are to fill out the Property Rental Application [NYUKYO MOSHIOMISHO] *Unless you submit this application, the housing can not be held only for you. If the property is not managed by the real estate, he does not have a direct connection with the landlord. It means that he should not be delegated authority to keep it for a while.
Basically it’s first come, first served.
*You should be able to negotiate with rent, the starting date of the lease contract, deposit and facilities, etc. You can fill out your request on this Property Rental Application. But please note that if the request does not match with the condition of the landlord, your application may be rejected. The agent (landlord) normally never answer you the reason why it was rejected. The reason may be discriminatory because you are a foreigner.

The real estate agent and the landlord will conduct a tenancy examination [NYUKYO SHINSA] and if you pass the examination. You will proceed with a rental contract procedure.

Important Points Explanation of Property to be Leased [JYUYO JIKO SETSUMEISHO] Before signing the rental agreement, the real estate agent explain the important points to you
regarding the rental agreement and the housing.

You sign the rental agreement.
*Before signing the rental agreement, check the following items when receiving Important Points Explanation of Property to be Leased.
– Whether the rental agreement is a regular rental agreement or a fixed-term lease agreement.
Read more about the differences between a regular rental agreement and a fixed-term lease agreement.
– Ask about the amount of the security deposit, key money, etc., required at contract signing, and the amount of the Shikibiki (non-refundable restoration fee) if any.
– For a regular rental agreement, ask if there is an agreement renewal fee and if there is, how much it is.
– Can the housing be redecorated and is co-occupancy by anyone other than the tenants, or keeping pets, prohibited?
– What are the original condition restoration conditions? Check on the cost of original condition restoration at the time of vacating to prevent trouble from arising.
Read more about the original condition restoration conditions

You have to submit these documents (Passport, residency card, proof of earnings, employment certificate, student registration certificate, etc. If you have a guarantor, the guarantor also has to be submitted the proof of earnings. Since the guarantor should be Japanese, he/she has to attache the seal registration certificate [INKAN SHOUMEI], which is the certification to prove that the seal is registered.

Moving -in procedures

Once you have received the key, you can ask the agent to check the condition of the property, if possible. If you could point out the damaged point or dirt stains, etc on a floor layout and attach the photographs, it would be useful in avoiding trouble when you are moving out in the future. Also, be sure to check that all furnishings and equipment operate properly.

To start unities you have to contact them.
– Electricity: you should be able to find an application postcard near the circuit breaker box [BUREE KA]. You can fill out your name, address the usage start date, and mail it in. Otherwise, you can also do this procedure [DENKI NO SHIYO KAISHI (電気の使用開始)] on the Internet or phone. Please note that the electricity ID number of the property should be mentioned on the postcard. You don’t have to be present in the property on the designated date. They will come and read the meter.
*In Kansai area KANSAI DENRYOKU (関西電力) is electricity provider company.

– Gas: You have to contact a gas company ahead of time and request that the gas be turned on before the move-in
date. You must be present when the gas is turned on. You can also apply for starting the gas on the Internet. This procedure is called KAISEN (開栓). There is no application postcard like the one for electricity.
There are 2 kinds of Gas. One is TOSHI GAS (都市ガス), another one is PROPANE GAS (プロパンガス).
*In Kansai area OSAKA GAS (大阪ガス) is gas provider company.

– Water: You contact the section in charge of waterworks at your local government office and follow the procedure for having the water turned on. If there is an application postcard [SUIDO SHIYO KAISH MOUSHIKOMISHO](水道使用開始申込書), fill out your name, address, and usage start date and mail it in.

– Internet: You can choose the Internet Service Provider, and contact them.
I will write the article about Internet Service in Japan in the near future.