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

You should know in advance before searching a rental apartment.

Tips for searching a rental apartment in Japan

Leasehold estate like apartments or a detached house are usually rented through real estate agents. Here in Japan contacting landlords directly is no common.  On renting a house or apartment, please keep these things in mind.

  1. You should be able to find Real estate offices that show the listings of available apartments in their show windows in the area you want to stay.   They have their own site as well and update available apartments that they can deal with. But unfortunately, most of the conventional real estate companies don’t have an English speaking staff, and staffs are not very foreigner-friendly.
  2. What’s more, most landlords or real estate agencies are naturally reluctant to rent their apartments to foreigners who can not speak Japanese.  It could happen that you will be refused for renting categorically to avoid frictions.
  3. In the normal leasing contract, the period of a leasing contract is 2 years. It does not mean that you can not terminate the leasing contract for less than 2 years. In most of the cases, the lessee can terminate it by noticing 1 month before.  However, you should check the contractual clause about the penalty in the event the lessee terminates the leasing contract for less than 2 years.
  4. Regardless of that the landlord and real estate agents recognize that many foreigners stay in Japan for less than 2 years, they think that they want to rent their property to a normal Japanese because they will stay longer periods. That’s another reason why most landlords or real estate agencies are naturally reluctant to deal with a foreigner.
  5. You also have to submit the documents such as 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. This guarantor usually must be a Japanese national with a stable financial background.  If you can not find a Japanese guarantor, you will be advised to pay a guarantee fee for a guarantee company.
  6. Besides, please be noted that renting a property through real estate agency would cost initial fee additionally such as the amount of the security deposit, key money, etc.,
  7. Please remember that rent is not included utilities.  You need to contact each company to start the utilities including internet service providers.
  8. You also have to purchase furniture, appliances, curtain, and utensils, etc.,