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Living In Japan For



Searching for a Place to Live


If you search for a place to live, it is important to consider commute time. It is also important to consider such factors as modes of transportation, including the time between connections, and whether or not express or limited express trains stop at the nearest station. It is recommended that you verify the types of facilities located in your neighborhood.

img¡üFloor Plan

Factors such as the size of the housing and the amount of sunshine largely affect the degree of comfort. You need to check the kitchen, bathroom/toilet and space for placing your washing machine and furniture.

¡üTypes of Residences

There are various types, such as manshon (modern apartments with fireproof construction), apato (traditional apartments with semi-fireproof construction), student dormitories and live-in rooms. Make a decision after giving due consideration to your own personality and lifestyle. Residential environments vary greatly depending on the property type.

¡üGakusei manshon (Student apartments)

These are residences for students only. They are recommended for people who do not want to be disturbed by other people and who value safety and comfort.

¡üManshon (Modern apartments)

Although functionally superior in terms of facilities, security, sound insulation, heat insulation and earthquake resistance, rents for this type are higher than those of traditional apartments.

¡üApato (Traditional apartments)

Generally, the rents are low, so they are recommended for people who place a priority on cost.

¡üStudent Dormitories

These are housing complexes for students only, but a caretaker or resident assistant (RA) resides in the property and provides assistance. They can also give you advice on day-to-day concerns and other matters.

¡üBoarding Rooms

These involve renting a room in a house or apartment and living with a family. Despite the facilities being less private, rents are more reasonable than traditional apartments or modern apartments.



imgThe contract process is: (1) Application; (2) Tenant screening; (3) Briefing on important matters and signing of contract; and (4) Handover of keys.
Prepare the documents required for the contract and then follow the procedures, making sure to thoroughly check the contract period, terms and other details.


Once you decide on the place you want to live, you need to apply.

¡üSubmitting Lease Application

Fill in your address, name, income, place of work, guarantor, etc. The landlord will determine whether or not the applicant is eligible to live there based on the information obtained through the tenant screening.
In most cases, a guarantor is required for a lease contract.

¡üVerifying Costs

After signing the contract, an application fee and down payment, security deposit, key money, renewal fee, brokerage fee, common area charge and other costs may be incurred.

Application fee¡§ It is paid before the contract in order to prove your intention to rent the room. It will be returned to you if the contract is not concluded. Even if the contract is concluded, it may be allocated to part of the security deposit or key money that you will be required to pay later. The amount usually ranges from 10,000 yen up to the equivalent of one month¡Çs rent.
Security deposit: This refers to deposit money to be applied to repair costs, rent in arrears and other such expenses. The balance will be adjusted when you move out. It is usually equivalent to two months¡Ç rent.
Key money: This is money paid to the landlord as a token of thanks. It is usually equivalent to two months¡Ç rent.
Brokerage fee: This fee is paid to the real estate agency that acted as the intermediary between you and the landlord. It is usually equivalent to one month¡Çs rent.
Common area charges: These are expenses necessary to maintain and/or manage common areas, common facilities, etc. You will be required to pay this every month together with your rent.

¡üVerification of Required Documents

Prepare required documents before concluding the contract. Since requirements differ according to the lessor (landlord / property management company), verify what documents you need to submit.

¡üBriefing on Important Matters and Contracting

The real estate agency will provide a briefing regarding the housing. If you have questions or concerns, make sure to raise them at this time. Ask if lease contracts and documents explaining important matters are available in your native language or a language you understand. Reliable real estate agencies affiliated with universities and schools may have prepared translations of contracts in English, Chinese, Korean and other languages at the request of the universities and schools.

¡üRequired Items on the Day of Contracting

Since these differ according to the lessor (landlord / property management company) or the conditions at the time you filed the application, verify what items you need to bring.

¡üPoints of Note Regarding the Briefing on Important Matters

When concluding a lease contract, the real estate transaction specialist of the real estate agency conducting the transaction is required to provide a briefing on such matters as the structure or facilities of the property and prohibited acts/uses. Sign or stamp your seal only after you have a complete understanding of the contents.

¡üHandover of keys

After contracting, the key to the property will be handed over to you.

¡üChecking Your Place / Neighborhood

Once you receive the key, go to your place before moving in to check whether you overlooked anything when you made the preliminary inspection. Measure spaces for furniture and electric appliances and confirm damage or stains that may require repairs / restoration to their original condition when moving out.



imgThe market rate for rent differs depending on such factors as location and type of residence. It is important to assess the rent in line with the terms and conditions.


Contract termination

Notify your lessor (landlord / property management company) agency of a contract termination well in advance. There may be cases where the balance of the security deposit is adjusted to account for the cost to restore the place to its original condition, as well as other deductions. Contracts may be terminated due to such reasons as the expiration of the term of the contract, the cancellation of a contract or a notice to terminate from the landlord. If you are canceling a contract, be careful because you may be charged a penalty if you do not notify your lessor (landlord / property management company) of the contract cancellation date within the notification period stipulated in the contract.



imgIn principle, pets are not allowed in leased manshon (modern apartments) or apato (traditional apartments). Moreover, there are some places that do allow pets, so verify with the lessor (landlord / property management company) beforehand. If you own a pet, be careful not to disturb your neighbors with odors, noise, etc.


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