Finding a home in a new country might be a bit overwhelming and stressful. In this post, we will explain some initial things you should keep in mind when you are looking to rent an apartment in Japan.
Starting the Process
In Japan, finding an apartment usually happens through a real-estate agency. If you are looking for an apartment in Japan, you can go to one of the real estate agencies in the area that you are interested in. If you are applying from abroad, you can start checking international and foreign-friendly services such as Tokyo Furnished.
Once you found a place you like, but before signing a contract, make sure you are familiar with all the additional fees above the basic monthly rate. These include utilities and home management fees.
Please remember that in Japan when moving into an apartment, above the monthly fee, you have some initial costs. Firstly, you will have to pay a security deposit. The security deposit is used for the unpaid rent or for the damages caused by you to the apartment. Normally, this deposit will be refundable, sometimes it is not. The second payment is key money (usually equal to 1-2 monthly rent). This money you pay to a landlord for letting you live in his/her apartment. The third and last payment is an agency fee, which is also about 1 month’s rent.
You might be happy to know that here at Tokyo Furnished, we do not charge key money or agency fees, and the deposit is always refundable.
Most times the tenants need to pay their utilities by themselves. The most common utilities are gas, electricity, water, and the Internet. You can apply for it by phone or Internet and arrange monthly (water bill is bi-monthly) payments either in cash or by credit card. Electricity and water will be connected automatically, while for connecting you to gas, someone from the gas company will come to your place.
When you move into a new apartment, you need to change your resident registration at the city hall. More about it please read our previous post.
Once, all these are set, you are ready to start living your life and making the new apartment your home away from home.