In Japan, when searching for private accommodation, most people go through real estate agencies. The agencies will give you information on the housing available, and will take you to see properties you are interested in, at no charge. Since there are special Japanese customs in this process, newcomers may find it difficult first time. Therefore, we recommend you consult with your faculty staff or Japanese friends, so that they can assist you. Before signing a lease agreement, you must check the conditions of the property and review the terms of the agreement thoroughly, in order to avoid trouble during your tenancy.
Rent varies according to the location, the size of the apartment, its age, the extent of furnishing, and whether or not there is a view. Looking in advance, on the Internet or in rental-housing magazines, should help you to get a general idea about the market value of rentals around the area where you are interested in living. In total, you will need to pay about 5 to 7 months’ rent before you can move in (see below).
The following table represents general costs you incur when renting private housing. Please note that all information is for your reference only, and the actual cost will vary depending on the district or landlord.
|Security Deposit||About 3 months’ rent||To cover the cost in case of unpaid rent, and expenses for cleaning and repair fees upon moving out. The remaining balance may be refunded.|
|Key Money||About 1-2 months’ rent||Gratuity paid for the right to use a property; usually nonrefundable.|
|Real Estate Agent’s Fee||About 1 month’s rent||Paid to the intermediary real estate company.|
|Rent||1 month’s rent||The first month’s rent.|
|Additional Cost after moving in (besides the monthly rent)|
|Common Charge||Fee for maintenance and management of the shared parts of facilities at properties such as apartment buildings.|
|Utility Charges||Fees for electricity, gas, water and telephone etc.|
Usually, when you terminate the contract (moving out, returning to your country etc.), you should inform your landlord at least one to two months prior to your desired cancellation date. Please refer to your rental contract.
The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations offers multilingual information necessary for newcomers to Japan.
Their website, linked below, has very useful information, such as rental contract procedures and precautions, and other general information about Housing and Moving in Japan.
（Available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and Tagalog）