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By Desiree Quijalvo
September 10th, 2012
Moving to Tokyo for the first time requires a lot of work and finding the right place to stay is one of the most important things to do, especially if you’re moving to a mega-city for the first time. House-hunting takes time and could be a little overwhelming, but there are plenty of choices, whether you’re on a tight budget or not.
For those moving a second or third time, there are some pointers below that can help you get ahead.Typical Japanese ApartmentsThese are places that are usually between 80,000 to 300,000 yen a month depending on your preferences and budget. You can see our complete listings with thousands of apartments all over Japan here. Other types of apartment such as shared residence, temporary apartment or so called `Gaijin Houses` are also available at cheaper prices – all have special conditions or exceptions however. Although realestate.co.jp includes all options, and through searching you will find plenty of variety, the general situation in Japan is that apartments require 2-4 months security deposit, 2 months key money, a contract renewal fee payable every 2 years and do not come with any appliances or furniture (excluding an air-con / heater unit). Serviced ApartmentsServiced apartments in Japan (click to see listings) start from as low as 150,000 and can run to over 350,000 yen a month. Unlike regular apartments, you can expect a certain number of facilities and service to come with the price. Serviced Apartments in Tokyo are in large tower blocks that include a concierge, public facilities such as a bar or Japanese sento and rooms include all major appliances from washer to refrigerator.
Note:There are some important considerations to think about before you commit to a rental. If you rush to sign a lease contract, you might discover some unpleasant surprises after it’s too late to make changes. Before signing it, you should at least be familiar with some of the regulations and customs in Japan. Planning ahead is the key to a successful and hassle-free rental and will help prevent problems in the future. Agents Commission, shikikin and reikinThere is a standard agents commission of one month’s rent plus 5% tax.Some landlords will request a security deposit or shikikin of 4-6 months rent in advance. Once you move out or at the end of the lease contract, the cost of cleaning or repairs will be cut from this security deposit.A typical Japanese apartment requires key money or reikin. This is a non-refundable payment upfront, which lets you rent the property. Usually, it is equivalent to two months rent but can still be negotiated. More expensive properties do not require this, as well as Expat properties but in some cases. you can pay the key money monthly in a span of two years.Kanrihi and koushinryouSome Japanese apartments have a monthly building maintenance fee or kanrihi and this will be added to the rent. In case of expat apartments, maintenance fees are almost always included in the monthly rent. For Japanese apartments that are under 350,000 yen to 400,000 a month, a renewal fee or koushinryou is charged at the end of the contract which is usually two years to renew the contract and this is equivalent to 1 month rent and is paid to the owner of the building.One of the things renting people consider is transportation and whether or not you’re commuting or you have your own car, you should also know if the apartment building you’re getting has parking space. But most apartment buildings in Tokyo offer parking spaces for tenants. In some cases though, parking space is not included in the monthly rent. These usually cost from 40,000 yen to 70,000 per month depending on the area.Another extra thing to think of is owning pets. Some landlords will not allow you to keep them. But if you are planning to have one, it is best to inform your real estate agent and request to see apartments whose houses or owners will allow pets. All estate agents that we deal with on realestate.co.jp have been chosen because they offer English language support and assistance to foreign residents of Japan.
Search for your apartment in Japan here.
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