Tuesday, September 01, 2009

5 Things You Should Know Before Renting an Apartment in Japan

Having your own apartment in Japan may sound very appealing, but finding one doesn't always work the way you want it to. There's a lot of paperwork involved, and doing it in your non-native language can be overwhelming.

In today's post, I will talk about the five things that I had most trouble with when renting apartments in Japan. During my two-year stay in Japan, I have lived in three different apartments so I want to share with you five pointers that will hopefully be helpful to you.

  1. You have to read carefully through the legal document in Japanese that lists all the conditions you have to agree with before signing the contract. I've dealt with a real estate agency, ホームメイト at Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome, that tricked me into believing that an apartment they had was cat-friendly but, in the end, was only for tenants with dogs. You should look out for fraudulent agents in Japan.
  2. If you are happy that you didn't have to pay key money or deposit, your landlord can still find a way to collect money from you. He might charge you dearly just for minor repairs when you move out. But if you pay a deposit of, say, ¥200,000 upfront, money will be reduced from that sum for mending the room, and the rest will be refunded to you.
  3. If you want to get even a slightly better quality room, you will have to pay some key money and deposit. We're talking about a payment of at least ¥200,000 that you have to pay all at once.
  4. It's hard to find pet-friendly apartments. In Japan, most landlords don't allow you to house pets (especially cats) in your apartment. You will have to put twice as much effort and money into finding a suitable apartment if you have, or, are planning to get quadrupeds.
  5. Online advertisements are often misleading. Real estate agencies want to promote themselves online by publishing compelling offers that often don't even exist.


Anonymous said...

Hi, do you know anywhere I can find general info about certain areas? Like, I was thinking about moving to tennoji to ease my commute, but people have told me its a bit of a shady area. Do you know where I can find out about which places I should avoid? or which places are a good value, etc...


Eric said...

Hey! As you said, Tennoji is traditionally known as one of the shadier areas of Osaka, but I personally can't notice much difference. People say that there are more homeless people there, but that's about it.

By the way, the Shinsekai shopping streets have many good kushikatsu joints. I recommend Yaekatsu (八重勝).

Anonymous said...

Hi, if it were just me, I'd be ok there I think. But, I'll be starting a family soon, so I am a little over sensitive to safety issues I suppose :)

oh, and I found nice kushikatsu places in umeda too. they're all over the place!

Eric said...

Congrats! :) I'm sure it will be okay for your lil uns too. Do you happen to work far from Umeda? Just wondering, because you said Tennoji will be convenient for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Thanks!

I work in the northeast part of the city, while my (future) wife will work a little south of osaka-shi. In our case, Tennoji is about half-way between our two workplaces. At the moment though, I live north of Umeda, but the apt is too small for two people :)

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