FAQ | Tokyo Apartments

Do I need to use an Agent to get an apartment in Tokyo?
Strictly speaking, no, BUT the reality is YES. Many properties require that you go through an agent. You are in a better position to negotiate if you use an Agent. Unless your Japanese is Native level, it will be very difficult to approach a Japanese Realty company.Question index
Am I being charged more because I am a foreigner?
NO. There is absolutely no difference in the rent price and conditions of renting an apartment. You benefit from our experience in dealing with all the major building and property owners.Question index
My company is paying. Is that okay?
YES. If your company is paying, it may cut down on the amount of documentation you need supply and may also speed up the Application process. They may also go your Guarantor for some properties.Question index
I cannot find any properties of interest. Do you have more apartments?
YES. We have new properties coming up everyday. The market moves very fast so please contact us directly to request what you are looking for.Question index
What type of apartment suits me?
This really depends on two major things. Length of stay and budget. We have options for all lengths of stay so please contact us directly to find what may suit you.

one week to one month : Accommodation
two weeks to one year : Serviced Apartments
three months to two years : Furnished Apartments
12 months or longer : Rental Apartments
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How much should I budget for renting an apartment?
1/3rd of your gross salary. The rule is one third of your Gross Salary as an acceptable level. If you are looking at an apartment that is more than one third of your gross salary, there is a likelihood that the property owner will decline your application.Question index
Rent seems to be expensive. Why?
Prices are high due to limited supply of land and high demand in this densely populated area. Many of the worlds largest cities like New York and Paris are also expensive. Tokyo is part of the largest metropolitan area (keihin area) in the world with over 35 million people. We cater for people that are looking for high quality apartments. There are cheaper apartments available so please contact us for suggestions of your budget and requirements and we can recommend your best course of action.Question index
What are the upfront costs to rent an apartment?
Depending on what your length of intended stay is will dictate how much you need. Please choose the FAQ category in the Left hand navigation menu to find out more. Question index
How long does it take to move into an apartment?
Generally, Accommodation and serviced apartments will require 3-5 working days to organise. Long term apartments can take around 20 working days from first contact. Long term apartments require viewings, application, contract and move in date process.Question index
What should I do for accommodation while I find a long term apartment?
Realistically you will need 25 - 30 days of short term accommodation to ensure you are not stressed for time and settling for an apartment you are not completely happy with. We have a range of serviced apartments available for monthly stays. This gives you a seamless housing solution with just one company.Question index
What documentation do I need to rent an apartment?
Depending on what sort of accommodation solution you are looking at will decide what documentation you will need. Please check out the specific FAQ housing category you intend to use to find out more.Question index
When is rent due?
Rent is payable in advance for the next month. This is usually due around the 25th of the month for the next month.Question index
What is a Guarantor?
To rent an apartment in Japan you will need a Guarantor. A Guarantor is a person that will assume the responsibility to make payment if the Lessee defaults on payment. This protects the landlord from people leaving the apartment and not paying their rent.Question index
Who can be a Guarantor?
A Guarantor is either a financially secure Japanese national residing in Japan or can also be a company that is registered in Japan. It is common for Japanese nationals to use a relative as Guarantor. If you are an individual that does not have anyone available to be Guarantor or working for a company that will not be Guarantor, you do have another option.Question index
I heard that I can use a Guarantor company instead. What is that?
Guarantor companies are becoming increasingly more popular as the industry recognises the difficulty of finding a Guarantor for foreigners relocating to Japan. These companies usually charge a one-off fee of 50% of rent and a renewal fee of 10,000 Yen per year. Not all properties allow Guarantor companies so your range of available apartments will be limited.Question index
How much is the Agent fee?
The industry standard commission fee for you to hire your agent is equivalent to one month's rent plus 5% consumption tax. Generally, they are fees paid to the agents for service of introducing suitable apartments/homes, processing paperwork, including Translation and applying for utility services.Question index
What is key money?
It is a payment required for a new tenant to pay the owner. Unlike bond money, the tenant cannot claim back this money at the end of the contract. In many cases, upon signing the contract, the new tenant even agrees to pay "Key" money in addition to the traditional two to three months' security deposit. This is a traditional gesture of thanks to the property owner for allowing rental of their home. Some owners do not charge any key money to attract potential customers due to high initial costs putting a lot of people off. However, these property owners compensate the loss of key money by charging a slightly higher rent to balance out the difference. This applies to both Japanese and non-Japanese. If you stay longer, sometimes paying key money becomes cheaper compared to higher rent with no key money.Question index
What is a maintenance fee?
Maintenance fee is usually what the property owner charges you. This is usually applicable to apartment buildings that have a Concierge, Rubbish rooms, swimming pools or gardens that need to be kept. It is very usual at bigger buildings and is not negotiable.Question index
What is the Fire Insurance fee for?
This is a compulsory fee when moving into an apartment. It provides protection against events beyond your control that happen in your apartment, however, earthquake damage is excluded and you will need a separate policy if you want protection for earthquakes. Different apartment buildings offer different coverage.Question index
When I move out, why do I get charged a cleaning fee?
In Japan, when you move out of the apartment, you are required to pay the cleaning fee. This is required no matter how clean you leave the apartment. The cleaning fee depends on the size and is based on a charge of roughly 1,000 yen – 1,250 Yen per square meter ( Tokyo 2011 ). If you are in Tokyo, normal wear and tear is beared by the property owner, but you will be liable for any damage. It is regulated by “Tokyo Rules” and that states how the owner can only charge on applicable and reasonable damage. The following are examples of what damage you will be responsible to pay for:
-Pin holes and hooks in the wall for pictures / drawings
-Painting a wall in a different color
-Scratches on the floor with heavy furniture
-Leaving the damage (even natural one) and as a result the damage gets bigger
Even if the above are by accident, you will be charged for repair upon move-out.Question index
I have heard that getting the deposit back is really difficult, is this true?
Not true. We use the "Tokyo Rules". Tokyo rules legally bind that the property owner cannot unreasonably over charge for cleaning over any other charges. The cleaning fee will be deducted from the deposit, along with any damages that have happened that are not caused by "wear n tear".

The law does not regulate the amount of security deposit requested from property owners. Two to three months deposit is normal, depending on the property. Typically, expensive large homes charge deposit more than smaller homes. A pet deposit may be added if you are to planning to have dogs or cats. This additional deposit will not be returned if you chose to have pets.Question index

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