Am I able to preview accommodations before making my decision? If so, are there any costs involved?
There are no costs involved for looking at accommodations. Should you find a place that suits your needs and sign a leasing agreement, Tokyo Apartment Inc. will charge a brokerage fee equivalent to one month's rent.
Can you help me find accommodations for a short term stay?
We unfortunately do not handle short term accommodations. In general finding short term lodging can be difficult, as lenders are looking for tenants who will stay a year or more at the same location. If you are planning on staying for less than a year, we recommend that you look into a company that specializes in short term stay/vacation rental apartments.
Do your properties come furnished with furniture, appliances, etc?
Depending on the size of the property, some apartments may come furnished, but, in general most of our properties come unfurnished, and you will have to make your own accommodations for a refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, ceiling lights, furniture, etc. Should you be in need of these items, we will be happy to arrange for a rental service that can provide them, so please let us know if this is the case ahead of time.
Are utilities such as gas, water, electricity or internet included in the rent?
As a general rule, utilities are not included in apartments or rental homes. You will need to make monthly payments for these services yourself, either via monthly withdrawals from your bank account or by taking the bill to a convenience store and paying there.
I came to Japan under a Tourist Visa. Is it possible to rent accommodations for my stay?
It can be very difficult to rent accommodations under these circumstances. Generally, landlords will require that you possess a long-term stay visa such as a working visa or student visa.
What do "LDK", "DK", "K", and "One Room" refer to?
LDK stands for Living, Dining, Kitchen. This type of layout places each area in its own room..
DK stands for Dining, Kitchen. In this layout, there is a separate room for the dining room and kitchen, but there is no specific space for a living room.
K stands for Kitchen. This sort of layout includes only a kitchen and bedroom.
One Room is effectively a studio-type apartment, with the kitchen and bedroom in the same room with no separating doors.
What is a "Fixed Term Lease"
A fixed term lease is a type of contract with a fixed duration (for example, one year). This type of contract is often used by landlords in the case where they only desire to rent a room for a certain period of time, due to a transfer, etc. Recently, landlords have increasingly been offering a "conditional renewal fixed term lease" style contract, wherein the landlord will agree to a lease renewal on the condition that the tenant has reliably paid their rent and not caused any problems during the previous term. This type of lease also allows the landlord for ask for an increased amount of rent as a condition of the lease renewal.
What costs are typically associated with renting accommodations in Japan?
This depends on the type and size of property you're looking for, but in a typical example, in addition to the monthly rent, up front costs would include a security deposit, key money (a fee paid to the landlord), guarantor fee, brokerage fee, and fire insurance fee. We do have options for clients who would like to keep initial costs as low as possible, so please contact us!
◆Contract and Moving In
What information and paperwork do you require in order to rent an apartment?
Usual requirements include your passport, residence card, a certificate of proof of income, proof of employment/school enrollment, and so on. Depending on your situation there may be additional required documents as well.
Is a joint guarantor required to rent a property? What should I do if I cannot provide my own?
Normally, a joint guarantor is required in addition to living and working/studying in Japan. If you are a foreign national and cannot provide an appropriate guarantor, please let us know ahead of time and we can inquire into the possibility of using a private guarantor company.
I need accommodations in a hurry. Is it possible to move into an apartment in a week or less?
While there are some exceptions depending on the type of property you are looking for, In most cases this is unfortunately impossible, as the process of confirming your paperwork, signing the contract, and arranging for bank transfers requires at least 10 to 14 working days to complete.
How soon after moving in can I use utilities such as electricity, water and gas?
Electricity and water service will typically be available immediately when you move in, but starting your gas service will require a visit from a representative of the gas company, who will explain to you the proper procedures for using the gas. We can take care of starting these services for you and setting up your gas appointment.
How soon after moving in will I be able to use internet?
The turnaround time for internet service is typically two to three weeks from the point that you submit your application. Internet costs are not included in your monthly rent, and depending on the property you choose, internet service may or may not be available, so please check with us beforehand if you are interested in internet. We will confirm things in advance for you and can help you to set up the service.
◆Day to Day Life
Am I allowed to have a pet in my accommodations?
Some properties allow tenants to have pets, and some do not. In addition, there can be restrictions on the type and size of pet, so please confirm with us in advance.
Am I required to separate my garbage? If so, how?
In general, it is necessary to separate burnable trash from non-combustible items and plastic, pet bottles, etc. when living in Japan. Your property manager will have instructions regarding what specific types of garbage sorting they require, and which days garbage can be left out to be collected. Some properties do allow you to take garbage out at any time, so if you prefer this method, please let us know and we will confirm if this is possible for your accommodations ahead of time.
What should I do if I lose my key?
Your property manager will normally have a spare key that you can use, so if possible, please follow their instructions. If you are unable to get in contact with your property manager, please contact us and we will contact your company for you so that you can access your home. In the case of a lost key, a re-keying cost may be incurred.
What should I do if I encounter a problem with the property?
If a problem occurs with your air conditioner, bath, stove, etc, please contact us. We will get in contact with your management company as soon as possible to rectify the situation.
What should I do if I have a noise complaint about a neighbor?
Noise complaints can be a delicate issue in Japan. We recommend that you do not take matters into your own hand and contact the neighbor yourself. Instead, please contact us and we will immediately get in contact with the management company to remedy the issue.
What should I do if I need to be absent for an extended period due to a business trip, etc.?
In the case of a long term absence, you have an obligation to notify the management company of the situation. Provided that there are anti-theft measures in place and the management company is aware of the situation, there is typically no problem. Please contact us in advance so that we can touch base with the management company before you depart.
How often must I renew my contract?
Renewing a contract after two years is common. In the case that both parties agree to renew the lease, a renewal fee, damage insurance fee, and guarantor company fee will be necessary.
◆Contract Cancellation / Leaving Your Accommodations
When I want to move out, who do I inform, and how much notice should I give?
In the case of moving out, it is necessary to notify the landlord beforehand in writing. The amount of advance notice required is stated in the leasing contract, and is typically 1 to 2 months before your departure date. If you contact us, we can arrange for a cancellation notice to be sent on your behalf.
How do I turn off my electricity, gas, water, etc when I leave?
Utility companies will require notice in order to cancel services, and such requests can typically be processed via phone or internet. We can also request a cancellation on your behalf if you would prefer!
Am I required to pay anything when I vacate the premises?
Typically you will be charged a cleaning fee and repair fee. The management company will be able to provide an estimate of these costs before you leave.
Will my deposit be refunded when I leave?
If you have no outstanding balances due (late rent, etc), your deposit will be refunded when you leave. Any outstanding cleaning and repair fees will be subtracted from the deposit.
What does "Property Restoration" mean?
Property restoration refers to the act of returning the property to the condition it was in when you moved in. Should there be any tenant caused damages such as scratched flooring or a hole in a wall, these would be your responsibility, but general wear and tear of the premises (wallpaper, appliances, etc) is not your responsibility as a tenant.
If I leave the property at the beginning of the month, do I have to pay rent in full for that month?
Should you vacate the property at the beginning of the month, your rent would be prorated to your departure date, and you would not be responsible for the full month's rent. However, since rent for the upcoming month is paid in advance, it would be necessary in this situation to pay the month in full and then be refunded for the difference along with your deposit.