Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on moving to Japan and finding the right apartment?
We have you covered in our FAQ.

Why is the initial cost so expensive?

The initial cost consists of the following fees: advance rent, security deposit, key money, guarantor fee, lock replacement, fire insurance, cleaning, document processing, and agency fees. However, some costs are not applicable, and some are negotiable.

Initial cost calculations shown on our website are the best estimates we can give, based on all available information provided by the owner and property managers. Our initial cost calculations are a great guide for preparing for the upfront payments you'll have to make on the contract signing date, but the final initial cost may vary from our best estimates.

Issues of landlord not renting to foreigners

Unfortunately, Japan has lax discrimination laws, and there are landlords who refuse foreign tenants. This is mainly because of the language barrier. If you are not fluent in Japanese, the landlord will be very reluctant to lease you their apartment.

At Apts.jp, we work with landlords and property managers to find solutions for such problems so that you can move into an apartment that you can call "home".

 
Individual Contract

Individual contract is recommended for tenants intending to stay in one location for more than 2 years. The lessee can renew the contract indefinitely, but the lessee may incur renewal fees. Legally, the lessor cannot force you to move out unless there are extenuating circumstances; such as, in cases where the lessee breaches the contract's terms and conditions.

 

Although this contract favors the lessee to stay at the apartment, the lessor can charge a renewal fee and renegotiate rent prices, by a justifiable percent, at the end of the contract. It's always good to check- during the application process- what fees you will incur when renewing the contract.

How long does the leasing process take?

Approximately 2 weeks.

Assuming that all necessary requirements have been submitted, it will usually take up to 1 week for the application process and another week for the contract. Please note that if the landlord or property manager asks for more documents, the process may take longer.

Fixed-term Contract

Fixed-term contract is recommended for tenants whom may move within 2 years or the leasing period stated on the contract. This contract favors the landlord because he or she is not legally obligated to continue leasing the apartment to the tenant after the contract ends. The landlord or lessor may write a new contract to the lessee with new terms and conditions if the lessee wishes to stay.

 

In the case where the lessee terminates the contract, the lessee must notify the lessor at least 2 to 6 months (it will be stated on the contract) prior to vacating. Penalty fees associated with early termination will also be stated in the contract.

Can I negotiate rent prices?

Yes. Everything can be negotiated.

However, please note that negotiations are difficult if the listing is a popular property or if you are looking to move during a busy season (spring and fall seasons). Also, please keep in mind that although applications to apartments are on a first-come-first-serve basis, landlords may choose the second applicant if they provide a better offer. Please consult with us on how best to approach a deal.

List of common negotiable items:

  • Rent (management fee excluded)
  • Security Deposit
  • Key Money
  • Advance Rent
  • Guarantor Fee
  • Contract Renewal Fee
  • Cleaning Fee

This list is just to name a few. Other things that can be negotiated are the move-in date, contract period, and more.

Can I cancel an application even if I've been approved?

Yes.  Applications are non-binding, so there are no risks for cancelling. Please note that once your application has been approved by the property manager, we can only hold it for 3 to 5 days before having to return a response to the property manager.

More questions?

Finding an apartment in Japan can be overwhelming. Tell us your needs, and our team will help you find the best apartment for you.

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