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?

Initial costs generally consist of the following fees: advance rent (first full month, plus prorated rent for incomplete month), security deposit, key money (not on all rentals), guarantor fee (most often 50% of total rent), lock replacement, fire insurance, cleaning, document processing, and agency fee. However, some costs are not applicable, and some property managers have some miscellaneous costs which we can estimate for you.

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.

Closing Cost

The Closing Cost is the calculated amount of the "cost of changing the apartment", for your reference and information. This value does not include the first rent, or deposit, as these items should also exist with your current lease.

On top of this Closing Cost, you will also have to pay the stated advance rent and deposit, so you need to have at least the amount stated as "Total Closing Est. Payment" available in cash, at the time of contracting.

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, 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?

From viewing the rental to moving in, the process takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Assuming that all necessary application items are prepared at the time of application, it will usually take 5 to 10 days for the screening process and another week for the contract. Please note that if the property manager asks for additional documents, the process may take longer. As such, it is recommended to have at least 5 to 6 weeks of temporary housing prepared when you're first moving to Tokyo from overseas.

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. Some things can be negotiated, but the truth is that negotiations generally only become viable when rent exceeds ¥350,000/month or so. Lower rent priced units are so in demand, that property managers have no reason to negotiate terms, as someone else will take the unit very quickly with no issues.

Please note that negotiations are difficult if the listing is a popular property or if you are looking to move during a busy season. Also, please keep in mind that although applications to apartments are on a first-come-first-served basis, landlords may choose the second applicant if they provide a better offer. Please consult with us on how best to approach a deal, as negotiations can only happen at the time of applying (this shows that the potential tenant is serious).

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?

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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