pet-friendly tokyo

Tips for Finding a Pet Friendly Apartment in Tokyo

Moving to Tokyo and hoping to bring your furry friend with you? The limited number of pet-friendly apartments available may surprise you. But don’t give up! Here are our top tips on finding a new Tokyo home both you and your pet will love.

1. Specify “pet-friendly” in your search

Avoid disappointment by not looking at apartments that don’t allow pets in the first place. Most real estate listing sites will let you filter properties based on whether or not pets are permitted/negotiable. On Apts.jp we have a “Pet-Friendly” checkbox, or you can just look for the paw:

pet-friendly icon

Even if a property is listed as allowing pets, it will still depend on the type of pet you wish to keep. This brings us to the next tip…

2. Choose a small pet, if you can

More often than not, “pet-friendly” translates to “one-small-dog-or-cat-friendly”. If you have more than one pet, or a very large dog, you may have difficulty finding an apartment. In this case, it is best for you to explain your circumstances to a real estate agent and ask them to search for properties on your behalf. They will save you time by calling ahead and only presenting you with apartments that are likely to accept your application.

Looking for a pet-friendly apartment because you hope to keep a pet in the future? Make sure to check with the property manager about what size pets are acceptable. If you keep a pet without permission, you may have to move or give up your pet.

pet hamster

For those of you with a particularly small pet, such as a lizard or hamster, you may be able to keep them in an apartment that is not otherwise pet-friendly. Ask your realtor to check your contract as some have clauses permitting pets that cannot bite people or fly.

3. Save your pennies

In most cases, tenants with pets must pay an extra month’s security deposit. The upfront costs of renting an apartment in Japan are already significant, so you will need to budget accordingly. However, provided your pet has not caused damage to the property, this additional deposit will be refunded to you upon vacating the apartment.

pet cat

Although pets may be permitted for an extra fee, this doesn’t mean you can throw wads of cash at your landlord and expect them to welcome Mr. Snowball with open arms. If the rule has been set by the management of the building, the landlord can’t allow you to have a pet. (Yes, even if they want to.) You may also come across properties where you’re not allowed pets but your neighbor has them. This is usually because the neighbor owns that apartment, or because the building allowed pets when they moved in and the policy has since changed. Of course, some landlords simply don’t want their tenants keeping pets. This is within their rights as owner of the property.

pet dog

Your search may take a little longer than usual but it is entirely possible to find an apartment for you and your pet in Tokyo. Try searching in our database for pet-friendly apartments, or get in touch and we would be happy to assist.