KJ200704: Finding Housing - leasing with a real estate agent -
People looking for a residence to rent in Japan usually think about their budget and the size of the rooms,
location with regards to public transport, and parking availability, then take these concerns up with a real estate agent to help them find a place. Some people also utilize specialty publications devoted to housing information, or have their office or place of work recommend something for them.
Rental rates are determined by the number of rooms and their size, age of the dwelling, location,
convenience, and the like. Appliances and furniture usually are not provided with leased residences.
Rooms are generally listed as follows :
2LDK means2(rooms), L(living room), D(dining room), K(kitchen)
The units of measurement to express size are tsubo and jyou. 1 tsubo equals 2 jyou, which is approximately 3.3 square meters. Jyou is also a measure of how many tatami mats a room has;6 and 4mat rooms are common.
Leasing with a real estate agent :
(1) Deposit: a deposit is made before the lease contract is signed with the real estate agent. This ensures
that the contract will be carried out as specified, and that no one else will contract at the same time. The deposit is later credited as part of rent unless the person contracting backs out of the deal, in which case it is not refunded. The amount of the deposit is usually equivalent to about one month’s rent.
(2) The contract: the following things are necessary for a proper contract. Be sure to check for them when leasing a residence!
-contents of the contract and the leaser’s seal or signature
-guarantor:generally, someone who can guarantee that the leaseholder can pay. Also a person who can pay rent in the case that the leaseholder misses payment.
-deposit:this deposit, consisting of approximately two months of rent, is held at the landlord’s office and
used to cover damage to the residence when the leaseholder leaves. Any leftover money will be returned.
-“key-money”:an amount of money equivalent to approximately two months of rent, paid to the owner. This
money is never returned.
-mediation fee:usually around one month’s rent, paid to the real estate agency.
(3) Rent: the following month’s rent is paid at the end of each month. If a contract was signed in the middle
of the month, that month’s rental will be broken down and calculated as a daily amount. In addition to the rental fee, a“common-area charge”is often assessed in apartments or manshon for the hallways, elevators, etc. which everyone uses.
(4) Contract renewal: contracts are usually renewed once every two years. Rental rates may be raised
(5) Ending a contract: when moving or otherwise ending a contract, one usually must inform the landlord a
month in advance. If advance notice is not given, the deposit may not be returned.