| by Kenneth Chase | 4 comments

HOW TO RENT AN APARTMENT IN JAPAN // Key Real Estate Terms Explained (Part 2)

Hello! Welcome to part two of my series
about moving in Japan Today’s topic is: Key Japanese real
estate terms explained. As I mentioned in part one which if you haven’t already
watch go and check that out first! I recommend it for you to build a list of
requirements so you have a better understanding of what needs and wants you
have for your home and also what area or areas you’re interested in. Once you
have that checklist you can approach Japanese real estate agents and get
started that way. Alternatively I actually found it easier to just browse
for properties online The three main websites that I used were
Suumo, Homes and Mitsui no Rehouse. Links to these are in the description
box below. So let’s use homes as an example. Here is their home page. I have
my Google translated to English for ease of use. To start let’s scroll down and choose
rent. And select your area. Not sure why this hasn’t been translated but you can
choose the area here or by train line map and other conditions I’m actually
just going to go with train line today and Tokyo and here all your train route
options. Check whatever is applicable to you. Let’s go with Yamanote. Now on this
page is where you narrow down your search even more. So this one are all the
train stations that’s along the route or routes that you selected and since Ikebukuro jumped out at me first I’m going to choose that one and we’ve got
1593 search results at the moment but of course that number will drop once we put
in these other conditions so the first one here is rent; how much can you afford? Put that in your minimum and maximum amount in yen. Sometimes some places may also offer some special incentives to try and attract more potential tenants
by getting rid of some fees like admin fee or no key money no security deposit
etc so let’s just pause here and I will explain some of these fees to you. Now this is not an exhaustive list but I will cover the main ones that you’re likely
to come across. First key money. This is basically a gratitude payment to your
landlord that’s worth about one or two months rent
it is non-refundable and can feel like you’re giving your hard earnt money away
for free so if you really don’t want to pay this fee there are other options
available for example you might want to rent through a company called UR Chintai However gains in one area might mean
sacrifices in another so you really just need to weigh up your options next
security deposit this is a one-time fee and it’s also worth about one or two
months rent however this one is refundable when you vacate the property
given that it’s not damaged or anything okay agent fee this is money paid to your
real estate agent and is no more than one month worth of rent you may also
need a guarantor which is a person or company who will act as your insurance
and promise to cover any cost that you don’t should you say suddenly flee the
country or disappear now when I first came to Japan I was lucky because my
workplace actually acted as my guarantor so I didn’t have to worry about finding
one so definitely check with your workplace or educational institute first
to see if they can do that for you otherwise you can go through a guarantor
company which is what I’m doing at the moment with my current place again
the process was made easier because there was…my agent had a guarantor
company that they’re connected with and so I just went with their recommendation
next insurance this will vary depending on what insurance you get currently my
insurance for my place is nine thousand two hundred and fifty yen per year and
that covers things like damages from strong wind fire water etc and of course
there’s the monthly rent and maintenance fee usually the maintenance fee is
displayed as a combined price with the rent when you’re searching now let’s
talk about these involved at the end of your lease term or when you terminate a
contract generally these terms in Japan are two years that means at the end of
this period if you want to renew your contract you may need to pay a renewal
fee and also your guarantor and insurance fees again
renewal fee is like key money it’s worth about one or two months rent and it’s
non-refundable so again if you want to avoid paying this fee there are other
options available like renting through companies like UR Chintai so you
just need to do your research now you can choose to end your contract within
the lease period if you’d like so you’re not locked into two years however the
cleaning fee and any repair cost would still be the same as if you
terminate it at the end of your lease period the cleaning fee for my previous
apartment was ridiculously high it was one hundred and one thousand yen I asked
a lot of my colleagues and this definitely does not seem like the norm
so I definitely made sure to check that be very clearly for my current place
which thankfully is not nearly as high as that okay now I just wanted to give
you a few other expenses to consider that I forgot to mention in my last
video make sure you also factor into your budget
things like removalist fee, groceries utilities commute mobile phone furniture
home appliances and many of the miscellaneous things that you need for
your home and living alright back to the website. Condition number two
occupied area how big do you want your home to be you can put in your minimum
and your maximum in square meters and then underneath here floor plan is what
kind of layout are you after now ldk stands for living dining kitchen here is
an example of a one ldk apartment and 1k 2DK, 2LDK and you get the point okay walking distance from the station or stations
you selected previously unspecified this means you don’t have a preference and if
you do then this is where you put put it in and then same as building age if you
don’t have a preference about how old the building is and leave this checked
otherwise choose another option building structure these three are the main ones
that I came across during my search I personally prefer a reinforcement system
and I’m also okay with steel frame but definitely do your research about the
different construction materials and popular preference conditions so by bus
slash toilet I think this may just be a bad translation but from memory
this may be the option to choose having a separate toilet to shower area so some
homes have them in the same room like this and others have them separated like
this okay second floor or more in Japan you should bear in mind that second
floor actually means level one and first floor is actually ground level indoor
washing machine place okay so I learnt this recently some homes in Japan I’m
not sure if maybe it’s just the older one because when I went to my colleagues
home last week she lives in a building that’s I think it was built in the 1980s and her washing machine facilities were actually outside on her balcony whereas my place
is a newer building and there’s a specific spot for the washing machine
inside so that’s what that means air conditioner not every home has air
conditioners installed so a lot do but you just need to keep an eye out because
that would be an additional cost if you do want air conditioner and also some
places maybe they were only have it in one room and not another one
and that’s also something you should look out for so these are all
pretty self-explanatory auto lock is the security door so do you need a key or a
code to get into the building down here are more specific conditions now I don’t
really think it’s necessary to tick these because honestly the more you take
the less options you’re going to have if any left at all so I’m just
going to scroll back up and just put in some conditions to show you as an
example since Ikebukuro’s an inexpensive area let’s go with a higher
budget fifty man a month five hundred thousand yen and I don’t want
any smaller than forty five square meters watch that number go down I want
1LDK or 2LDK floor plan and then I’m just one two three awesome okay
station I don’t need to be too close to the station there yes I’ll just leave
that unspecified and age I want within twenty years and building structures
let’s leave that blank and I’ll leave these blank too okay so I’ve got eighty
options here okay so here is the search results page on this side is just a
picture of the building from the outside and some more specific, just little snippets of information about that particular property we’ve got the rent and the
address how far it is from the station and what station size and so you really
just need to go through these and maybe the certain buildings that look of it
might jump out at you or the conditions particularly attractive so take your
time looking and browsing just going to choose the first one as an example so
for this apartment the monthly rent is one hundred and fifty eight thousand yen
this three thousand yen here thing is just telling you how much the monthly
maintenance fee is and that should already be included in
this figure but of course check anything that you are uncertain about with your
agents the key money oh the deposit is one month and the key money is two
months that’s a lot it’s very new finished in June this year south east facing 47
square meters one ldk floor plan which looks like this and this should have a
look at some other photos so this is the spot for your washing machine ok this is
a very typical looking Japanese bathroom we’ve got a separate bath tub
and shower area because a lot of people a lot of Japanese people like to wash
themselves and make themselves all clean first before hopping into the bath this
here is a removable cover for the bathtub and now here is another
example of a toilet that’s separate from the shower this here is other toilet
seats that wear this like this thing that comes out and then it sprays water
so it can cleanse your bottom if you want I don’t often use I have one in my
home but I don’t really use it that much and okay let’s just scroll down here so
here’s some more information about the property like building structure what
floor it’s on out of how many in total in the building how long the contract
period is and how much you’ll cost you if you want to renew after that period
and just other information how close it is to different schools or amenities and
really take time to look at all of these and for me when I was looking I had a
Google Doc where I just collated all my information and research so it was easy
it’s in one spot and I made notes as I was searching because then it was easier
to actually remember things about each property because after a while
everything kind of just you get all confused about what you’ve seen and
where it was and what specific home or what link you wanted so good planning
really helps you in the long run okay so if you are interested in the property
here are the contact details for the people you will need to contact to ask
more questions or to arrange an inspection if you wish alright so that
is a run through of what to expect when searching for Japanese properties and
some key terms that you’ll come across thank you so much for watching and I
will see you in the next video bye!


Michael Day

Jul 7, 2017, 2:38 am Reply

Hey I like the video. Was wondering what the cheapest place you found to rent on these websites has been?? Cheers!

Afy Fatien

Sep 9, 2017, 11:29 am Reply

hi ! I'm going to Japan in 3 weeks and currently looking for an apartment to stay. I just have few questions about the initial cost.
if I went to search an apartment with no deposit , key money and guarantor , does that means that I don't have to pay those fees and I only pay rent , agent fees and insurance fees ?

Also I heard that it's hard for a foreigner to find an apartment in Japan because of the 'Trust Issue' , did you have same problem ?

# sorry if my english is weird xD I'm trying to estimate the minimal and maximum of the initial cost because it's hard for me to invest a lot of money soon after i arrive in Japan , so trying my best to find an affordable place for me to stay.

Olya Qwerty

Oct 10, 2017, 10:33 am Reply

or I'm searching wrong or Ur housing is really expensive. Its better to pey key/deposit on normal sites


Jan 1, 2018, 8:25 am Reply

Very helpful

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