The process of renting apartments and houses is quite particular in Japan. Therefore it is important for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the basic procedures. These 7 steps outline the process from house hunting, through the duration of your stay, to moving out.
1. HOUSE HUNTING – INQUIRIES
It is a good idea to make a list of requirements for your new apartment or house and start house hunting about 2 months before your desired move-in-date. Check our listings on line and begin to get an idea of what type / location you are interested in (for example, an 80m2 2LDK apartment in Hiroo). Choose several properties from our online showroom, keeping in mind that the Housing Japan database includes thousands of properties, so our agents will be able to recommend many more properties based on your requests and initial choices.
Send an inquiry to Housing Japan using our online request form, email, or phone. It will also help if you indicate any properties you like, and have a clear idea of the requirements for you new apartment or house. For more information about house hunting and apartment viewing click here.
2. VIEWING APARTMENTS – TOURS
As the leasing market in Tokyo moves quickly, it is better to view your favorite places as soon as possible before they are taken. Based on your top choices, our agents will arrange some apartment viewings for you. Part of the tour will include an orientation of the areas and local amenities. You should prepare a checklist of requirements for each property.
One of our real-estate agents will send an application on your behalf to the owner. The application, signed by the human resources department of your company, will include a bid for the rent, desired move-in date, and any other requests you may have.
4. NEGOTIATION AND CONTRACTS
After negotiations and both parties have agreed on the rent and terms, the owner will send a draft of the contract to your company (usually the human resources department). The contract will normally be for 2 years. After both parties have agreed to the draft the owner will make an original contract for both parties to sign.
5. PROPERTY INSPECTION AND MOVING IN
On the move-in date you will receive the keys from our agent or the owner and an orientation of your new apartment or house.
At this time, you should ask the owner to make a note of any existing damage (if any) so that you will not be responsible to pay when you move out.
When you move out, you or your company will be responsible to pay for any damages that may have taken place during your stay. So take care to check the condition of the property thoroughly.
6. FULL SUPPORT DURING YOUR STAY
During your stay in the property you can call the management company or Real Estate agent at any time if you have any questions or problems with the apartment – the A/C unit is not working, plumbing issues, TV or internet assistance, or if you need a parking-permit for your car. For general information about settling into your new apartment or house check the lifestyle section of our Tokyo Residential Information.
7. MOVING OUT
When it is time for you to move out, your company and the owner will do a final house inspection and you will return all the keys to the owner. At this time, you and your agent will be able to negotiate with the owner over the damage fees.
Note: For security reasons, if you have lost a key you will probably be charged for changing the locks – not for just making a new key.