Before making an application to rent your new apartment it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of the property for yourself.
CHECK THE FOLLOWING:
- Is there cable TV and internet in the building?
- Is there Sky PerfecTV (Satellite TV) in the building?
If not, check to see if the owner will either install a satellite dish for you, or allow you to install your own satellite dish.
- Are there any curtains? (curtains are quite expensive in Japan)
- What is the condition of the carpet and wallpapering?
- Does the apartment have central A/C or separate A/C units in the bedroom and living room? (central A/C is usually more expensive).
- Are all the appliances in good working condition?
- Have your Real Estate agent check to see if there are any construction sites nearby.
There is a lot of construction in Tokyo with new buildings going up in every area and this may be noisy or change the conditions around your building by blocking views.
- Check to see if your car will fit in the car park, (some carparks are very small, have a low ceiling, or are the elevator type).
Be especially careful if you plan to buy a big car or an SUV many parking spots are not big enough.
- Is there any bicycle parking?
- If the building has a security system check to see who is responsible for the monthly fees.
APPLICATION AND CONTRACTS
- Your Real Estate agent 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.
- After 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.
- On the move-in date you will receive the keys from the agent or owner and there will be a house orientation. If there is any damage at the time of moving in, ask the owner to take note so that you will not be responsible to pay for it when you move out. The owner will deduct fees from the original deposit if there is any damage to the apartment at the time of moving out so take care to check the condition of the property when you move in.
- During your stay in the property you can call the management company or Real Estate agent if you experience any problems with the apartment, such as the A/C unit is not working or if you need a parking-permit for your car.
- When you come to move out, your company and the owner will do a house inspection and you will have to return all the keys to the owner. If you have lost a key it is common to be charged for changing the locks not just for making a copy of the key.
If you cancel after signing the lease before you move in there will be a 1-month penalty.
In the case of cancellation of the contract after moving in, you are obliged to give at least 2 months notice.
If you move out before the end of the first year there is usually a 1-month penalty.
If you move out without giving the full 2 months notice there is also a penalty of up to 2-months rent, (pro-rated).
- no notice is a 2-month penalty
- half a month notice is a 1.5-month penalty
- one month notice is a 1-month penalty
DEDUCTIONS FROM SECURITY DEPOSIT
In most cases you will have to pay a cleaning fee even if you clean the apartment or house yourself before leaving. The cleaning fee is normally about ¥1,000 – ¥1,500/sqm, in other words for a 100 sqm apartment expect a bill for cleaning of about ¥100,000 – ¥150,000.
When you move out of your home or apartment, a damage inspection will be conducted. This is done with the owner and or his representative, the real estate agent, and the tenant. The inspection is necessary to determine whether or not any damage has occurred. If there is damage, the cost of repair will be invoiced to you or your company and deducted from the original security deposit.
Some common cases of light damage include: holes in the wall, cigarette burns in the carpet, and coffee or wine stains in the carpet. Damage refers situations where something in the apartment will need to be replaced or fixed and does not refer to usual wear and tear.