What are joint guarantor and guarantor company?
1. What is a joint guarantor?
The landlords must avoid the risk of unpaid rent in case the tenant loses the ability to pay due to unemployment, illness, or loss of contact with the tenant. Therefore a joint guarantor is required when renting an apartment in Japan. Legally, the responsibility of a joint guarantor is as strong as the contractor. In most cases, a family member becomes one's joint guarantor.
2. Looking for a guarantor for foreigner tenant
For foreigners, looking for a joint guarantor becomes a big problem because a joint guarantor must be a Japanese person with a stable income. Due to this requirement, family members cannot meet the qualifications, and tenants must rely on their Japanese friends. However, most Japanese people are told not to become a friend's joint guarantor due to its heavy responsibility, and thus the tenant ends up having no support for a joint guarantor from their community.
3. Guarantor company
Nowadays Japanese people, like foreigners, are having a harder time finding a joint guarantor. This led to rapid growth in the guarantor company industry. Each guarantor company has its own rules and plans. Some require a joint guarantor anyway, which allows the tenant to pass screening easily. Others only require emergency contact information, which holds no financial responsibility for the contractor's rent. There are also guarantor services provided through credit card companies as well. Below is one example of a guarantor service fee. The initial cost is usually between 50-100% of the monthly rent (including management fee, parking fee, etc.) paid at the time of the contract. Depending on the type of plan, 10,000 Yen annual fee may be charged from the second year, a monthly fee of 1,000-2,000 Yen will be charged in addition to your rent, or 1-3% of the monthly rent will be charged. *Normally, guarantor services, and companies are designated by the management companies.
Tips and Information about Apartment Hunting in Japan
About initial contract fees such as deposit and key money
Deposit is paid to the landlord as insurance in unpredictable cases and it will be used to cover delayed rent, damage repairs, and so on. The deposit is supposed to be returned to the tenant at the end of the contract, however, if there is any damage beyond normal wear-and-tear, the balance will be returned to the tenant after the restoration fee is deducted. In most cases, the tenant shall be responsible for the basic cleaning fee, so it is unlikely to receive back the deposit in full amount. It is recommended that tenants use the apartment neatly so there will be less to pay, and more amount returning when moving out. Deposit is usually equal to 1 to 2 months of rent in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It is paid at the time of signing the contract. Here are some things you need to be careful to get more deposit back at the end of the contract: -Do not smoke indoors. -Clean the room regularly. -Do not use pins or nails to hang things on the wall. -Do not damage the floor or the walls. -Remove the oil stains in the kitchen frequently. Any other damages and stains that require extra repair may be charged upon moving out. Please make sure to use the room neatly.
Important points when looking for a room
Monthly rent budget It is best to set your monthly rent budget to 25-30% of your monthly income. -Initial cost Normally, moving in costs 4-6 months' worth of rent. If you cannot provide as much initial cost, try looking for apartments without deposits or key money.
What you need for application and contract
Personal identification card Passport, residence card, student card, insurance card, etc. -Joint guarantor or guarantor company (1) When there is a joint guarantor A joint guarantor must be a Japanese person with a stable income. You are required to give personal information such as their name, address, date of birth, contact information, income, work information. (2) When using a guarantor company When using a guarantor company, you are required to give emergency contact information. This includes their name, address, date of birth, and contact information. (Depending on the guarantor company and the type of plan you use, you may be asked to pay 50-100% of your monthly rent as your initial cost.)
How to activate electricity service and precautions
In Japan, electricity services are provided through private businesses. Thus, when you move to a new area, you must register with the electricity company in your respective area (Ex: in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Tokyo Electric Power Company). You can register online or make a phone call. GTN can also register on behalf of you if you need assistance.
How to activate gas and precautions
In Japan, there are two types of gas, city gas and propane gas, both provided through private businesses. To activate gas, you must register with the gas company respective to your new area, just like activating your electricity (for residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Tokyo Gas). You can call to register or apply online. After registration, a staff member will come to your new apartment and will activate your gas. You must be present for this procedure for safety.
How to activate water and precautions
In Japan, water is provided through the Government Bureau of Waterworks of each designated area. You must contact the respective Bureau by phone, FAX, or apply online to activate your water services. For residents in Tokyo, please contact the Bureau customer center 3-4 days before activation or deactivation of your water services. If you need assistance, GTN can contact them on your behalf.