Important points when looking for a room
1. Setting a budget
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.
Commuting time Think about how much time you can use to commute to your work or school. Most workplaces are in urban areas, so living close to work would mean higher rent. -Train lines Living along popular train lines like Yamanote Line, Marunouchi Line, and Ginza Line in Tokyo is convenient, but the rent is expensive. By living along other train lines, you can reduce your monthly rent easily but still live close to the city. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance deciding on which areas suit your preferences.
3. Room layout and structure
Room types The necessary room layout and number of rooms depend on the number of tenants that will live in the room. For example, if a person plans to live alone, then 1Room, 1K, 1DK, 1LDK room types are most suitable. If two people plan to live together, then 2K, 2DK, 2LDK room types are more suitable. Two people living in 1K is not preferred in most cases but negotiable. Please let us know if you prefer to share your apartment with another person. -Structure Apartments in Japan are wooden structured, steel-structured, reinforced concrete structured, or steel-reinforced concrete structured. Normally we use "apartments" and "mansion" in Japanese to refer to different types of structures. Mansion type building is stronger and tends to be more expensive to rent. -Age of the apartment Newer apartments are more popular and tend to be more expensive to rent. Older apartments are usually cheaper.
Security system An auto-lock main entrance is a common security system used in Japanese apartment buildings. There are also apartments with intercom, security cameras, a doorman, and other security systems. -Delivery box It is a box designed to keep your packages that were delivered while you were away. -Loft Loft floors help to create large storage areas and reduce unused space. -Electric stove and gas stove You can use electric or gas stoves in the kitchen. Electric stoves are just as strong as gas stoves and are very useful. It also prevents housefires. -Bathroom dehumidifier In some bathrooms are equipped with a dehumidifier and a heating system. It is useful when drying laundry indoors. -Floor heating Some apartments have heating floors that help to warm the room from bottom up. -Other facilities Other useful facilities include a built-in kitchen unit, bathroom cabinets, internet, and BS/CS cable TV. Check and see which facilities are available in your apartment.
Neighborhood areas It is good to check if there are supermarkets and convenience stores nearby. -2nd floor or higher Some tenants prefer to live in a higher part of the building to prevent burglaries, and for better natural lighting. The rent is sometimes more expensive on higher floors due to its popularity.
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.
What are joint guarantor and guarantor company?
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.
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.