How to activate electricity service and precautions
1. How to activate electricity
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.
2. Precautions using electricity
Circuit Breakers If you use too many electric appliances at the same time, the circuit breakers will trip. You can set it back up once you have powered off the appliances. -Using power strips Using power strips or extension cords, especially in dusty areas or areas with high humidity, can lead to house fires and other accidents. Please be cautious when using them.
For any assistance related to electricity and its services, contact the electricity company respective of your area. You can also contact GTN if you need someone to help explain or translate the situation. -Changes to contract information -About the circuit breakers -Changes to user information etc.
4. Emergency contact
If any electricity-related trouble occurs, please call the respective electricity company for assistance. Tokyo Electric Power Company (for residents in Tokyo) Power outage, and other problems TEL: 0120-995-002 If you cannot use 0120 TEL: 03-6374-8936
5. Prohibitions and One-point information
Attention to the dampness Please be careful using electricity around water because it can cause a leakage or electric shock -Attention to dust Using power strips in dusty places can cause excessive heat or fire. Please be cautious of using them.
6. Payment method
Direct debit With direct debit, your electricity fee will be withdrawn automatically from your savings account. To set up the direct debit, you need to contact your electricity company to request for the application form (電気料金等口座振替申込書) to be sent by mail. You must fill it in, seal it with your seal (inkan), and mail it back. It may take 1-2 months for the direct debit to be set up. -Credit card You can link your electricity bill with your credit card. To set up the credit card payment, you need to contact your electricity company to request for the application form (電気料金等クレジットカード支払い申込書)to be sent by mail. You must fill it in, seal it with your seal (inkan), and mail it back. It may take 1-2 months for the credit card payment to be set up. -Direct deposit If you have not set up a direct debit or credit card, you will receive a payment slip every month from the electricity company. You can pay the bill at a bank, post office, or at a convenience store. For more information, please contact your electricity company.
Electricity bills are due within 30 days from the last measurement. If payment is not made, you will be charged a 0.03% interest per day. If your payment is not received 20 days after the due date, you will receive a warning and your electricity will be suspended.
8. Procedures when moving out
Once your move-out date is set, you must contact the electricity company to cancel your contract.
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.
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 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.