How to activate water and precautions
1. How to activate water
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.
2. Precautions using water
Contract period Generally, the contract period starts on the first day of activation and will not be deactivated until notified. Please make sure to notify the Bureau of Waterworks when moving out to cancel your contract.
If there is water leakage, burst water pipes, or any other problems, please contact the respective Bureau of Waterworks for your area. For residents in Tokyo, you can also call the below number for assistance. Tokyo 23 Wards Customer Center Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks TEL: 03-5326-1101
4. Emergency Contact
Please contact the designated Bureau of Waterworks for your area to activate or deactivate your water services. For residents in Tokyo, please contact below. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks TEL：03-5326-1101 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Waterworks FAX：03-3344-2531
5. Paying water bills
The water fee will be calculated monthly on a designated date, which is listed on your measurement receipt. The water usage amount is metered on a meter and will be billed to you every 2 months. If the water service was activated or deactivated in the middle of a month, those months' bill will be prorated daily.
6. Payment methods
Direct debit With direct debit, your water and sewer fees will be withdrawn automatically from your savings account. You will get a 50 yen monthly discount (600 yen annual discount) by paying with direct debit. -Credit card You can link your water bill with your credit card. Your water fee will be charged to you through your credit card bill. You must fill in the application form, 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. There are some areas in Japan where credit card payment is not available, so please check with the Bureau of Waterworks of the designated area first. -Direct deposit If you have not set up a direct debit or credit card, you will receive a payment slip every month from the Bureau of Waterworks. You can pay the bill at a bank, post office, or at a convenience store.
7. How to deactivate water
When moving out, you must request for your contract to be canceled with the Bureau of Waterworks. You can contact them by phone, FAX, or online. If you need assistance, you can contact GTN and we can contact them on your behalf. Please have the below information when making the cancel request: -Your apartment address -Name of the contractor -Your new address and contact information -The date of cancellation -The payment method of your last payment *You will be charged for water usage until the last day of 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 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.