Welcome to Japan to study abroad, working holiday, or even just work. After you come to Japan, you have to find a room for your Japanese new life.
When you look for a rental room in Japan as a foreigner, you might have some trouble with the unique rules of renting it. Therefore, this article helps you to find your room as introducing the basic knowledge of renting properties, and websites you can search those rooms; all of the information is thoughtfully selected. If you are looking for Japanese apartments or shared houses, please refer to this article.
Recommendable Website to Search Japanese Leasing information
This website widely handles information about Japanese apartments for rent. You can easily find satisfied rooms because you can set some conditions, such as area, near the station, rental fee, and so on, when you search it. In addition, there are a lot of articles, which is useful for searching your room, featured "rentable rooms without Japanese guarantor", "rental rooms with furniture and home electrical appliance", "no deposit rental rooms", "only female properties", and so on. You can receive max 100,000 yen for congratulatory money if you decide your room within 60 days through DOOR chintai. To receive the money, you must apply the campaign and own a bank account of PayPay Bank. (Until 31 May 2021)
Renting a Room as a Foreigner
When you contract a room in Japan, you have to pay extra initial fees, such as deposit, gratuity fee, brokerage charge. Therefore, it is better to prepare money about a quadruple or quintuple of the monthly fee though it depends on each property. In addition, you need a co-signed guarantor, who is responsible to pay the fees in case the contractor could not pay for it with some reasons; it is one of the difficulties as searching the room. In other words, you have to find a person who thoroughly trusts you. Even Japanese people avoid to become a co-signed guarantor; generally, only parents or siblings accept it. Of course, you can look for someone who can be a co-signed guarantor, but we recommend to find properties that do not need a co-signed guarantor, or an insurance company bears the role.
Nowadays, the number of those properties (co-signed guarantor is unnecessary or it is possible to sign the insurance company) is increasing because of the increase of foreigners living in Japan.
It is efficient to look for those properties.
TIPSComprehensive Renters Insurance for Foreign Students Studying in Japan
If you are an international student, it is better to use Comprehensive Renters Insurance for Foreign Students Studying in Japan.。The system pays compensation to the co-signed guarantor when he/she receives a demand for guarantee obligation from the renter. The system can be applied if you enter the Japanese university, college, or vocational school; have a state of residence.
Type of Rental Properties
- Rental apartment, flat
- Share house
- Sharing a room (with roommates)
- Dormitory, International House (student only)
Rental apartment, flat
Japanese civil rental apartments usually do not own furniture. The term of a contract is basically two years. When you stay in Japan for a long time (e.g. enter a Japanese university), we recommend the rental apartments. Conversely, if you stay less than one year, share houses or residences that are leased on a weekly (or monthly) are more reasonable. After you rent an apartment room, you need to pay rental fees, maintenance fees, utility charges (about 10,000 yen), the Internet access fees, and so on. Generally, the rental fees go up on a higher floor. Nowadays, the number of foreign-friendly properties with furniture and household electric appliances are increasing.
- No time restriction.
- You can find a room which suits your orders.
- It is reasonable if you schedule to stay for over 2 years.
- You have to buy furniture and household electric appliances (if the room does not own them).
- You need initial extra fees, such as deposit, gratuity fees, and brokerage charges.
Useful Websites for searching Japanese Rental Apartments
It picks up the rental apartments that do not need to pay deposit and gratuity fees when you contract it.
All properties contain furniture and home electric equipment, so you can immediately start to live without Japanese guarantor.
Useful Apps for searching Japanese Rental Apartments
You can order to select rental properties and also consult about it via only this app. First, you download it freely and fill out your information. After you enter the desired conditions, your ietty lets you know the information. As using this app, you can quickly reserve to look at the rooms; which is very efficient. Basically, you can ask anything through the ietty chat, even you can negotiate the monthly fees. However, it does not correspond to foreign language so you should be able to understand Japanese; but it is possible to find foreign-friendly properties. The operating time of the chat is from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (JST). Even if you are not living in Japan but searching Japanese rental rooms, it is possible to use this app. Only one thing is that you should be careful about the minimum monthly fees are set at 50,000 yen (Tokyo is 60,000). It is an easy way to look for rental rooms so if you can understand Japanese, let's utilize it!
Share houses are also called a guest house. It has shared a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and so on, but the contractors have each own room. Share houses are popular within the foreigners because most of them do not request an initial deposit, gratuity fees, brokerage charges, and a co-signed guarantor. There are share houses that require a deposit, but they are cheaper as compared to general rental apartments. The term of the contract is from one month to two years (maximum). As compared to a general rental apartment, share house has higher flexibility so it is convenient for international students, or working holidays. In addition, you can communicate with Japanese people because share houses are recently popularized among them.
- You can immediately enter the room because they own furniture and electric appliances.
- The initial cost is low because deposit, gratuity fees, and brokerage charge are unnecessary.
- Easy to make friends.
- The common space might be crowded so you cannot use it when you want to.
- You have to follow the rules of each share house.
Useful Websites for searching Japanese Share House
You can easily narrow the information of all the share house in Japan as using free word search with "share house (シェアハウス)" as a keyword. Moreover, it has special features; "no need of co-signed guarantor", "apartment with furniture and electrics rented by the month", and so on.
It has been in business for 20 years and provides more than 5,000 share houses in the Kanto region. A refrigerator, TV, air conditioner, and internet are available for immediate entry. It supports English, Chinese, French, Korean, and so on. It is easy to use even for foreigners who are not good at Japanese.
sharing a room (with roommates)
Sharing a room is that several people live together at a rental property. It sounds similar to share house, but the most different point is that there is no caretaker. Therefore, generally, you live civil rental property with 2~3 people, and the rules are decided by yourself. The roommates are normally your friends at school or co-workers. You can also find via the Internet, but you should be careful. Compared to the share house, it is expected to a better living environment, and you can reduce the cost of rental fees and utility charges.
- You can cut the cost as sharing the initial fees, rental fees, and utility charges with roommates.
- You do not have to feel anxiety for a single life in Japan.
- It is relatively unrestricted because you only have to follow the rules with your roommates.
- Breaking rules may cause trouble among roommates.
- If one of the roommates leaves, you have to bear the fees until the next person comes.
Useful Websites for Searching Properties Allows Sharing Rooms
It picks up properties that allow sharing a room with several people from all over Japan. The number of properties is remarkable. It handles over 40,000 properties in Tokyo area, and also 20,000 properties in Chiba and Kanagawa area. In Osaka, they can introduce over 50,000 properties.
Dormitory, International House (student only)
It is only for students managed by schools. Some universities or colleges cooperate with the civil corporation who alternatively manage the dormitories. In the case of school dormitory, you basically live with your roommate. It is a very low cost, but the room is tiny and you might not be able to enter even though you apply it. International House is a residence for international students managed by the private corporation. It is similar to dormitories but you normally do not have any roommates; it prepares a single room. The cost is more expensive, but the living environment is rather comfortable. Some international houses provide types of furniture, such as a bed and desk. The bathroom is a common space and there is a time restriction. If you want to reduce a residential fee, international houses would be one of the choices.
- You can immediately enter the room because they own furniture and electric appliances.
- Very low cost.
- You can walk to school, which is convenience.
- There are some rules about closing time and meals.
- Only room is one for own; the bathroom is the common space.
Useful Websites for Searching Student Apartment, and International House (Student Only)
It collects information about international houses lending low in cost for students. You can ask for a brochure. Also, it compares with student apartments and international houses by the benefits. It introduces the highly recommended properties.
How to find rental properties for foreigners
The following section is the flow of finding rental properties for foreigners in Japan.
Pick up the desired condition
Decide what kind of room you would like to live. Write down the conditions: place, layout, facilities, monthly fee, and so on.
Looking for rental properties
There are two ways of finding rental properties; going to a real estate office and get introduced directly, or using a website to get information and then introduced the properties by the real estate. Rather than going to a real estate office directly, finding your favorite rental properties before meeting the real estate is more efficient. First, you should find properties you would like to live as using those websites. On those websites, you can set the monthly fee, layout, facilities, foreigners-welcomed, no charge of deposit/gratuity, and so on when you look for properties. In addition, you can contact the real estate and get an appointment of private viewing via the internet. If you find a property that you like, you had better contact quickly, otherwise, it might be sold out. If you could not find a suitable room, it is a good way to let a real estate to find a property, which includes similar conditions.
If you find a property you want to live, you must view it because the actual room might be different from the photos. Private viewing is free. If you are not interested in the room after viewing, it is important to refuse the room. Even though a real estate offers you to contract as soon as possible because the room may be sold out, you do not have to contract in case you want to think carefully. Do not forget to check about sunshine, storage, security. In addition, be better to check convenience stores, grocery stores, hospitals, post offices around the room.
Apply to rent a room
After you decide which room you are going to live, let's apply to move into with required documents. Passing through the examination, you are able to contract formally. Before you sign the document, you must confirm the contractual coverage. If you do not understand something, do not be afraid to ask the real estate, especially special provision items.
Prepare to move
After moving day is decided, you should contact the real estate as soon as possible. Before you receive the key, you should check the present status of the room with the real estate. You should take photos of dirties (if they are) for a record in order to prevent some trouble as you leave. You cannot lose the key because you have to give it back when you leave.
If the owner/caretaker lives near your room, you should greet them. Utilities (water, electricity, and gas) are not available until you contract. You can use it as soon as you apply them, except gas, which you have to observe the settling. Following chart is about the way of contract each utility.
|Electricity||Post the "Electricity Use Application" after filling out it with your name, address, and date of start. You can also apply via telephone or internet.|
|Gas||Before you move into your room, you contact the gas company in order to enable to use of gas on the day of move-in. You have to stay in your room while the procedure of gas settling. You should contact the gas company about a week before the date of move-in. You can check which gas company takes charge of your area from "The Japan Gas Association". Apply it via telephone or internet.|
|Water||Post the "Water Use Application" before you move. You can also apply via telephone or the Internet.|
As you decide to leave the place, you have to inform to the real estate or owner by the definite period on the contract (normally 1-2 months before you leave). The cancellation procedure should be done by a week of leave. In order to avoid some trouble, you must be attended with the real estate or the owner on the day you leave. After the cancellation procedure, the deposit will be returned to you. However, if you damage the room or equipment, it deducts from the deposit.
Recommendable Website of Leasing information for Foreigners
There are featured articles that introduce a lot of properties for foreigners; "no deposit, gratuity fees", "no need of Japanese guarantor", "only female", "under \50,000/month", and "with furniture and home electrical appliance". The information about rental properties is provided by Japanese major five companies of rental properties.
You can reduce the initial cost significantly because OYO LIFE does not require deposits, key money, and brokerage fees though the monthly fee is a little higher than a regular rental fee. Moreover, water, utilities, and the Internet do not cost, so that the total cost is not unusually high. You complete all the procedures online, including searching, contract, and moving. Immediate move-in is possible because furniture, home appliances, and Wi-Fi are already installed (not all the properties), and you do not need a joint guarantor. Generally, a rental contract lasts 2 years, but OYO LIFE allows you to contract from 31 days. Therefore, if you plan to stay in Japan for a short term, you should check this service. Although you cannot visit the properties to look around, they provide a lot of photos to show the looks inside. You can easily apply the property online as you prepare an identity verification, such as a residence card or a passport, and a credit card.
Cashback Chintai is a property rental website where you can obtain cashback by contracting with a rental property. After registering as a free member, inquiring about the rental property, making a contract within 60 days, and applying from My Page, you can receive congratulatory money of 5,000 to 100,000 yen. Not only searching for rental properties from stations and areas, but you can also find foreigners-specialized rental properties, such as no guarantor required, no key money/deposit, and furnished/applianced. It is easy to imagine the actual room looks because they post many exterior and interior photos and floor plans. There is also useful information such as rent market prices, rental terms, room search manuals, and contract manuals, so it's a good idea to take a look through them.
The listing number of rental properties is 1.1 million all over Japan. The information covers urban cities and the countryside. It contains about "no deposit, gratuity fees", "latest trend about residence".
TipsWord Guide of Rentals in Japan
|Monthly fees (rent)||As you borrow the room, you pay money to the owner monthly. In case you leave/enter at the middle of the month, the payment generally calculated day by day.|
|Deposit||When you contract, you give money approximately double of monthly fee to the owner. The recovery expense for the damage of the room is paid from the deposit. If it remains when you leave, it will be back to you.|
|Gratuity fees||This money represents your appreciation for the owner. It is approximately once or doubles monthly fee, but it is possible to negotiate. Gratuity fees are not returned.|
|Co-signed Guarantor||The person is responsible to pay monthly fees alternatively if you do not pay. Generally, you need guarantor when you apply to enter. It is normally required a Japanese that earns a stable income.|
|Brokerage Charge||This fee is paid to the real estate agent for the service. It is approximately one month's rental fee.|
|Maintenance fee||This fee is to maintain the shared space, such as stairs, elevators. It is normally paid with a monthly fee.|
|Renewal fee||The contract term is normally for two years. If you want to continue to live over the term, you have to pay the fee to the owner.|
|Property damage insurance||This insurance is for disasters, such as fire. Some properties require to enter. It is at about 10,000-20,000 yen.|