If you want to live in Japan, one of the first things that you have to do is to find a place to live. Common ways of finding a house are to go to the real estate agent, look for it on the Internet or in magazines. You can check the housing advertisements on the agent windows or consult agent staff. You will want to check the cost, location, size of the house and so on, with cost being the most important. In renting a house in Japan there are a few more things concerning money other than rent that you have to keep in mind.
When you make a contract, you have to pay a security deposit to the owner of the house, which is called Shiki-kin. The amount of money you pay will usually be between 1 month to 3 month’s fee depending on the landlord. When you move out and in case you need to compensate or repair some damages of the property, it will be covered by this and you will get paid back if there is anything left.
This is the money you pay as a gratuity to your owner and probably one or two month’s rent and this is not refundable. But it is not always required. It depends on where you live.
When you renew your housing contract, you have to pay the renewal fee and this is Koshin-Ryu. Again, there is a possibility that you may not have to pay this.
So you’d better check.
In addition to those specific situations, there are also maintenance fees (管理費・共益費/ Kanri-hi・Kyoeki-hi) for building maintenance, electricity, cleaning of shared space, an Agent fee (仲介手数料/ Chukai Tesu-Ryo) to pay to the real estate agent for finding a place, and housing insurance. So you will have to have the amount of money equivalent to approximately five to six month’s rent in total when you make a contract.
There are lots of things that you have to consider when renting. You’ll have to get some documents ready as well. The documents referenced below would be most common; Identification, Resident card, Income verification, and Personal seal registration. However, it will depend on the housing and you may need other documents too. You’d better make sure with the real estate agent what you are actually required to submit.
There is one more thing that you will be required in renting a house. That is a joint guarantor (連帯保証人/ Rental hosyo nin), a person with a good credit to cover rental fees in case you cannot pay. Usually, you ask somebody you know, but you can also use a guarantor company.
This is only part of the rental system in Japan. As mentioned, in some instances you may be asked for additional fees or different documents. So you need to ask your real estate, agent.
I hope this gives you some insight into our housing system.