FAQ-For English

What are the "Initial expenses" during contract making?

Initial costs include all the fees which the lessee must pay around the time

of contract making. The lessee is obligated to make these payments,

otherwise it will render the contract making process difficult to complete.

In most cases it will amount to between 3 to 6 monthly rent fees in total.


The initial costs include the following:


Deposit fee

   A one-time payment for payment assurance,

 room cleaning costs and damage insurance.


Key money

 A one-time gratitude payment for the owner.

 Customary in Japan.


Guarantor company’s fee

    Some property owners will require lessees to be guaranteed

    by a Guarantor company of their choice.

    The Guarantor company will be responsible for all financial

    obligations of the lessee.

    The Guarantor company’s fee is from 50~100% of a month’s

    lease for the first year and 10,000JPY each additional year.


Agency commission

  Payment made to the real estate agency for its services.

  Usually equivalent to 1 month’s rental fee.


Partial rent

 Payment made from moving date

 until the end of the month.

   Will be added to the following month’s rental fee.

   For example : 1 full month + 10 days out of 1 month’s fee.


Fire insurance (household goods insurance)

   When renting a room, it is required to get this in case of accidental fire.

   It usually costs approximately 20,000JPY for 2 years.


Lock changing fee

   The lock-changing fee is the cost incurred when the lessee moves in,

   and when the door locks must be changed.

   The average cost for lock change is about 12,000JPY to 20,000JPY.

What’s “Deposit”?

Deposit = Shiki-kin (敷金)


It is a one-time payment of 1-2months 
for payment assurance to prove the lessee has

sufficient funds for making monthly rental payments.


May be partially returned at the end of the contract

provided the lessee doesn't miss any monthly payments.


It also acts as the lessor’s insurance against property

damage as well as coverage of room-cleaning costs.


Deposit payment is made at the time of contract 
signing or a few days before.

What’s “Key Money”?

Key Money = Rei-kin (礼金).


It is a one-time non-returnable payment of 1-2months 
made to get you into a property.


It is a customary gratitude payment to the owner of the property.
Although many foreign lessees are not accustomed to paying

this extra fee, in Tokyo it is nearly mandatory for any property

which is privately owned.


Your choices for available properties are greatly expanded 
if you agree to pay Key Money.


Clients searching for properties with Zero Key Money 
find their choices are extremely restricted.


In fact, many properties that advertise Zero Key Money 
have “hidden” Key Money ( a higher monthly payment).


Key Money payment is made at the time of contract 
signing or a few days before.

What’s a "Joint Guarantor"?

Joint Guarantor = Rentai-hoshōnin (連帯保証人)


It is required for leasing almost all properties.
This guarantor is responsible for all financial 
obligations of the lessee in the event that the lessee 
cannot fulfill those obligations.


The guarantor can be a personal guarantor 
(lessee’s employer, Japanese family member or host fammily member) 
or Guarantor company.


Some property owners will require lessees to be guaranteed 
by a Guarantor company of their choice.
Other property owners will allow the lessee to find a Guarantor company, 
if they cannot provide a personal guarantor.


The Guarantor company will be responsible for all financial 
obligations of the lessee.
The Guarantor company’s fee is from 50~100% 
of a month’s lease for the first year 
and JPY10,000~ for each additional year.

What’s "Partial rent"?

If indicated on the contract, partial rent is a fee calculated from the

moving date as indicated on the contract [let’s call this “starting date”].

No matter if you move in on that date or later during the month, you

still have to pay from the starting date. It will be calculated as part of

the initial costs.


For example, if you complete a contract in the latter part of April,

you will pay the rent for the month of May in addition to the number

of days remaining to April, from the starting date.

(This applies whether using a company guarantor or a personal guarantor.)

The amount to pay will depend on the starting date, for instance, if it is

April 25th, you may have to pay a 6 day fee + the next month’s rent.


If using a personal guarantor and the contract is made in the early part

of April, it is possible that you may not need to pay the rent for May

but will only need to pay from the starting date to the end of April,

but this depends on the property.


If using a company guarantor in this case, it is necessary to pay

the 2 months (starting date + month of May).


Calculating rent for daily basis:

"Monthly rent ÷ Number of days in the month × Number of days

                                                                              under contract"



When the payment is generated from the 20th at a monthly rent of

JPY80,000   → JPY80,000 ÷ 30 × 11days = JPY29,333. (=Daily rent)

What’s “Lock changing fee”?

The lock-changing fee is the cost incurred when the lessee moves in,

and when the door locks must be changed.

This is done in consideration of security, in order to prevent situations

where people who lived there in the past might have made duplicate

keys to reenter the premises.

Lock changing expenses are generally included in the initial cost,

basically the lessor’s side will arrange the lock change via the key-maker

of his choice. Depending on the property you may not need to do so.

The average cost for lock change is about 12,000JPY to 20,000JPY.

If the lessor does not require this, it is possible for the lessee to request

a lock change. In this case the full cost of this precaution will be charged

to the lessee.

In Japan, what kind of leasing property contracts are available?

There are 2 types.

There’s the “Renewable contract” and the “Fixed-term contract”.

What’s a “Renewable contract”?

It is the way for property leasing contracts in Japan.

This contract is automatically renewable every two years,

unless there are major extenuating circumstances.


This contract favors the lessee, since the lessor cannot legally force

the lessee to move out after two years, except in the most extreme cases.

Therefore, the rent is renegotiable to the lessee’s advantage.


Generally rental fees will either remain the same or be increased

by no more than 10%-20%.


There is however a customary renewal fee (usually one month’s rent)

every two years.

What’s a “Fixed-term contract”?

Under this relatively new type of contract in Japan the owner

is not legally obligated to continue leasing the property when

the fixed term (commonly two years or longer) expires.


For foreign lessees, this type of contract is more accessible

since it puts less risk on the lessor.


Most corporate-owned properties use this type of contract.

Although the contract expires after the fixed term,

the lessor is free to choose to write a new contract. 

So the lessee may continue to live there for a new term.


If the lessor decides to terminate the agreement

when the fixed term expires, they are legally

required to give the lessee a notice form one year

to six months prior to the move out date.

What’s “Contract renewal fee”?

Under a standard or renewable contract, which is generally for a period

of 2 years, if the lessee chooses to remain in the residence when the

contract term expires, they must pay a renewal fee. This fee is almost

always one month’s rent and is required for all residences.

The lessor must officially notify the lessee of this fee one to two months

prior to the end of the initial contract. This fee must be paid every 2 years

in the case of a continually renewed contract.

What's "Maintenance fee"?

Maintenance fee is the monthly cost of maintenance for

the building's elevator and common space.

What’s “Approval of lessee’s application”?

The reason for this mandatory approval process is primarily to reassure

the lessor that the prospective lessee is trustworthy, will always pay

on time and will respect the property’s rules for residents.


This process starts after the prospective lessee has decided on the best

property, and must be finished before any contract is signed. 

It takes one to two weeks from the time the lessor receives the application

for leasing, which must be completely filled out and all the requisite

documents must be in order.

This approval process is done by either the lessor of the property,

a property management company or the guarantor company.


The standard criteria for approval of a prospective lessee’s application

are as follows;

*the annual income of lessee

*the reputation of lessee’s current employer

*history of lessee’s work for employer

*guarantor’s annual income and their employer’s reputation (if applicable)

*accuracy of all information on the application

*general face-to-face impression of lessee (in some cases).


The ideal ratio of monthly income to monthly rent is under 30%

(e.g. If the monthly income is 300,000JPY the monthly rent should be

        no more than 90,000JPY)

What are the "5 most common reasons" a prospective lessee’s ㅤapplication to be rejected?

The five most common reasons a prospective lessee’s application

are rejected:

1) The ratio of monthly rent to monthly income is too high

    (insufficient monthly income compared to property’s 

     monthly rental fee).


2) The prospective lessee is not currently employed

    (even if the case is a period of transition between jobs).

    In this case a financial guarantor can solve the problem,  

    however, even if a lessee does not have a guarantor there are

    alternative solutions we can outline during our consultation.


3) The prospective lessee is not easily contacted by phone.

    (lessee may often be contacted by the lessor or guarantor company

     for confirmation of their commitment to leasing the property.)


4) Presentation of essential documents is not done in a timely manner,

    particularly when there are other prospective lessees competing

    for the property.


5) Lessee’s current employment is perceived to be insufficiently

    remunerated, or in the case of freelance work, any official

    proof of a stable income, such as annual tax returns or proof

    of residence tax can greatly improve chances of approval.


How to handle guarantor company regulations?

In case the lessee must use a guarantor company:


Some lessors require the prospective lessee to use the lessor’s preferred

guarantor company. These companies must approve the lessee as well.

The criteria for this approval is generally the same as for the lessor’s

application, however there are a few additional criteria.


The lessee must receive the confirmation call from the guarantor

company, which should be within a day or 2 after submitting the

application form. The lessee should also be able to understand

the guarantor company’s questions in conversational Japanese.

So, expect to have to answer these basic questions by yourself.

(For instance, they might ask your name, date of birth etc.)

Questions from the guarantor company are only confirmation questions

about the validity of the application and the identity of the lessee.


An emergency contact person must also answer the confirmation call from

the guarantor company, and should be able to respond to all questions

in Japanese. ( It is required for the emergency contact person to be

Japanese, for instance, it could be a relative, an employer, a host-parent

or a close friend ).


In the case you need assistance, feel free to contact us.

I have a pet, what kind of difficulties will I encounter trying to ㅤ lease a property?

Lessors’ rules regarding pets on the property vary greatly,

so there is no general rule which applies to all cases.

So all residents must respect each property’s rules regarding pets.

Prospective lessees with pets must thoroughly investigate

a property’s regulations regarding pets at the outset.

In a case where pets are allowed, there are a number of

common restrictions (pet rules) to keep in mind:


Almost all properties restrict the number of pets allowed.

   The maximum is two, though a limit of just one is also common.


Type of pet is also considered. Cats are less often accepted than dogs.


Restrictions on dog size and dog breed are common as well,

   with large and/or aggressive dog breeds more often disallowed.


All clients with pets are encouraged to have veterinary records and

a photo of your pet available before contract signing.

A small but growing number of property owners cater to lessees

with pets and may even have specialized facilities like

pet-washing stations or separate elevators for residents with pets.

I have a piano, willk it be difficult to find properties that allowㅤㅤpianos?

Generally, there are two different concerns, one related to

piano size/weight and one related to noise restrictions.

Grand pianos are almost never allowed in any multi-level properties.

Upright pianos are more likely to be allowed.

Noise restrictions are strictly enforced for any musical instrument,

and normally prohibit playing late at night and early in the morning

( 8:00 pm – 8:00 am, or similar hours).


If you play any other musical instruments please let us know early on.

I have a car is it possible to secure car parking, and what will this involve?

It is quite likely a lessee can secure parking for their vehicle

(car or motorcycle) at most properties.

It is, however, essential for any potential lessee to provide us

with documentation on the vehicle type and dimensions at the

outset, since availability and fees for parking depend on the size

and weight of the car.

What are the different types and average fees for car parking?

In general, there are 3 types of car parking which are available for leasing:


※Automated Parking Garage

 This is a type of sheltered parking which is very secure.

 However it is only available for vehicles of a certain size and weight.

 Typically only smaller cars with regards to width, length and weight

 are acceptable.

 There are two types of spaces with regard to car height:

 average height and wagon/SUV. height,

 with the latter requiring a higher fee.


※Ground level Indoor Parking

 This type has no size limitations and is also secure,

 but is the most expensive and the least available.


※Ground level Outdoor Parking

 This is the least expensive type, but is not covered

 and not quite as secure as the others.


※For a few exclusive properties, particularly those residences

 connected to up-scale hotels, valet parking service is offered.

What is a “service apartment”? / What are its advantages and drawbacks?

Service apartments in Tokyo are something of an industry secret.

Particularly for people coming to Tokyo for a longer but still temporary

stay (over 7 days) who want to stay in a central location, pay less than

a luxury hotel, but do not want to commit to a contract of several

months or years, service apartments are perfect.

Service apartments are like high-quality residences, but they are

completely furnished and offer many of the service of a hotel.

At an average monthly cost of 450,000JPY (20,000JPY per day)

for a 1 bed high-end property in Roppongi, it is much less costly

than a comparable hotel in the area.

In addition, they are much more often available than hotel rooms,

which have recently become extremely difficult to reserve due to

the huge boom in tourism.


The only drawbacks are the 7 day minimum stay and the requirement

of payment for one full month’s stay up-front, regardless of how long

the actual stay is.

Of course the charge for whatever part of that one month the client

does not stay, will be refunded directly to the client’s bank account

upon check out.


For those who are relocating to Tokyo and wish to extend their stay,

the initial one-month can be extended to any period up to 2-years.

A different room, within the building can be selected at any time

depending on availability and is subject to price variation.