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A case study for a non-Japanese to rent a property in Japan

Real estate properties in Japan are usually rented through real estate agents rather than directly from lessors. International Interface will support you in a comprehensive manner, covering every step from property searching to concluding agreements, and even in dealing with issues after moving in, through our dedicated staff with English and Chinese language skills.






 I am going to study at a university in Tokyo!

 I need to rent a room in Japan but I don’t know where

 to start. I think I should consult International Interface.







May I Help you?   








Step 1. Decide upon your desires and requirements

First, you should make a decision on your desires and requirements. If you cannot judge what kind of property suits you, we can discuss this issue together in English.    

 University starts on April 1.    
     Then you shold move in by the end of March.

 I don’t want to spend more than

 30 minutes to go to the university.


 The XX area will suit you the most, but if you

 consider things not only by the area but also by

 the railway lines, you will have a wider range of


 My budget is ¥100,000 or less per

 month. What size of room can I



 In this area, a one room apartment of 30 square

 meters will be the standard level for your budget

 of ¥100,000 or less.





Step2. Decide candidate properties

We will help you look for properties that suit you. Based on your desires and requirements you have told us, we will find the optimum properties and introduce them to you.


 We found these properties for you.

 Apartment A:

 ・28 square meters,  one-room apartment

 ・¥83,000 / month

 ・20 minutes to the  university by train

 ・Built 3 years ago
   Apartment B:

 ・32 square meters,  one-room apartment  with kitchen

 ・¥90,000 / month

 ・15 minutes to the  university by train

 ・Interior renovation  completed 

 ・Popular with  students

   Apartment C:

 ・35 square meters,  one-bedroom with

 living, dining and


 ・¥85,000 / month

 ・30 minutes to the  university by train

 ・Located in a quiet  residential area
   Apartment D:

 ・30 square meters,  one-room apartment

 ・¥92,000 / month

 ・12 minutes to the  university by train

 ・Located in a lively

 area with lots of  restaurants


 All of them seem to be good for me. If I am

 allowed to play a musical instrment, that

 would be even better.


 You are allowed to in A and D.

 Then I would like to choose from those two


         Let’s go and take a look at them.





Step3. Preview the property

Once you find properties that meet your desires, International Interface will visit the properties with you. There you can check the interior furnishings, facilities, the surrounding environment, etc. of such properties.


 I liked apartment A.






Step 4. Prepare required documents and apply to rent the room 

As properties that can be rented by non-Japanese are small in number, properties with many advantages can easily become unavailable in a short time. Early applications are recommended when you find a property that suits you. We advise you to also prepare documents required for application to rent the room beforehand.

List of required documents 


 I am preparing the required

 documents. I don’t have 

 Japanese guarator, so what

 should I do?


 You can enter into a contract with a rent guarantor

 company, and we can introduce one to you.

 How are the other documents?

 Do you think they are enough?


 I will check them.


 You have all the required documents now. We will

 start procedures for application.

 How much are the brokerage fee

 and initial costs?


 For the brokerage fee, we would like to receive

 XX yen. This depends on the agent. Initial costs will

 be XX yen, the amount of the shikikin.

 What is the shikikin?


 The shikikin (deposit) is entrusted to the lessor to

 cover any repair if the room is damaged or will

 cover any rent that is not paid. If the above-

 mentioned do not occur, the shikikin will be 

 returned to you when you move out. This time,

 the lessor has set the amount of shikikin as one

 month’s rent, which is XX yen.

 In addition to this, there is a Japanese custom to

 pay reikin (key money) totaling one to two

 months’ rent as a gift to the lessor and this will

 not be returned when you move out. This

 depends on the area and property; however, this

 time, reikin is not required.

 Thank you for your support in

 helping me understand the

 amount I need to pay other

 than moving expenses.








Step 5.Tenant screening

Prior to the agreement, tenant screening will be carried out by a guarantor company or the lessor to verify whether you are eligible to rent the specific property.

Your income level and visa expiration date will be screened, and in some cases, your Japanese language proficiency for everyday conversation may also be screened to be able to deal with problems after moving in. 


 How long  will the screening take?   


 It usually takes from two days

 to one week.         


 I am looking forward to the results.  






Step 6. Conclude the lease agreement

If you pass the screening, you will proceed with the lease agreement procedures. The lease agreement will be concluded at the office of the real estate agent. Agreement papers are usually written in Japanese. Brokerage fees and initial costs need to be paid when the agreement is concluded.    


 Although you are allowed to play a musical

 instrument in this property, you should use

 headphones when you play it and be mindful

 of your neighbors.


 I will follow the rules when playing

 the musical instrument.


 That is all regarding the details of explanations

 about important matters and the agreement.

 Do you have any questions?


 Nothing in particular.

 I now understand in detail the

 contents of the agreement,

 important matters and even the

 rules to follow.








Step 7. Move in

After concluding the agreement, receive the keys to your room and start to move in.


 When moving in, don’t forget to check the present condition of

 the accommodation for stains and scratches on the walls and

 floors, facilities, and others. This will provide reference material

 for restoring the room to its original state when moving out.

 Is there anything

 else to do?


 You should submit a moving-in notification at the ward or city

 office. Also don’t forget the arrangements to start receiving

 services including gas, electricity, water, and the Internet.





 I have managed to start my new life here in Tokyo.

 I will study at a different campus and will need to move

 in two years’ time, but I am confident to be able to move

 without any problems.