What You Need to Rent a Place

Gathering Information about Properties

Information about renting property can be found on the Internet and in magazines. If you cannot speak Japanese, it may be better to visit a real estate company that can handle English and ask them to introduce properties that meet your criteria. As a real estate company will also be able to help customers with rental contracts, choosing a real estate company that can handle English would be a wise choice.

What You Need to Conclude a Rental Contract

1.Verification of Identity

When making a contract, a residence card is required to verify identity as part of the tenant screening process. Depending on the real estate company, in addition to a residence card, a passport, certificate of residence, student card, certificate of income and withholding tax as proof of income or pay stubs may be required. It is a good idea to inquire in advance by email or phone to check what you need.

2. Guarantor

Typically, a Japanese national is required as a guarantor to make a contract. The guarantor is obliged to pay the rent in place of the tenant if the tenant is no longer able to pay the rent due to illness or unemployment, etc. If no suitable candidate for guarantor exists, it may be possible to use a guarantee company to act as guarantor, so please consult with the real estate company.

3. Contract Charges

Security Deposit (Guarantee)

This is a fee that is temporarily deposited with the landlord as a security for rent arrears, repair costs upon vacating the property, and so on. On vacating the property this money is returned in most cases, however, if the rooms are dirty or severely damaged, it may not be returned in order to pay for repairs. The security deposit is often 1-2 months’ rent.

Key Money

This charge is paid as a “thank you” to the landlord. It is not returned upon vacating the property. It is often 1-2 months’ rent. In recent years, some property rental companies have stopped charging this fee.

Advance Rent

This is the rent for the first month of the tenancy. If the tenancy begins in the middle of a month, it is often necessary to pay a daily rate for the month the contract begins and also one month’s rent for the following month.

Brokerage Commission

This is a charge paid to the real estate company that introduced the rental property. This is up to 1 month’s rent as stipulated by law (Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Law Article 46).

Damage Insurance Premium

This is an insurance premium to cover damage such as that caused by fire. The insured contents and amount depend on the contract.

There may be other initial costs aside from those listed above, so you should confirm exactly what fees are required to be paid before concluding the contract.

Monthly Charges


This is the monthly rent. In general, the payment method is either payment in cash, or by bank transfer, convenience store payment, or direct debit whereby it is automatically withdrawn from the tenant’s bank account each month.

Administrative Expenses (Common Service Fees)

This fee is used for repair and maintenance of the shared part of a rental property. This is usually a monthly charge separate from the rent. It is a good idea to confirm the amount of this charge, along with the rent, before concluding the contract.

Edited by NTT TownPage