Rental Guide for Busy People: Finding an Apartment in Japan Effortlessly

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Looking for a place to live in Japan often comes with challenges. Renters may have difficulty finding a guarantor, reviewing a complicated rental contract, and when encountering agents who are reluctant to rent to foreigners. We introduce Asumirai, a company that makes the rental process easy!


Dreamed About Living in Japan? How to Find Your Perfect Apartment!

Asumirai Real Estate

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Perhaps you've finally received your job offer, or your study abroad has been confirmed. Soon, your dream of living in Japan will start! The next step on your to-do list is to find a place to live.

Unfortunately, living accommodations in Japan are not cheap. For example, the monthly rent for a one-room apartment (*1) in one of Tokyo's 23 wards is usually between 60,000 yen and 100,000 yen. Therefore, you should carefully consider your future rental costs.

It may be difficult to find enough time for apartment hunting in the midst of your busy new life.

It's also important for newcomers to have a basic understanding of the rental conditions in Japan. This article will introduce a convenient service that allows you to rent an apartment safely and securely.

*1 One-room apartment: essentially a studio apartment comprised of a single room. No doors or walls separate the living quarters from the kitchen or other areas.

Things to Know Before Renting an Apartment

In Japan, the rental situation usually differs from region to region. Additionally, some customs and practices often surprise new residents of Japan.

After learning more, you may wonder how you'll ever be able to rent an apartment here.

Don't fret, readers! In the second half, we'll introduce a useful service that will put those worries to rest.

1. What Is a Joint Guarantor?

Asumirai Real Estate

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New residents of Japan are often surprised when told they'll need a guarantor (rentai hoshonin) in their rental agreement. A guarantor is someone who takes legal responsibility if the tenant fails to pay the rent or incurs damages to the property.

For international residents, however, finding a guarantor can prove to be a daunting task.

Moreover, there are many upfront fees, such as deposits (shikikin), key money (reikin), and service charges. In total, they can often be the equivalent of three to six months of rent.

You may wonder what exactly are all these deposits and charges for. For more details on this topic, please refer to the following MATCHA article.

2. Real Estate Terms You Should Know

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Even if you are confident in your Japanese conversational skills, be careful not to underestimate the difficulty of real estate terms!

For example, when speaking to a landlord in Japan, terms such as "jo" and "LDK" are frequently used. These two terms refer to the room's size (via the number of tatami mats) and an apartment comprised of a bedroom, living room, dining, and kitchen area.

These are some examples of the many specialized expressions you'll encounter when apartment hunting. Despite learning a decent amount of Japanese vocabulary at school or work, you may feel slightly overwhelmed.

3. Some Landlords Are Reluctant to Rent to Foreigners

Asumirai Real Estate

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Some people in Japan feel uncomfortable speaking English. Unfortunately, this also includes landlords who don't feel confident dealing with foreign tenants in English. As a result, they customarily don't rent rooms to non-Japanese applicants.

Even if your application is approved, there are additional requirements such as opening a Japanese bank account and signing a complicated housing contract (all in Japanese, no less!). Understandably, foreign tenants often feel that there are many difficulties awaiting them.

4. Potential Problems When Living Abroad

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Whether you're in Japan or another country, living abroad can be accompanied by troubles and challenging situations.

Some examples include being unable to do your part-time job due to sickness, wondering why a package from your family hasn't arrived, or temporarily be unable to pay rent.

Moreover, the Japanese government's strict COVID-19 measures left many foreign residents unable to return to Japan, forcing them to wait in their country until further notice.

During these challenging times, it would be difficult to contact your landlord and discuss the situation over the phone in Japanese.

We Recommend Using a Foreigner-Friendly Real Estate Company

Taking these tips into account, we recommend contacting a real estate company that can discuss your housing needs in English. In recent years, there has been a rise in companies that meet the demands of increasing international residents.

Of course, services provided by foreigner-friendly companies differ from shop to shop.

We highly recommend a company called Asumirai for newcomers and first-time renters in Japan. They provide total support when it comes to the challenges of joint guarantors and housing contracts written in Japanese.

Click here for Asumirai's convenient services to find apartment listings for Fukuoka and other areas of Japan!

Asumirai: Find an Apartment Effortlessly With Their English Service

Well suited to international residents, Asumirai is a real estate company that offers a full listing of rental options. It is a 100 percent subsidiary of J-Lease: a guarantee company (yachin hosho gaisha) listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Known for its attentive service, Asumirai has introduced rental properties to many non-Japanese residents and international students.

Next, we'll outline the main features of Asumirai!

1. Friendly Staff Will Support You From Start to Finish!

Asumirai Real Estate

Picture courtesy of Asumirai Co., Ltd.

At Asumirai, the staff can assist you in many languages, including English. In fact, many employees are foreign residents themselves.

From apartment hunting, signing a housing contract, to opening up a bank account, the friendly staff are dedicated to assisting you with the utmost care. If you're not comfortable speaking Japanese, Asumirai's staff will even go as far as calling the apartment's management company on your behalf.

After moving into your new apartment, the staff can also provide you with practical information such as their recommended hospitals.

In addition, they will assist you when an appliance breaks down, and are available for consultation in special situations, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, they will help you maneuver through the complicated housing contract process.

2. You Won't Need a Guarantor, Thanks to Their Guarantor Service!

Asumirai Real Estate

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As mentioned earlier, a guarantor is required when renting an apartment in Japan.

However, Asumirai and their parent company J-Lease offer a rental guarantee service (*2), which eliminates the need for a guarantor.

If you're unable to pay the rent due to unavoidable circumstances, J-Lease will pay on your behalf and bill you for these charges. Even in emergencies, you can be assured that your rent will be paid on time.

*2 Rental guarantee service: this service will require an additional fee. The screening process for this service can differ according to the rental property and the applicant's circumstances.

3. They Offer a Variety Of Rental Listings Throughout Japan!

Asumirai Real Estate

Picture courtesy of Asumirai Co., Ltd.

Asumirai has a network of connections with other real estate companies throughout Japan. Therefore, they can show you a variety of rental properties in both rural areas and large cities.

Some may be wondering how much rent they can afford, the distance from the apartment to their school or workplace, whether the bath and toilet are separate, and if other tenants can live in the room.

Please feel free to discuss any of these concerns with Asumirai and communicate your housing needs!

For more details, please check Asumirai's official homepage (*3).

If you are interested in any of the rental listings, you can contact the office with the inquiry form below.

*3 Asumirai Homepage: Asumirai is expanding the range their services so that they can introduce properties all over Japan; some areas may not be available. Feel free to contact their office.

Make an Inquiry by Clicking Here

Find the Ideal Apartment to Kick-start Your Life in Japan!

An apartment that suits your personal needs will make life more enjoyable and stress-free. We hope you'll find a living accommodation that fulfills your dream of living in Japan!

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Sponsored by Asumirai Co., Ltd. and J-LEASE Co.,LTD.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.