Let’s move to Japan!! ~Guide to rent a room in Japan~

日本人の生活(せいかつ):Life of Japanese

Japanese article is here; https://japaneselanguagesalonbymikapanda.com/find-your-room-in-japan-673

At first; Our new life starts in April in Japan

Hello, this is MIKA!

Now it’s the end of March, finally we can watch full-blooming sakura today!

By the way, as I’ve told you in the article about Japanese graduation ceremony, April is the beginning of a business year in Japan; that’s why March is the term to prepare for the new life of the people who go on to the next stage of education or got employment.

In the other word, it’s the season to find a new home and move to there!

It means March is the timing that students who graduated university or persons who will  transfer leave their rooms, so you should start to find your room in Japan from January because it’s the best timing!!

For the beginning of your new life in April, it’s better to start to think about it on the Internet at the end of the year, and visit house egents in Japan at the beginning of the year.

Properly speaking, I had to write this article in January. However, of course always you can find your room! So read this article if you consider to move to Japan!

Live in the house which is strong for the nature disasters

When you think about your new life in Japan, you’ll be excited with an expectation, don’t you?

But, wait a second! Japan is one of the countries which has many nature disasters; we’ve just had the large earthquakes in Touhoku(North-east) area in Japan two weeks ago.

Before finding your room in Japan, make reference to this article to minimize your dagame of the nature disasters.

Can foreigners rent a room in Japan?

Of course foreigners can rent a room of apartment house in Japan.

However, because there are some Japanese rules to rent a room, you should pay attention for them!

You need “A guarantor”

First, you need “A guarantor” to sign a rental contract.

“A guarantor” is the person who pay a house-rent for a lender instead of a borrower when a borrower fails to pay.

If you’re an adult working in a company, ask to your boss or Personnel Department. If you’re a student studying abroad, ask to your teacher or officer in your Japanese language school.

Even if you’re refused, don’t worry about it. Because there are some companies which assure to pay a house-rent as their business, ask to them.

Find the rooms without “A Guarantor”

But there are some rooms for rent which you don’t need “A guarantor”, it’s good to find these rooms at first.

You can find these rooms on the website of house egents in Japan for foreigners.

For example, wagaya Japan, one of house egents for foreigners, treats the rooms which you don’t need “A guarantor” or “礼金(れいきん)”. Also they can speak English, Chinese and Vietnamese. You can preview the rooms on the Internet with them, so it’s very helpful!!

How much does it cost?

By the way, how much does it cost to rent a room in Japan?

Of couse it depends on the condition such like a house-rent, in my case, it costed totally 300,000 yen including home electric appliances and household furnitures!!

It’s too expencive, so I recommend you to save your money in advance.

What kind of rooms is cheap?

Anyway, what kind of rooms do you want to live?

If you want a cheaper room, search the market price of the area where you want to live.

For example, it’s very expencive around inner-city and the area near by stations. However, it’s cheaper in the suburbs, around universities, the area far from stations, or on hills.

In addition, if the apartment itself is old, the room doen’t have a bathtub, or it has a unit bath, they are the conditions to make it cheaper.

What is “敷金(しききん)” and “礼金(れいきん)”?

Additionally there are the payments for a lender other than a house-rent. I want you to pay attention especially for the information whether you must pay “敷金” ,”礼金” or not.

The information is written on the guide for the room which you can check at a house egent.

“敷金” is the money which a lenger keep by a borrower when a contract has been concluded. It will be used to fill a house-rent when it isn’t payed or repair the room after leaving.

For example, “敷金” is 50,000 yen and repair cost is 40,000 yen, a borrower can get 10,000 yen as the rest of them. However, if repair cost is over 50,000 yen, a lender will claim the payment for the balance; so it’s better not to stain or damage the room.

Next, I’ll tell you about “礼金”. This is the payment as an expression of the gratitude for a lender literally, because “礼” means “A gratitude” in Japanese. It’s like a chip in Westurn countries.

After the great earthquake of Kanto area, around Tokyo on 1st September in 1923, there weren’t enough houses because of that. At that time, people paid some money for a lender as an expression of the gratitude; it was the beginning of “礼金”.

Even though a borrower paid it voluntarily at first, that custom has been an institution; that’s why a lender can require the money as “礼金” today.

If you don’t want to pay “礼金”, choose the room without that.

You need 300,000 yen as “An initial cost”!?

“An initial cost” means total costs to pay for a house egent for an occupancy in that case.

It’s including a house-rent for a month or daily rate, a brokerage fee, 敷金, 礼金, a common service expense, a fire insurance fee, a cost to exchange a key, an usage charge of guarantor company…and so on.

It depends on a house-rent, but it costs totally about 300,000 yen to rent a room for living alone after all.

In addition, if you renew a contract to live continuously some years later, you must pay a money as much as a house-rent for a month as a renewal fee other than a house-rent!

You can live in “A Share house” with a minimum cost

If you think “It’s too expencive! I shouldn’t rent a room!!”, it’s good to consider to live in “A share house” for foreigners.

Altough kitchen, shower room and something are common use, you don’t have to buy home electric appliances and household furnitures by yourself. Also, if you want to make friends come from same country or Japanese friends, it’s ideal condition for you.

For example, BORDERLESS HOUSE, one of the companies which has some share houses, manages many share houses in Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

Be cautious about “A Room which has a bad history”

Finally I have a question for you; do you believe in ghosts? And do you have a fear for them?

If you’re not good at ghosts or psychic phenomenas, take warning not to live in “A room which has a bad history” carelessly!!

“A bad history” means someone has been dead in that room as a murder, suicide, or dying alone. Because it’s feared that you have horrible accidents while you’re living, it’s better to ask “Does it have a bad history?” to a house egent.

Beware of the room if you find its house-rent is cheaper than others in that area unnaturally, because there is the possibility it has a bad history!

Or, there is the information “告知(こくち)事項(じこう)有(あ)り”, “We have the notice for you” in Japanese on the room guide, I can’t reccomend it for you with the same reason.

Also it’s safe not to live in the appartment next to a burial ground.

Final comment

How was it?

This time, I’ve introduced the cautionary notes to find a room for foreigners who consider to move to Japan.

Of course it’s possible to move to Japan and find your room on your timing. However, I reccomend you to prepare in March because you can buy home electric appliances and household furnitures with a good-value during the sale for the new life at an electronics retail store and furniture store!

However, it’s the peak period for moving companies in March and April in Japan, that’s why it’s expencive and difficult to make a reservation. So you should finish finding a room and moving earlier than that season.

I wish you can get the best room in Japan after reading this article!!

P.S. From January to February, it’s very cold and snowy season depending on the area. In March, the climate is so unstable, that’s why it’s easy to become ill. Also it’s the season of a hay fever. Please be careful for your health!