The basics of property hunting and 7 tips to help you right after moving in! Let’s find a place to live in Japan.
1. [Terms used for apartment hunting in Japan]
2. [Property hunting in Japan]
The most common way to find a place to live is to go directly to a real estate agent or search rental property information websites. However, it is more efficient to search on property information websites that compile rental properties for international renters, as they often have staff who can speak foreign languages.
It'll be your beloved abode, so you'd feel safer communicating in your native language!
GTN, a comprehensive lifestyle support company specializing in assisting expatriates in Japan, has many properties along the Seibu Line on its BEST ESTATE.JP rental property information site for non-Japanese residents.
It offers reliable multilingual support, and applications and viewings can be done online. In addition, you can also rent a property without a guarantor through its unique guarantee system.
GTN also offers cell phone service and multilingual living support services, so it can assist with concerns beyond property-hunting.
The area along the Seibu Line, which connects Tokyo and Saitama, generally has stable ground, and is considered resistant to disasters. The area also offers a safe and convenient living environment for expatriates, with easy access to many universities and Japanese language schools and the central Tokyo areas of Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Takadanobaba.
Check out the link below to find a property of your liking along the Seibu Line!
3. [Pre-agreement notes]
You will need to prepare several documents in advance when signing a lease agreement. Please also note that you must pay initial costs before moving in.
Here is a list of a few things you need to know before signing a lease agreement.
1. Documents required for screening: Passport, residence card (or certificate of eligibility), employment agreement (or proof of payroll), emergency contacts in Japan (foreign nationals are acceptable), contacts in home country (family contact information in home country), and withholding record for the preceding fiscal year if employed. Additional documents may be required in some cases.
2. Initial costs (security deposit, key money, agent's commission, fire insurance, key replacement fee, etc.) are roughly 3.5 to 5 times the rent.
3. You should start looking for a property two months before moving.
4. The property hunting season in Japan is around February and March (start of school, employment, graduation, intra-company transfers, etc.) and August and September (personnel changes of the company). If you find an ideal property at these times, we recommend you sign a lease agreement as soon as possible before someone else does.
4. [Precautions to take when signing a lease agreement]
Lease agreements contain many important terms and conditions. If there is anything in the agreement that you do not understand, verify it on the spot to avoid future problems.
１. We recommend confirming the details regarding "restoring the property to its original condition" when signing a lease agreement.
If you do not confirm what kind of damage requires specific repairs, you may incur unexpected expenses, such as replacing wallpaper or carpets when you vacate a property.
２．The basic term of a lease agreement is two years. If you terminate the agreement midway through it, you will be charged a termination fee, so find a property you like to avoid terminating the lease agreement right away.
３．With rental properties in Japan, you cannot add tenants or sublet them without permission. In such cases, discuss the situation with the real estate agent or landlord in advance.
5. [After signing a lease agreement — moving in]
In Japan, unless you live in a shared house or in a furnished apartment, you will have to arrange all furniture, appliances, curtains, light bulbs, etc., yourself, so it may be easier if you take measurements of the layout in advance.
Since tenants must register for electricity, gas, water, etc., you should find out about the application procedures beforehand and complete them before you move in. Internet may not be provided in some cases, and if that is the case, you will also need to sign up for Internet service.
Also, don't forget to notify the local authorities of your moving-in and moving-out when you move into your new quarters!
6. [Useful things to know after moving in! What are the rules for trash disposal in Japan?]
Throwing out unseparated trash is prohibited in Japan! The trash disposal rules vary by local authority, so please check the rules of your municipality.
１. Trash sorting (burnable, non-burnable, plastic bottles, etc.) and days of the week to put out the trash vary by where you live. Check your local authority's website for information.
２.Some local authorities require you to use specified trash bags. Please be aware that different authorities require different types of trash bags, including ones you need to buy and ones in specific colors.
３.You are not allowed to put out your trash anywhere you want. Check where the trash collection station is for your property when you move in.
４.The time of day you are allowed to put out trash also varies for each local authority. In some cases, you may put out the trash the night before, while in others, you are only allowed to put it out in the morning. Also, since the trash you put out will be collected in the morning, check what time you have to put it out in time for collection, and don't forget to do so.
GTN has published a Guide to Renting Housing for Foreigners to facilitate an understanding of Japan's unique rules of real estate rentals. It provides straightforward guidance on the prepayment system for rent, rules for trash disposal and when to terminate the tenancy.
○ A Guide to Renting Housing for Foreigners: https://www.gtn.co.jp/en/business/rent-warranty/guide/
7. [Seibu Railway recommends]
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Big NEWS for Foreign Residents in Japan! Find an apartment along the Seibu Line & Get an Amazon Gift Card! 2022-23 Promotion runs until Monday, March 27, 2023. A monthly lottery will choose thirty qualifying participants to receive an Amazon gift certificate worth 10,000 yen! How about taking this opportunity to start a new life along the most livable Seibu Line!?
Find an apartment along the Seibu Line & Get an Amazon Gift Card! 2022-23 Promotion website：
Let's live along the Seibu Line! Keeping you informed on our official Instagram!
Our multilingual account shows you how comfortable living along the Seibu Line is. Discover what makes the towns along the Seibu Line special, where the more you know, the more you'll want to live there!
Check out the links below for information on sightseeing along the Seibu Line!
There is so much to see along the Seibu Line! Check out our multilingual Facebook account that provides information on sightseeing!