December 8, 2018

Usually a rental agreement in Japan has a clause included that states that at the time of moving out of the rented property, it is the tenant’s responsibility to restore the apartment to its natural state before vacating it. This essentially implies that the tenant is bound to pay cleaning and restoration fees in lieu of any repair work or damage to the rented property.

In most cases, this fee is deductible from the security deposit that has been submitted by the tenant at the time of entering the rental contract with the landlord or realtor. If the deposit amount is not enough to cover the fee, tenant has to pay extra amount to the landlord.

However, it is not imperative that the tenant ends up paying the entire amount as demanded by the landlord. The restoration is applicable only if there’s been a damage to the rented property either on account of tenant negligence or intentional harm. This fee is not applicable to general wear and tear of the property on account of daily use.

As per Japanese real estate law, the government allows for a specific fee to be chargeable to tenants for cleaning and restoration when they move out. In the event of the landlord demanding an amount higher to the specified amount, the tenant can dispute it and negotiate on the asking amount.

A rental agreement usually also includes a termination clause which states that a tenant can end the contract and move out of the apartment with an advance notice of a month or two. However, if the agreement includes a clause for a complete payment of the rent for the remaining contractual term in the event of an early agreement termination, then the tenant is liable to pay the amount in whole.

Hence, it is advisable for all tenants to understand all clauses and terms of a rental contract both for entering and exiting out of it. And it is equally important to ensure there’s a termination clause duly mentioned in the contract.

KEYWORDS: moving out of Japanese apartment, breaking lease early in Japan, breaking a lease in Japan, Japanese tenant law, wear and tear of property rentals in Japan

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