In Japan the major upkeep of a rented property is the landlord’s responsibility, while the minor maintenance and repair work is undertaken by the tenant. The maintenance from a landlord’s perspective involves the upkeep of property in a usable manner, while small acts like repair work on sliding doors or changing bulbs are the tenant’s responsibility.
SHARING RESPONSIBILITY BETWEEN LANDLORD AND TENANT
When there’s a need for repair in the rented apartment, the tenant is required to inform the landlord and request for repair, in the absence of which, the tenant can then initiate the repair work and bill the landlord for all expenses;
The landlord may or may not honor the claim, depending on the requirement for repair and the billed amount;
Albeit, it is the landlord’s responsibility to carry out all repair work on their rented properties, it is subject to this being mentioned in the lease agreement. The landlord can avoid this if the lease mentions that all repair work are the tenant’s responsibility. Hence the structuring and implementation of the lease is very important;
The onus of carrying out structural repairs like water leakage, appliance repairs, not including any appliances that have been left behind by previous tenants, and annual trimming of trees, if the property has a garden, lies with the landlord;
If the tenant fails to inform the landlord about the repairs in time, the additional charges that accrue in lieu of any damage thereof, is to be shared by the tenant. For instance, repair for A/c water leak is the landlord’s responsibility, but if the tenant informs the landlord after the leakage has damaged the wall, the additional charges would have to be borne by the tenant;
KEYWORDS: Japan rental law, landlord in Japan, landlord responsibility in Japan