A guide to living affordably in Tokyo (Part 2)
April 29, 2015

Once foreign residents have a basic understanding of the apartment rental options and costs in Tokyo, they can begin to look into further details of the rental process. There are some administrative tasks to keep in mind in order to have a successful relocation into Tokyo. Before renting an apartment in Tokyo, people should consult a real estate agent and tell them the exact apartment requirements such as cost of rent, size and other conditions.

In order to rent an apartment in Tokyo, the individual must sign a contract that is usually valid for two years. There are many fees and documents associated with signing a lease contract and renters should be aware of this and budget accordingly.

Along with the actual monthly rent, individuals are subject to pay a deposit (equivalent of one to months rent), a reiken/gratuity/key fee (one to two months rent), a brokerage commission (equivalent to one month rent), and a renewal fee (paid every two years and the equivalent of one to two months rent). The total amount of fees associated with renting a place in Tokyo is the equivalent of five to six months rent. Renters must possess a valid resident card, a current certificate of earnings, a guarantor, and a personal seal registration or something similar.

After finding an apartment rental in Tokyo and signing a lease contract, an individual will need to set up the proper utility services. They should apply for electricity, gas, and water after they have received the keys to the apartment and moved in. Procedures can vary depending on the area and/or building, however in most cases the renter must contact the local utility companies directly. Since July 9 2012, foreigners residing as a short or long term resident in Japan are required to register their address at a local municipal office. This process must be completed within 14 days of moving in.

While finding an apartment in Tokyo can seem like a daunting task to foreigners, with the proper amount of research and planning - it can easily be done.


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Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 169-0073

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