We answer to the FAQ.
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When should I start searching for a new apartment?

Ideally, you should start searching for a new apartment around 2 weeks to 1 month before your planned move-in date. If the property you are interested in is already vacant, your rental contract can normally begin within 2 weeks from the date of application.

Can I make an application even before arriving in Japan?

It depends on the property you want to rent. Some properties accept applications from persons who are scheduled to come to Japan. In this case, you may be required to provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility or visa application form.

Note that it is generally not possible to reserve a property for more than one month (regardless of whether you apply before or after coming to Japan), especially if the property is already vacant.

Are there any monthly fees I need to pay besides the rent?

Some of the bills you need to pay every month include utilities (electricity, gas, and water) as well as your Internet service. While it will depend on your actual usage, the total cost for utilities is roughly 10,000 yen per person per month.

Depending on your contract or the property you are renting, you may also need to pay a monthly fee to a guarantor company or other services. Please check with your real estate agent in advance.

Are apartments furnished with furniture and appliances?

It depends on the property. Some apartments can be fully furnished, and some unfurnished rooms come with a rental service for furniture and appliances.

Can I pay the initial costs and rent by credit card?

It depends on the property and your real estate agency. In some cases, you can only pay for the initial costs, while in others, you can also pay for your monthly rent using your credit card.

Can I make short term rentals?

There are some properties that allow for weekly, monthly, or other short term rentals. However, the general contract period for most properties is 2 years. While it is possible to terminate a 2-year contract early (usually with 1 to 2 months advance notice), you may be required to pay an early termination fee.

How long does it take before I can move in to a property?

When you make an application for a rental property, there is normally a screening process which takes around 5 days. If you pass the screening, then you can proceed to the contract signing and payment of initial fees. For applications with no issues in the screening or contract signing process, it usually takes around 2 weeks from the date of application to the date when you can move in.

While the process may last shorter than 2 weeks in some cases, it is a safe bet to assume that it will take at least 2 weeks before you can move in to a new property.

Do I need a guarantor?

In recent years, many properties require the use of a guarantor company, regardless of the tenant's nationality. For such properties, you do not need to arrange your own guarantor or cosigner. However, to use a guarantor company, you normally need to provide an emergency contact person. Depending on the guarantor company, you may be required to provide a contact person who is Japanese.

Are there apartments that cannot be rented by people on certain visa types, such as student or working holiday?

People on tourist visas generally cannot rent properties in Japan. Most properties also do not accept people on 1-year working holiday or other short term visas. If you have this kind of visa, you should look for weekly/monthly apartments or other properties that allow short term stays.

For people on student visas, in some cases, you may have to provide proof that you are financially capable of paying your rent, such as pay slips for any part-time jobs or bank statements that show any allowance you are receiving from your home country.

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