Common Problems with Rental Housing: Case 1

Common Problems with Rental Housing: Case 1


Housing in Japan

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the common problems encountered with rental housing in Japan.

Tenant A:【I cannot sleep at night because of a noisy neighbor】

It wasn’t a problem when I first moved in, but after about a month of living in my apartment, I started to hear loud noises from my neighbor at night. Sometimes it’s the TV with the volume turned up high. Other times, it’s people talking in loud voices. It keeps me from getting a good night’s sleep. What should I do?

Heyamonogatari:【Contact your landlord or management company】

In any rental housing contract, the landlord gives the tenant the right to use and occupy the rental apartment. This entails a responsibility on the part of the landlord to provide and maintain an environment that is safe and habitable.

In this case, the noise from the neighbor is preventing you from getting proper sleep, and the situation cannot be said to be an “environment that is safe and habitable”. So it is the landlord’s responsibility to rectify the situation by informing the neighbor and asking them to stop the noise.

If the landlord has entrusted the management of the property to a management company, depending on the details of their contract, the responsibility to maintain a safe and habitable environment that may fall on the management company.

In any case, you should contact your landlord or property management company to report the noise problem and ask them to deal with the noisy neighbor.

Tenant B:【Water is leaking from the apartment upstairs】

While staying in my room during a weekend, I noticed a small puddle of water on the flooring of my unit. I wiped it off with a rag, but I quickly realized that the water was dripping from the ceiling. After some investigation, I found out that the neighbor upstairs had kept their washing machine running for a long time, causing water to leak and drip down to my unit. What should I do?

Heyamonogatari:【Contact your landlord or management company immediately】

This specific case was probably fortunate in that it was resolved after just some water trickling down to the unit below. In some cases of water leakage and condensation, the damage can become much worse if not reported immediately. Wallpapers or paint may get peeled off, or molds and mildew may grow on the walls.

In the worst case scenario, if a tenant does not report the water leakage or condensation to the landlord or management company and it causes damage or mold growth on the walls, the tenant may become liable for repair and replacement costs.

For the case above, the leak was clearly caused by the negligence of the neighbor in the upstairs unit. Nonetheless, it is best to immediately report any water leakage you find.

Moreover, it is also a good idea to take photos of the leakage area, including any affected items and furniture. Since there is no guarantee that the landlord or management company can come and have the leak repaired immediately, the photos will serve as proof of the condition of the area at the time, in case you need to report and explain the incident on a later day.

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