Moving apartments in Japan #2

Last time we talked about some of the positive aspects about moving places while living in Japan (Moving apartments in Japan #1). Not all is great though, so today we’re going to talk about some of the inconveniences present here that you won’t really find in other countries.

First of all, dealing with landlords is not great. If you live in Japan you know that they have a very… unique way of handling things. And that involves spending a lot of money, at least four rents worth of it in fact. And after paying two deposits, one of them “refundable” (more on that later), an exorbitant “key fee,” and a cleaning fee, and even one extra month of rent every two years just to renew the contract, odds are they will still charge you at the end of your lease. That’s right, not only do they not refund you refundable deposit, but they will charge you on top of it.

The fee at the end of a lease is excused because the owner has to do things like remove the wallpaper, even though I feel like that’s unavoidable wear and tear. While the law says that they can’t charge for things like wallpaper damage after living in a place for certain time, they can still circumvent that by charging you for the labor cost of installing the wallpaper. Overall, I was charged more than I payed through my “refundable” deposit, so they will send me a bill for the rest. This is after I thoroughly cleaned the place, which I’m not sure was worth the effort in hindsight. They will also charge the next tenant for the cleaning fee, so this is particularly egregious. Then as a new tenant, you have to pay those fees all over again, making moving one of the most expensive things you can do in Japan.

Another unfortunate problem you will face as a foreigner living in Japan is that you will have access to way fewer places simply for being, well, a foreigner. It’s not uncommon for the real estate agent to call the owner, ask if they’re OK with foreigners, and for you to be rejected there and then. It’s not a great thing to go through, but it is something that most people from overseas living here have experienced.

Finding a place you like can be extremely satisfying, so don’t be discouraged. Remember that hiring a good moving company is worth it, and don’t be surprised if you have to pay a pretty penny.


Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” “, by all means contact me about anything!


Related links:
Moving apartments in Japan #1
Procedures for moving:引越しに必要な手続き
Before you make a lease contract:賃貸契約の前に知っておきたいこと
The 5 rules of living comfortable in Japan:快適に住むための5つのルール
Hiroshima Prefecture
Hospital System in Japan



  • コメント ( 0 )

  • トラックバックは利用できません。

  1. この記事へのコメントはありません。