How to find your new home in Japan

Why is it so hard to rent an apartment in Japan? 

Finding and renting an apartment is one of the biggest challenges you will have to face when you are planning to come to Japan. Not only might it be difficult to find an accommodation that suits your needs (especially if you don’t speak Japanese), but there is also a mountain of paperwork and adversities involved. Moreover, there is a large number of fees that you have to pay before moving into your new apartment. In fact, it is not uncommon to have to pay the equivalent to 4-6 months’ rent upfront.

At Global Networks we understand the challenges with renting an apartment in Japan. That is why we support you in every possible way to make renting your first apartment as easy as possible. By eliminating or reducing most of the usual move-in fees, we allow you to save a considerable amount of money.

The challenges in renting an apartment in Japan – and how Global Networks can help you!

  1. Most Japanese landlords do not speak English and many of them are unwilling to rent out to foreigners. They are concerned that foreigners might not respect Japanese habits and customs and that they can’t communicate with them.  
    We will negotiate with landlords on your behalf. At Global Networks, bilingual staff is always available.
  2. You will need to have a guarantor in order to rent an accommodation in Japan. The guarantor needs to be a person who is financially stable and has Japanese citizenship. For foreigners it is usually very difficult to find a guarantor. 
    ✔ We can be your guarantor.
  3. If you want to arrange an apartment before arriving in Japan, you will need to sign a contract without fully knowing the area and without being able to see the property with your own eyes.   
    ✔ We can offer you a temporary accommodation so that you have enough time to search for a permanent home in Japan. Our staff will assist you and definitely find the best place for you.
  4. When renting an accommodation in Japan, you will be charged with the following additional costs:Deposit:
    A deposit (“Shikikin”) equal to one or two months’ rent is required when signing the contract. The deposit is refundable, but a restoration fee will be deducted. 
    Key Money:“Reikin” is a mandatory payment to the landlord to express your gratitude for being accepted as tenant. The key money is usually equivalent to one or two months of your rent and needs to be paid when signing the lease. It is non-refundable. Agent Fee:In general, the real estate agent will charge the amount of one month’s rent when the contract is concluded. Fire Insurance:In most cases a mandatory fire insurance of around 15,000 yen is due upon signing the lease. This is to cover damage or loss in case of earthquakes and disasters.

     Advance rent payment:

    Usually, you will need to pay the monthly rent in advance. Therefore, the first rent will be due right after signing the contract. If the tenancy starts mid-month, the rent for the remaining days of that month and for the following month will both have to be paid in advance.

     Key Exchange Fee:

    In order to avoid trouble with previous tenants who might have copied the keys, the landlord may charge 10,000 to 20,000 yen for new locks.

     Lease Renewal Fee:

    A lease renewal fee equal to one month’s rent is due every two years.


    If you decide to move into one of our shared houses or furnished apartments, your initial costs are very low. 

  5. Another reason why the initial costs of living in Japan are strikingly high is that most Japanese properties are unfurnished. Buying the basic appliances and furniture will cost you approximately 200,000 to 300,000 yen.  
    Our shared houses and private apartments are fully furnished and equipped with all necessary appliances such as refrigerator, microwave, etc. Utilities like electricity, gas, water and internet are all included in the monthly rent.