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How to Rent an Apartment in Japan through Tokyo Apartment

As if packing up your entire life, moving to an unfamiliar area and learning a new language isn’t hard enough, being a foreign national in Japan makes moving more of a headache than it needs to be.

A large majority of Japanese real estates will not have English speaking staff and aren’t equipped to deal with many of the issues that foreigners face while trying to lease a property.  Besides an obvious language barrier, foreigners face discrimination from property owners, rejection from guarantor companies and may fail to meet visa requirements to name a few obstacles foreigners face while trying to move. So successfully finding long term housing in Japan as a foreign national has become a big problem.

But at Tokyo Apartment, we want to overcome this problem.

Tokyo Apartment is a Japanese real estate agency specializing in providing housing and support to foreign nationals in Japan. Born from Dainichi Co. Ltd., a Japanese property management company with over 80 years’ experience, we strive to provide the best housing service possible for all our customers.

And unlike other Japanese real estate agencies, Tokyo Apartment is ran largely by foreigners. All team members understand the difficulties foreigners face while attempting to rent an apartment, and how to overcome them, as we did ourselves!

We take the hassle and headache out of finding an apartment, providing a variety of housing options, all available to foreign nationals, and all presented in English! Finding an apartment through Tokyo Apartment is so simple, it can be done in five easy steps.


1) Send an inquiry through our website or social media channels one month before your preferred move in date

To get a good idea of your situation, we will ask for your details as well as any preferences you have concerning your future home. We will ask for information including your nationality, visa status, occupation, and number of occupants as well as what area you are looking to move to and what your ideal budget is.


2) We will search for properties on your behalf

At regular Japanese real estates, you may be asked to sit and wait for a few good hours while your agent searches and makes inquires on property availability in their office. Then you will need to commit more time to view the number of properties you liked then and there. This can potentially be a huge waste of time and effort should the agent be unable to provide any properties that you like or that allow foreigners.

However at Tokyo Apartment, we search and inquire for properties on your behalf after we receive your inquiry. Then, we will digitally send though the details of the homes on property sheets, all in English. These property sheets will include information such as location, structural details, facilities, photographs as well as sample computations of the monthly rent and initial fees. This way, you can peruse the properties and consider your decision from the comfort of your own home without worrying about pushy and overbearing agents.


3) View the property

So you looked through the properties available and found one (or more!) that you like. Great! Now it’s time to view the home. A time will be arranged at your convenience and multiple properties can be viewed in succession. A member of our team will greet you at a pre-agreed location (usually the nearest train station) before setting out to view the property. The agent will then introduce the property to you, supplying information on the property and surrounding area and answering any questions you may have.


4) Apply for the property

So now you have decided that this property is the one for you and now you want to apply for it. This can be done immediately after viewing the property or after taking some time to think about your decision (although this part can be time sensitive as it is not uncommon for a property to become unavailable should you wait too long to apply). Filling out the application form can be done at the property or at Tokyo Apartment’s office.

In the case that the application form is not in English, your agent will help you to fill it out correctly and translate. Along with the application form, varies proof of identification are also needed including your residence card, passport, student ID and certificate of enrollment (if you are a student) or official payslips and employment contract (if you are a working professional). As Tokyo Apartment is partnered with a trusted English speaking guarantor company, a personal guarantor is not needed, instead, they will ask for the details of two emergency contacts.


5) Sign the contract and receive the keys to your new home!

Congratulations! You’ve been approved for your apartment and you are now ready to sign your contract and receive your keys! The contract signing will take place at the Tokyo Apartment office with your agent and a licensed realtor present. As the contract will be in Japanese, the whole contract will be explained section by section and any questions you have will be answered by your agent. Then after signing the paperwork, you will finally be presented with your keys.

Any furnishings or Wifi prearranged through Tokyo Apartment will be ready by the time you move in or setup at a time most convenient for you. All utilities will also be organized by Tokyo Apartment and if you have any future questions or concerns during your time in your apartment, your agent will be ready and able to assist you.