Streets of Japan at night.

Secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo

Whether you’re looking for a nicer place than the one you already have or hunting for an apartment for the first time, renting in Japan can be very difficult. It is best described as an overwhelming and complicated experience. Especially when you don’t know the language. However, there are some secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo and we’re going to share them with you. 

Know your options

First of all, you need to be aware of what you can afford. So, before you set off into the unknown worlds of looking for an apartment, as yourself if that’s the way you should go. For instance, if you aren’t sure how long are you going to stay, signing a lease that should last two years isn’t the smartest decision. The students are in a similar situation as they are candidates for failing to fulfill all the rental requirements. For them, it may be even more difficult than finding an apartment for rent in Hong Kong. And we all know how tricky that can be.

Your other option is shared or a guest house. It also offers long-term stay, but without commitment. Additionally, initial set up costs will be much lower which is a great thing. There are all types of these houses and the best among them operate in perfect harmony. So, they’re worth checking out.

Living room with a table and four chairs.
One of the most important secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo is to know what you’re looking for.

Account for the hidden costs

As we already mentioned, renting in Japan is a little bit different than in western countries. And although the cost of living isn’t as high as some global news article tends to present it, there are some costs that you need to consider before you start searching for movers to help you settle down in your new place. These, of course, vary depending on the agency and landlords, but here’s what you can expect.

  • Deposit – One to three months’ rent, refunded when you move out
  • First month’s rent – Usually upfront depending on the moving date
  • Agency fee – Zero to 1.5 months’ rent
  • Lock changing fee – Usually obligatory for every new tenant (around ¥12,000)
  • Insurance – Always mandatory (¥15,000-¥20,000)
  • Key money – Locals call it Reikin, and it is a gift of one or two month’s rent that you pay to the landlord. It’s not the same thing as a deposit because you never get it back. 

Set your priorities

As in any other city, a nice location, plenty of amenities, and locations with convenient transport come at higher prices. So, the next of the secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo is deciding what’s of the highest priority to you.

Know that living in a shoebox-like apartment isn’t your only option. In 2020, real estate trends in Japan are changing. So, if you don’t mind a 15-20 minute walk to the station every day you’ll get more square footage for less money. Also, know that pets and musical instruments are often considered special requirements here, so be careful with those.

Woman on the train station thinking about secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo
If you know what your priorities are, you’ll get more for your money.

Find a good agent

And the final of the secrets to finding a perfect apartment in Tokyo is to find a good real estate agent a communicate with him in the proper manner. Tell them exactly what you want and they’ll do their best to find what you’re looking for. There are plenty of agencies that offer English support, so language shouldn’t be a barrier here.

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