Useful info

Long Term Lease Apartments or House

These are the most common type of properties in Tokyo, where the lease is for 2 years or more. These properties do not come furnished, and utility charges, TV service, and internet charges are also not included. Some executive properties come with electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, washers/dryers, dishwashers, and so on.

Short Term Lease Apartments

These properties are well known as 'serviced apartments' or 'furnished apartments'. They include all electrical appliances, furniture, kitchen utensils, and also utility fees. Some serviced apartments come with maid service, linen service, and concierge service as well.
There are hardly any short term lease 'houses' in Tokyo.

SOHO Apartment or House

SOHO stands for 'Small Office/Home Office', where the tenant uses the property as his/her home, and office. Most rental property owners do NOT prefer this use, so if you are looking for a 'SOHO' property, make sure that your agent is aware of this and that the landlord is willing to lease the property as SOHO.

When signing a lease contract, there are some special words and terms you should be aware of. Understanding these Japanese lease customs and systems will make your house hunting process much smoother.

Deposit,Secutiry Deposit

This money is paid by the tenant to the landlord so that the landlord can secure compensation in case any damages are caused to the property by the tenant. It is refundable when vacating the property, but if there are any damages to the property, the restoration cost will be deducted from this deposit. The amount of the deposit varies from 2 to 6 months of the rent , depending on the landlord and price ranges of the properties.

Key Money('rei-kin')

Key money is a very special payment system only found in Japan. It is sometimes called "thank you money" paid to the landlord when signing the lease contract and it is NOT refundable. Typical amount of key money is 1 to 2 months of the rent.

Renewal Fee (koshin-ryo)

This money is paid to the landlord when the tenant renews the lease contract. Typical amount is 1 to 1.5 months of the revised rent. This too is also NOT refundable.

Depreciation Fee

Depreciation fee is also a unique system which the landlord automatically deducts 1 to 2 months of the rent from the deposit when the tenant vacates the property. This system is quite common in the Osaka area but some landlords in Tokyo use this system as well.

Agent Fee

This is an agent commission to your real-estate agency. In Japan, tenants normally pay the agent fee instead of landlords. The amount is equal to 1 month of the rent plus 5 % consumption tax.

Management Fee

This is a fee charged monthly by the property management companies or landlords in addition to the rent. It is used for maintenance of the common areas of the properties. For some properties, this fee is already included in the rent, so it may not be mentioned on floor plans.

On filling the application form, the applicant must indicate all the negotiation issues or requests. No additional requests can be accepted after the application has been submitted and the negotiation has began. Also, the application form must be completed by the actual Lessee. If you are making a lease contract under your company, the application form has to be completed by the appropriate person in your company and the application form must be sealed with your company stamp.
Your agent negotiates with the landlord based on the issues and requests on the application form.
Once the agreement on the lease conditions is made, it is very difficult to change it.
Points which should be noticed explained below.
All payments and documentation has to be finished before the lease starts.
This whole process takes about at least 10 days.

If you are personally signing the lease contract, you must confirm the draft of the lease contract yourself. The following points in the lease contract are significantly important so you should understand before signing the contract.

Type of the Contract

There are 2 types of the lease contract in Japan. "Ordinary lease contract" and "Fixed term lease contract". In an "Ordinary lease contract", you are entitled to renew your contract, and your right as a tenant is well protected. Please note that you and your landlord still have to come to an agreement on the renewal terms and conditions.
In the "Fixed term lease contract", the tenant CAN NOT renew the lease contract. If the lease term is for 2 years, you must vacate the property after 2 years. However, if the landlord agrees to make a new lease contract, and you agree to the new lease terms and conditions, making a new lease contract is possible. Since the contract is considered as a separate contract from the previous contract, the conditions of the lease contract can be totally different.

Rent,Key,Money,Renewal fee,and Depreciation Fee

Confirm the rent, the amount of key money, renewal fee, and depreciation fee are the same as agreed in advance. Even if there is any prior verbal agreement between you and the landlord, the written contract will be considered valid and will prevail over any of the verbal agreements.

Cancellaion Notice

When terminating the lease contract, the tenant must forward a cancellation notice to the landlord or the property management company 2 months in advance. If the landlord asks you to submit a cancellation notice 3 months in advance, you should tell your agent to change it to 2 month notice A shorter period of cancellation notice gives you more flexibility to your schedule, and it may help you to avoid unnecessary losses.


When you vacate the property, you will be obliged to restore the property to its original state except for damages which are caused by the normal wear-and-tear. All the restoration work will be done by the landlord or his or her agents. Precise duties of the tenant are mentioned in the contract, so it is very important to understand what will be charged when vacating the property. If you find it unfair, you should have your agent correct it.