When renting the property in Tokyo, there are basic steps needs to keep in mind.
below would be the explanation separate in each step

1. Contact to property agent and begin property searching

CSSS85_MBAwonozokujyosei20131019500-thumb-750x500-4044Find reliable property agent and communicate well to when search property.
To have clear preference is one important key to meet your fine property you are looking for.
When contacting property agent and inform your preference, to inform below items would help the communication more smooth to find fine property.

Property Area prefer to live

Tokyo is the place where separate into 23 wards and other cities.
By considering the location where you going to work or your friend living close by, narrow down prefer area where property locate is important part to narrow down the target to find suitable property.


Note your prefer monthly rent in Yen is ideal but some agent will understand to note by US dollars.

Age of the building

Majority starts from Brand new and late 1960`s may be the oldest range as age of the property.
Relatively becomes either small or high rent if the property is younger, big and reasonable if the property becomes older.


There are variety layout. Japan is using “L” as living, “D” as dining, “K” as kitchen.
For example if the layout says 1″LDK”, it show there is room where use for living, dining and kitchen, and one more bedroom room is adding to this room.
If the layout says “One room”, this means “Studio”.

Size of the room

Japan is using square meter in most cases. As other unit we often use is “Jo” and “Tsubo”. This is the special unit note in Japan and below is the measurement of each unit.
1Jo=appr. 1.65sq.m(Jo originally count how many Tatami mat enable to fit inside. 1 jo becomes approximately same size with one tatami mat.)
But everyone in Japan or Tokyo, Yokohama is using square meter, using square meter becomes more easy to imagine the size of room.

Floor position

If apartment, price market often separate by if the floor position is either 1st floor, above than second floor, or higher floor.
1st floor often become reasonable than above 2nd floor but it have exception if 1st floor have its own feature.(ex.garden, bright enough, well secured,etc..)
If Tower apartment, rent becomes higher if floor position is high. One important point to tower apartment is the view. Even if the floor is in middle position but if you can see good scenery(ex. Tokyo Tower, Sky tree, Mt. Fuji,etc.. if its in Tokyo), then the price become more high amount.
One point when consider this floor position is to check whether property have elevator.
If the property does not have elevator, high floor position relatively becomes reasonable than lower floor.

Distance to the station

In central Tokyo and Yokohama, number of train, subway, and bus is running the city and reach to the station in close distance. Finding the silent location but close to the nearest station is one trend to find out suitable property in Tokyo and Yokohama and this is also one items which effect to the property price. But if the property locates close to the railroad or highway, this makes the price more reasonable.
One border is 10 min. walking distance from property to the station.
Majority will recognize “far” if the property distance is over 10 minutes walk to the nearest station.


When rent property in Tokyo, almost all property requires to have guarantor. Even if it says no need for guarantor, at least to join in “Guarantee company” or to set emergency contact person shall be required.
Guarantor is the person who can responsible to secure for monthly rent payment in case if tenant delay the payment after move in.
Majority ask for individual Japanese living in Japan who can speak Japanese and have stable income.
If there is no one who can act as your guarantor, to join into “Guarantee company” is the next step to consider.
Guarantee company is the company where can act as your guarantor when renting the property, it often have an assessment and ask for joining fee instead.
Amount of joining differ by each guarantee company but around 50 to 100% of total monthly rent at the beginning is the majority.

2.Communication and property visiting with property agent

PPH_bisinessnote500-thumb-750x500-976Once the preference or requirement becomes clear, this preference shall be compare with real property market in Tokyo or Yokohama by property agent and your considerable property and apartment will be shown. After narrow down which property you would like to visit, will go and check how well the property and apartments meets to your criteria.
At the time when finding property agent and narrow down the property, most important part is how well you can build relationship between the agent and tell your preference.
If this relationship becomes not well, it directly reflect to the cost of energy and miss-understanding which makes more difficult to reach finding your suitable property.
Because there are plenty of property locates in Tokyo, finding your suitable property or apartments from numerous number of property gives lots of energy and work.
When finding an agent, below items becomes important part to help saving your energy and build relationship.

/Can agent speak English?
/Do they willing to send you property information in English?(Do they send information by Japanese?)
/Can they communicate with email or other contact method you prefer?
Not only email, do they accept to take phone and communicate if necessary?
/Do they have knowledge and skill to explain the system of property in English?(Lease contract in Tokyo have volume of paper works and tricky understanding.)
/Do you need to visit agent every time when viewing property?(Can you meet at the property or will they come and pick you up?)

As we have been providing number of client willing to find property in Tokyo and Yokohama, we have number of service to provide your property searching more convenient.
Please check more detail from “Agent service”.

3.Find the property and apply for contract

PAK75_dashtokyo20140823105505500-thumb-800x1026-5435After view some property and determine the property which you want to live, next step will be the application.
Because property always stays in the market,it always have possibility that property or apartment may be gone due to taken by third party.
To avoid this kind of risk, what we first need to do is to submit application form and try hold the property.
When apply, we need to fill in the application form about

/You name
/Current address of your stay
/Birth date
/Member of family to live in
/Contact number
/Name of the company where you working at
/Information of your company(ex. Address, phone number, category of business, amount of foundation, number of employee, name of director and others)
/Information of guarantor
Adding to this, submit the copy of your ID(ex. residence card, passport, income certificate) with this application form.

Also, this is the timing for negotiation.
Depends on the balance between the condition of the property and your condition, it often needs adjustment to fix the condition by negotiate and make it into your prefer condition.
Your agent will take care about this part as “close partner” and make it more easier if the relationship has already been built.

4.Lease contract

a0001_011478After finish negotiation and condition of contract fixed, next is the preparation of payment of initial cost and contract conclusion.
Below is the item of initial payment enables to cost in general.

Items of Initial payment
1.Rent of the month divided into days by contract starting date(ex. if the contract starts from 15th in the month of total 30days, the month of calculation become 16 days.)
2.Rent of next month
3.Deposit (Amount differ in each property. Majority is 2 months.)
4.Key money (Amount differ in each property. Majority is 1 months.)
*Explanation of Key money from our blog “Tokyo property news”
5.Agent fee (One month of rent + 8%Consumption tax in general.)
6.Fire insurance fee (Around 15,000 to 25,000 yen for 2 years as general range of amount.)
7.Guarantee company membership fee (Requirement differ in each company. Majority is in between 50 to 100% of total rent of the property.)
8.Key exchange fee (Requirement differ in each company.In between 15,000 to 35,000 yen in general price range.)
9.Others (Ex. Car parking, Pet,Maintenance support membership fee,etc..)

At the time when contract condition fixed, try having “Draft contract” and understand the content of the contract before you sign.Check with the property agent about which part of contract may effect you and confirm beforehand would makes you more safe to proceed into contract conclusion.
After you agree for the property condition, you need to prepare initial payment and have signature(stamp) into contract document.
Initial payment usually done by bank transfer directly to either landlord or the management company bank account about few days before when you sign the contract.
After finishes both payment and contract signature, paperwork complete and enables to prepare for moving in.

5.Move in

a0002_003674At the time when you prepare your move into your new property or apartment, There are several items needs to care.

1. Utilities

It usually have Gas, water, and electric as utility in the property.
You can reserve by phone
Tokyo Gas
Tokyo Electric
*Water underway in each water bureau locates in each ward if it is in Tokyo and Yokohama.
Especially for gas, you need to reserve to open gas before using and it requires the person to attend at the property.


Recently, most property enables to have the facility to use internet.
But before using, it also needs to reserve and have the person to attend to open the internet function in some cases.
Usually, internet facility itself is already installed if its an apartment. In this case, you should check which internet company is installed inside apartment which makes the process smooth and may have some discount by the group contract inside apartment.
Once figure out which internet company to use, recommend to give a call and take reservation beforehand because internet often requires opening operation and this needs reservation.
By schedule arrangement of this operation, it sometime needs to wait for few weeks until internet company becomes available.


IMG_7591Because most property in Tokyo is un-furnish, to prepare furniture and electric is also important matter before moving in.
Find here for the infromation of furniture and electric shop to search.
As we have been provide our service for this preparation, please check our “Move in Support system”


If you have children, secure the place for the school is also important. If the location of school becomes far from the property or apartment, you may need to consider for school bus to let your children commute to school.
When you prefer to let your children to commute local school, each ward office have information and check information of each ward office becomes the first step.
If prefers to commute international school,  contact directly to the school may be the fine way to confirm.
You can contact us when searching property include this school that we would like to provide support searching the school along with property searching.


Finding moving company also become one important part for preparation.
Depends on the volume and luggage and schedule, shipment from overseas, contact in advance and prepare for your new living help to move into your new property even better.
As we have movers to help your move in, please feel free to contact us for more detail.

Room Inspection

IMG_7588Before you bring in your luggage, one thing you should do before bring your luggage into your room would be room inspection.
As most of room is not brand new and some scratch or dirt exist in most property.
At the time when you paid initial payment, deposit usually include and it usually use at the time when you move out.
For Tokyo property, basic cleaning needs to be done by tenant and landlord usually appropriate the amount of cleaning from the deposit which tenant paid.
But how do you confirm?
When people living inside property, scratch or few damages occurs and this is pretty ordinary matters. But if this damages mixed up with past damages, there becomes no ways to separate the damages between before and after you move in.
When moving in, we basically do have inspection to leave record about where the damage exist. This would help to recognize whether the damage is the one which comes before you move in or after you move in and separate the responsibility.

We have been improve our agent service by considering the difficulty of moving into property in Tokyo and Yokohama.
As we are thinking our mission is to support our client from property searching to comfortable living, please check more detail via “Agent service” and feel free to contact us.