FAQ

Q1: How much are the initial costs for renting a long-term apartment?

Q2: How much are the initial costs for renting a DBOX short-term apartment?

Q3: I am planning to move to Osaka in the near future. Can I apply for an apartment from overseas?

Q4: What is the application process like for renting a long-term apartment vs short-term DBOX apartment?

Q5: How long does the application process take? What documents and information are required?

Q6: I hear that a guarantor is required for renting an apartment in Japan. Do I really need one?

Q7: What is the difference between a guarantor and an emergency contact?

Q8: What is a guarantor company?

Q9: I saw a property on your website. There is a guarantor company fee, but it also says that a guarantor is required. If I have to pay a guarantor company fee, why do I still need to have a guarantor?

Q10: There are many real estate agencies in Osaka. How is Daiwa Homes different from them?

Q11: Are there any other properties except the ones listed on your website?

Q12: Your website showed that a certain property was available. I sent you an inquiry but was told that it was no longer available. Why?

Q13: I would like to rent a long-term apartment, but I am not sure if I can stay there for a year. What will happen if I cancel the contract early?

Q14: Do any of these apartments come furnished?

Q15: What is key money?

Q16: What is UR?

Q17: I am new to Osaka. What are some important things I should consider when I look for an apartment?

Q18: What do the room types, such as 1R, 1K, 2DK and 3LDK, mean?

Q19: I’ve just arrived in Japan. There are so many things I need to do. I need to find an apartment, register my address, open a bank account, get a cell phone, etc. Without an address, I can’t get a cell phone. Without a cell phone, I can’t get an apartment. Without an apartment, I can’t register an address… I’m so confused! How should I get started?

Q20: I’m tired of renting an apartment. I really want to buy my own property. Is it possible to get a mortgage in Japan?

Q21: I’d like to buy a property in cash in Japan. What are the procedures?

Q22: What do the icons on your website mean?

 


Q1: How much are the initial costs for renting a long-term apartment?

A1: As a rule of thumb, the initial costs for a long-term apartment with no key money and no deposit are about 3.5 times the rent. They usually include, but are not limited to, the first month’s rent, guarantor company fee, agent fee, house insurance, locksmith fee, cleaning fee, sterilization fee, etc. The actual initial costs will depend on the apartment.

 


Q2: How much are the initial costs for renting a DBOX short-term apartment?

A2: All you need to pay is the first month’s rent and a deposit equal to 1 month’s rent. When you move out, a cleaning fee will be deducted from the deposit before it’s refunded to you. The rent includes all utilities and wifi.

 


Q3: I am planning to move to Osaka in the near future. Can I apply for an apartment from overseas?

A3: Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to rent a long-term apartment from outside of Japan. Some documents, such as zairyu card (residence card) and juminhyo (certificate of residence), are required in order to apply for a long-term apartment, and these documents are only issued after you arrive in Japan. However, we do have some short-term options called DBOX apartments. You can simply pay a deposit by PayPal or bank transfer from overseas and move in when you arrive in Osaka.

 


Q4: What is the application process like for renting a long-term apartment vs short-term DBOX apartment?

A4: general application process

dbox application process

 


Q5: How long does the application process take? What documents and information are required?

A5: On average, the application process for a long-term rental takes about 11-14 days.

The documents and information required are:

For the application

  • Residence card (Zairyu card; Obtained at the airport when you arrive or at the immigration office)
  • Employment information (company name, address, phone #, monthly/yearly income, position, etc.)
  • Emergency contact information (name in kanji and furigana, date of birth, gender, address, phone #, relation to you)
  • Guarantor information if required (name in kanji and furigana, date of birth, gender, address, phone #, relation to you, place of employment, work phone #, monthly/yearly income, position, etc.)

For the contract

  • Certificate of Residence (Juminhyo; Obtained at the ward office)
  • Proof of Employment (Shotokushoumeisho; Can be a copy of your work contract, year-end tax slip, etc.)
  • Name stamp (Hanko; Obtained at a hanko shop, or we can have one made for you for ¥1,500.)
  • ID photo (Taken at our office)

There is no application process to rent a short-term DBOX apartment. We only require a copy of your passport or residence card.

 


Q6: I hear that a guarantor is required for renting an apartment in Japan. Do I really need one?

A6: If you are looking for a property in Osaka City, you don’t really have to worry about that because there are many properties that don’t require a guarantor. Having a guarantor will give you more options, but not having one is not a problem. In fact, most of our clients don’t have a guarantor, and they are living happily in Osaka City. You will definitely need an emergency contact though. However, if you are looking for a property in the countryside, an expensive apartment in the city or a stand alone house, most properties still require a guarantor.

 


Q7: What is the difference between a guarantor and an emergency contact?

A7: A guarantor has more responsibilities than an emergency contact. Think of a guarantor essentially as a cosigner; they will be held financially responsible for any damages or unpaid rent if you decide to split and leave the country. That is why Japanese people are so reluctant to be someone’s guarantor. An emergency contact is a person who is willing to answer the phone in case of an emergency. For example, if your apartment is on fire and the management company can’t reach you, they will call your emergency contact to make sure you are safe. Since nobody will call your emergency contact unless something happens, your Japanese friends are usually happy to be your emergency contact.

 


Q8: What is a guarantor company?

A8: A guarantor company, which is specified by the landlord, is the go-between for you and the landlord. They simply cover you for any losses you incur and pay your termination penalty should you disappear. For example, if you forget to pay the rent, they will pay the landlord on your behalf. Then they will ask you to pay them back.

 


Q9: I saw a property on your website. There is a guarantor company fee, but it also says that a guarantor is required. If I have to pay a guarantor company fee, why do I still need a guarantor?

A9: In some cases, a guarantor company only requires an emergency contact and covers you for the first year of your lease. If you are a good tenant, the renewal fee for the next twelve months is just 10,000 yen. Some guarantor companies, however, require you to have a personal guarantor anyway. They do that because if you choose to disappear, they will be able to contact your Japanese personal guarantor who is less likely to disappear easily. He or she will be responsible for paying any unpaid rent and fees.

 


Q10: There are many real estate agencies in Osaka. How is Daiwa Homes different from them?

A10: We have foreign staff members from different countries (New Zealand, Canada, the United States, etc). We have moved many times in Japan ourselves and understand how difficult it is to rent an apartment with a Japanese agent who doesn’t understand our language and culture. We have served clients from more than 50 countries. Read their testimonials to see what they said about us on our Testimonials page.

 


Q11: Are there any other properties except the ones listed on your website?

A11: Absolutely! We have access to a real estate database which is shared by thousands of real estate agents in Kansai. There are thousands of properties in Kansai, so it is impossible to list all of them on our website. We always try to find you properties based on your requirements, so please try to complete the inquiry form with as many details as possible. If you come across a building that has a “Looking for tenants” sign outside, please feel free to contact us. Most likely, we will have access to it.

 


Q12: Your website showed that a certain property was available. I sent you an inquiry but was told that it was no longer available. Why?

A12: As mentioned in A10, we share a real estate database with thousands of real estate agents in Kansai. That means any agent can apply for an apartment at any time. Although we always try our best to put the latest information on our website, we won’t know the most updated availability until we call the management company. When we receive an inquiry, we always call the management company to confirm the availability.

 


Q13: I would like to rent a long-term apartment, but I am not sure if I can stay there for a year. What will happen if I cancel the contract early?

A13: Most apartments listed on our website has a “12-1 rule” saying, “If the tenant cancels the contract within the first 12 months, there will be a penalty of 1 month’s rent.” Some apartments have a “6-1 rule”, and some have a “24-1 rule”. Please confirm the rule with us before you file an application.

 


Q14: Do any of these apartments come furnished?

A14: All of our DBOX apartments are furnished. Some long-term apartments are furnished, but they are pretty rare. The good news is that it is pretty easy to find cheap furniture and appliances these days. There are lots of used furniture shops everywhere especially in Daikokucho and Nipponbashi. The department store Nitori also has everything you will need; large furnishings come flat packed (think Ikea, which is also in Osaka if you prefer), and their delivery fee is very reasonable. You can also check “Osaka Sayonara Sale” on Facebook.

 


Q15: What is key money?

A15: Key money, or reikin, is better translated as a gratuity, or as one of our clients once remarked, “So, it’s like a cover charge at a bar, with a 12 drinks minimum?” There are a couple of schools of thought about the origins of key money. Post-war housing shortages, urbanization, and population growth. A few decades ago, house hunters were so happy to be able to live in the landlord’s property that they gave a gift of a couple of months worth of rent, to say thanks. We all know that Japan is different now due to the aging society, so it’s not uncommon to see zero/zero properties (zero key money / zero deposit) these days. However, properties that have key money tend to have cheaper rent, so if you plan to stay in the property for a long time, the key money is definitely worth it. For further justification, just divide the key money by the number of months you are planning to stay and add it to your monthly rent. If the total is still within your budget, then it’s still acceptable, isn’t it?

 


Q16: What is UR?

A16: UR, or Urban Renaissance Agency, is a government subsidized rental agency which manages state-owned housing complexes. They are foreigner-friendly, and no guarantor is required. No key money, no agent fee and no other hidden fees! To move in, all you have to pay is the first month’s rent, a deposit equal to 2 months’ rent and a fire insurance policy. Another good thing about UR is that you can move out anytime as long as you give them a 2-week notice. That will give you a lot of freedom. The only downside is that you need to meet their income requirements — you must have a monthly income approximately 4 times the amount of the rent or a balance in the bank exceeding a fixed amount.

 


Q17: I am new to Osaka. What are some important things I should consider when I look for an apartment?

A17: 1) Figure out your budget – you should budget for monthly rent no more than 1/3rd your monthly income. For example, if you would like to rent an apartment listed at ¥100,000 a month, you need to make at least ¥300,000 a month.
2) Think about where you want to live, how long you want to spend on your daily commute, how you spend your free time, and what kind of neighborhood you like.
3) Think about how long you are going to stay in the apartment. If you are not sure how long, maybe you should choose a DBOX or UR apartment .
4) Think about how much space you really need. Japanese apartments are pretty small, but if you learn to live with the lack of space, life can be easy.

 


Q18: What do the room types, such as 1R, 1K, 2DK and 3LDK, mean?

A18: The number means the number of bedrooms in the apartment.
R = room
K = kitchen
DK = dining kitchen
LDK = living dining kitchen

For example,
1R: There is literally only one room from where the kitchen and bathroom are directly accessed.
1K: It’s similar to a 1R unit, but the kitchen is separated from the main room.
2DK: It’s a 2-bedroom unit with a dining kitchen, which is big enough to fit at least a dining table and some chairs.
3LDK: It’s a 3-bedroom unit with a living dining kitchen, which is big enough to fit at least a dining table, some chairs, a couch, and a TV.

 


Q19: I’ve just arrived in Japan. There are so many things I need to do. I need to find an apartment, register my address, open a bank account, get a cell phone, etc. Without an address, I can’t get a cell phone. Without a cell phone, I can’t get an apartment. Without an apartment, I can’t register an address… I’m so confused! How should I get started?

A19: If you are confused, simply do these things in the following order:
1) Come to our office and view some properties.
2) Choose your favorite property and file an application.
3) Register your temporary address (your friend’s address or one of our DBOX apartments’ address) on your resident card at the local ward office.
4) Get a document called juminhyo (住民票 / certificate of residence) at the ward office.
5) We can introduce you to an English-speaking phone company to buy a SIM card or a new phone. Please ask us for details.
6) Open a bank account.
7) Sign the apartment contract.
8) Pick up your keys.
9) If you move from one ward to another ward within Osaka City, simply go to the new local ward office to register your new address. If you move from one city to another, e.g. from Toyonaka City to Suita City, you’ll have to go back to Toyonaka City Office to get a document called tenshutsu todoke (転出届 / moving notice) and then take it to Suita City Office.
10) Smile and enjoy your new life!

 


Q20: I’m tired of renting an apartment. I’ve been living here for a long time and really want to buy my own property. Is it possible to get a mortgage in Japan?

A20: Yes, it is possible if you meet the following requirements:
1) You are a permanent resident in Japan.
2) You have a stable job and have been working for the same company for a few years.
3) You are between 20 and 70 years old.
4) You can afford at least 10% down payment and all other fees including property acquisition tax, legal fee, agent fee, fixed asset tax, city planning tax, etc.
The actual requirements vary depending on the bank, but if you meet the requirements above, most banks will be happy to discuss the details with you.

 


Q21: I’d like to buy a property in Japan. What are the procedures?

A21: Foreigners, including those who are living in another country, can purchase properties in Japan. There are no restrictions in regards to real estate ownership of both land and buildings. It is not easy to get a mortgage in Japan though, so most likely, the transaction will be in cash.
Here are the procedures:
1) Searching properties – We have access to a large commercial database which is shared by many other agents. If you let us know your requirements as detailed as possible, we should be able to find you some properties that you like.
2) Visiting properties – If you book a viewing appointment in advance, it is possible to view a few properties within a few hours. Please note that it is sometimes difficult to schedule a viewing appointment on the same day, so please let us know at least 2-3 days in advance.
3) Filing an application – Once you’ve found a property you’d like to purchase, we will help you send an official application form to the seller. Your hanko (seal / 印鑑) is required on this application form.
4) Accepting your application – The seller will contact us to let us know whether or not he/she accepts your offer. If the seller accepts your offer, we will decide the contract date and time as well as the payment date and time. Please note that these dates are usually 2 different dates and there is usually about 1-2 weeks in between. That will give you enough time to prepare the money.
5) Paying a deposit – About a week later, you will be required to pay a deposit, which is usually 10% of the property price. If you change your mind and decide not to purchase this property, the seller will keep the deposit. If the seller changes his/her mind and decides not to sell this property, the seller will be required to give you twice the deposit back.
6) Choosing a judicial scrivener (司法書士) – We have a connection with 2 English speaking judicial scriveners, but you can also find your own instead.
7) Assigning a tax payment administrator (納税管理人) – If you are not living in Japan, you will have to find a tax payment administrator. This person can be a friend who lives in Japan and is willing to handle all tax payments and management fee payments for you.
8) Signing a contract – On the contract date, you will come to our office to sign the contract. It usually takes about 2 hours. If you chose one of our judicial scriveners in Step 6, we will introduce him/her to you after signing the contract.
9) Making the payment – On the payment date, the seller, seller’s judicial scrivener, seller’s agent, you, your judicial scrivener and we will be meeting at a bank on a weekday morning (except Wednesday because real estate agencies in Japan are usually closed on Wednesdays). After the payment has been transferred to the seller’s account, the seller will give you the keys for the property. Then your judicial scrivener will go to the Legal Affairs Bureau to register the property for you.
10) Moving in – You have already received the keys and can move in anytime you want.

 


Q22: What do the icons on your website mean?

A22:

Auto lock

TV intercom

System kitchen

Washlet

Free internet

Separate bathroom & toilet

Washing machine pan

AC

Stove

Pet-friendly

Bicycle parking

Car parking

Motorcycle parking

No guarantor required

Elevator