Learn about the Initial Move-In Costs in Japan

Moving into a new country can be quite a task. It requires a careful study of the place and the essentials it takes to live there. The cities of Japan are well-planned and offer opportunities to build a lifestyle for yourself. This article outlines the initial move-in costs to Japan and some important things to remember while relocating to that amazing country.

The first step towards analyzing the initial move-in costs in Japan would be deciding: 1) the city you would be residing in, 2) the type of apartment/ housing you wish to opt for. For example: renting an apartment in Tokyo would be a costlier option than taking one in the suburban areas of Japan like Osaka or Kyoto. The type of apartment you would like to choose would be either a long-term or a short-term rental. These factors greatly determine the move-in costs.

Initial Move-in costs

Moving into an apartment in Japan has certain non-negotiable costs that crop up and keeping a buffer amount in advance is always a good idea. We recommend keeping an advance of 6-7 months of rent to budget for the costs.

  1. First Month Rent (Chintai) – The first-month rent is accounted for based on your move-in date. This is a non-negotiable cost.
  2. Deposit Amount (Shikikin) – Many landlords in Japan demand a deposit amount while leasing their apartment. This fee usually amounts to one or two months of your standard rent. The deposit is retained by the landlord throughout your stay and is refunded back with some minor deductions made on cleaning costs/ repairs. If you wish to stay clear from paying deposits, you can search online for apartments that do not require paying a deposit. This is an alternative that many immigrants choose.
  3. Key Money (Reikin) – This is a gratuity amount paid to the landlord and is non-refundable. It typically amounts to one month’s rent and is not a necessity for all apartments in Japan.
  4. Agency Fee (Chukai Tesuryo) – Also known as the Brokerage fee, this accounts for the cost paid to the agent. Agents charge no more than one month’s rent along with a surcharge of 8% consumption tax.
  5. Maintenance Fee (Kanri-hi) – This fee is paid for the maintenance of the apartment’s common areas. It is a running cost and needs to be paid monthly along with the rent. Maintenance fees occur anywhere around 3000-5000 JPY and is non-negotiable.
  6. Lock – Exchange Fee (Kagi Kokan-dai) – Lock exchange fees are paid for the exchange of locks on the property. It generally comes up to JPY 12,000.
  7. Property Insurance (Kasai hoken) – This fee is paid for the insurance of the property and occurs while signing the lease. Costs for a two-year insurance policy amounts to 22,000 JPY and one cannot opt-out from paying this.

Therefore, careful budgeting and a close study of different apartments in the area can help you discover your dream home. We wish you all the best in your search!

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