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Japan – Lease Agreements

The typical lease term for renting a property in Japan is usually 2 years, although some leases can be as short as one year or as long as 3 years. The lease agreement typically starts from the day the tenant moves in and ends on the last day of the lease term.

Difference between Furnished & Unfurnished Properties in Japan

Furnished and unfurnished rental properties in Japan vary greatly in terms of the items included. Furnished properties come with furniture, appliances, and household items, while unfurnished properties typically do not include these items.

In furnished properties, tenants can expect to find items such as beds, desks, chairs, sofas, tables, and wardrobes. The properties may also come equipped with appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioning units, and televisions. Some furnished properties also include household items like bed linens, towels, kitchenware, and cutlery.

On the other hand, unfurnished properties usually come with just the bare essentials, such as light fixtures and built-in closets. Tenants are expected to bring their own furniture and household items to make the property livable.

Standard Clauses in a Lease Agreement in Japan

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A lease agreement in Japan typically includes the following standard clauses:

  • Names and addresses of the landlord and tenant
  • Description of the property being rented
  • Rent amount and payment due date
  • Security deposit amount
  • Length of the lease term
  • Conditions for renewing the lease
  • Termination conditions
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Restrictions on the use of the property
  • Rules regarding subletting

Additional Clauses in a Lease Agreement in Japan

In addition to the standard clauses, some landlords in Japan may include additional clauses in the lease agreement that are not mandatory. These may include clauses regarding the payment of utilities, rules for smoking and/or pet ownership, and conditions for renewing the lease.

Expats Be Especially Aware of When Signing a Lease Contract in Japan

Expats should be especially aware of the following when signing a lease contract in Japan:

  • Understanding the language used in the lease agreement: Expats should make sure they fully understand the terms and conditions of the lease agreement, especially if they are not fluent in Japanese.

  • Checking for hidden fees: Expats should be aware of any hidden fees that may be included in the lease agreement, such as key money or brokerage fees.

  • Knowing their rights and responsibilities: Expats should familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities as tenants in Japan, such as their right to privacy and their responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs.

  • Familiarizing themselves with Japanese law: Expats should familiarize themselves with Japanese law regarding rental properties, as it may differ significantly from the laws in their home country.

Condition Reports in Japan

Condition reports are not common in Japan before signing a lease agreement. However, it is always a good idea for tenants to thoroughly inspect the property before moving in and to document any existing damages.

Qualifications and Licenses for Letting Agents in Japan

Letting agents in Japan are not required to possess any specific qualifications or licenses. However, it is always a good idea for tenants to choose a reputable and experienced letting agent to ensure that the process of renting a property in Japan goes smoothly.

Association or Organisation for Letting Agencies in Japan

There is no specific association or organization in Japan that reputable letting agencies should be a member of.

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