5.Contract page 2
1.Earnest money/ Promise money
When you have chosen an apartment to rent, contact the real estate agent who showed you that apartment. You will need to pay the agent 'earnest money' to keep the room on hold. 'Earnest money' is required in most, but not all, cases.

Azukari kin(earnest money)is also called Moushikomi kin(application money). It is payment for offically reserving a room, or officially expressing interest in it. In some cases, azukari-kin can be refundable even if you cancel your reservation. However, in some cases, azukari-kin is not refundable. If an agent asks you to pay anything resembling this, make sure you ask whether it is Azukari kin or Tetsuke kin, and be sure to find out whether it is refundable if you cancel your reservation.


Tetsuke kin(a kind of 'earnest money') is money held to prevent an applicant from running out on their contract, and also to protect the applicant should the contract be cancelled by the agent. It protects both parties. If an applicant gives an agent Tetsuke kin, the applicant can cancel the contract anytime by abandoning his/her Tetsuke kin. On the other hand, the agent can annul the contract at any time, if they refund double the Tetsuke kin to the applicant.


2.Types of contracts

There are 2 types of contracts:

Personal contract
The tenant prepares and signs the contract him or herself. The landlord will likely do an intensive background check in this case.

Corporate contract
The company which employs the tenant will prepare and sign the contract on the tenant's behalf. In this case, the landlord will most likely not do an intensive background check on the tenant, since it is the company which will be paying the rent and taking responsibility for the rental of the apartment.


With a corporate contract, it is much easier to pass the landlord's background check. It is advisable to ask your company to take care of your apartment for you, if at all possible.


3.Contract forms

The contract forms/outline will be provided by your real estate agent.
Three copies will be drawn up: one for the owner, one for the real estate agent, and one for you.


The contents of contracts vary widely depending upon the property owner and the real estate agent. In some cases the wording may be complex and difficult to understand. Before signing the contract, have the real estate agent explain any important matters.


The general condition of the space to be rented and the conditons for staying there (prohibitions and requirements) will be stated in the contract. Since many (possibly strict) rules will be included, make sure you understand the contract 100% before you sign it, to avoid any trouble later on.


4.Make sure you understand:

Special rules and conditions You, for example, may not be allowed to have a pet, play musical instruments, use an oil heater, remodel your room, or use your room for any purpose other than as a personal residence. Since conditions are different depending on the apartment, make sure to negotiate these types of conditions before entering into a contract. If you have already signed your contract, be sure to respect these rules and conditons.
When your rent is due Usually, rent is due at the end of each month. You should pay your rent by bank transfer, or in to your agent in person, between the 25th and 28th of each month. It's a good idea to negotiate a rent due date that closely follows your payday at work
Fee for renewing your contract In Japan, you will most often be required to pay a fee to renew your contract. The fee is usually the equivelant of 1 month's rent, but it depends on the apartments. It's a good idea to ask your agent about this before you sign your contract.

Paying for repairs/cleaning after you move out, and refund of deposit
Different agents have different requirements when you move out of your apartment. Even if your room seems clean to you, they may require you to pay a fee to replace the tatami, repaint, etc. The expense for any restoration will be deducted from your deposit, and the balance will be refunded. Ask your agent about this beforehand.

Contracts include alot of important information, such as the duration of the contract, the details of the deposit, etc. Please take care with your contract... keep it safe and do not lose it!


5. Receipts

Be sure to obtain receipts for evertyhing you pay.


6.Moving in

Once you have decided what date you want to move in, contact your real estate agent, and landlord.


If the term of your stay is too short (under a year), you may be turned down by landlords. If the day you wish to move in is too far in the future, real estate agents may not accept your request. It is advisable to move in within 2 weeks after you finalize your contract.


If you decide to move in later than that date, you will most likely still have to pay for rent, even though you are not living in the apartment.

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