The dilemma of finding a house to rent in Japan
There are many complications in Japanese renting culture that many people will feel like facing a dilemma upon hearing them. The story of finding a house to rent for the first time is something that I have never forgotten!
Japan is a nation of principle and high discipline. That’s why Japanese people are extremely "difficult" and strict about eating, studying, working, and renting is not the exception. Well, not all the Japanese people, of course. However, several "customs" may distress many foreigners when looking for a place to stay in Japan.
1 - How to find a rented house?
In Vietnam, I could find myself a bedsit through the advertisements "overwhelming" on social media, have viewed on my own, and strike a bargain, while things were different in Japan. I had to rely on the support of real estate agents since almost nobody in Japan posting information or putting up a "To Let" sign outside the house.
They often hired out their property via an intermediary, and the brokerage cost was quite a lot. Fortunately, my company agreed to pay that amount!
I could also find a house on some property apps, but I still had to contact the real estate agent to arrange a house viewing if I liked any of the listings. It is also a handy way for you to save time!
2 - A struggling journey to find a house
I lived in Osaka. In such a hectic place like that, the rent was higher than in other areas. In the beginning, I requested a cheap house close to my company since I wanted to save money. The uncle suggested a few homes priced from 1-3 man. I was out of my breath walking up 5-6 stairs, but the room was nowhere near the expectation.
Everything indeed comes with a price. Thus, I had to find a reason to say no tactfully and changed my request to: "I can spend a little more as long as the house is nice and close to my company!". So, the uncle continued to show me other houses.
After a long day of walking, my feet were tired, but I was still not satisfied with any house, then we had to arrange another viewing. A few days later, when I could find time in my schedule, I started to look for a house again.
Finally, I found the destiny of my life - a nice, airy house with a large balcony and wide glass door, which looked amazing. Most importantly, the price was extremely low, only 3 man/month for a 30m2 room. I cheerfully accepted right away! However, the broker hesitantly looked at me and announced that: "The reason for such a cheap rent is because THE OWNER DIED BY SUICIDE. Just move in if you dare!"
At first, I was about to take the risk since the house was so lovely and cheap. Seeing me hesitate, the broker let me bring home the house offer letter to consider more. That night, I was tossing and turning all night, feeling frightened just imagining scary scenes and stuff.
No matter how cheap the house was, it’s a no for me to live there alone and always see shadows behind my back. So, I threw the offer letter away and requested another house.
After a whole week of hard work, I found a favorite house, but the rent was a bit high. My room was only 25m2 but fully equipped, with an air conditioner, fridge, bathroom with water heaters, bed, and cabinets. It’s possible to rent such a house like that with around 3 man, only the area might be a little smaller.
Since my house was almost in the center, it cost me 7 man/month, plus key money and rental deposit for 1 year, totaling 12 man, but I was willing to spend a little less on food to live in such a decent place. I was too selective, wasn't I?
3 - "Due care" Rule
Last but not least, Japanese people care a lot about their houses. Therefore, we will have to pay a deposit for the available furniture in the home and commit not to damage anything. This principle also applies when you vacate a property, meaning that everything must be restored to the original condition when you leave. So, I worked very hard to clean the old room before moving into the new house!
It was indeed a sad story of mine yet makes everyone laugh when being told. It's not easy to find a place to live in Japan but don't be afraid, those difficulties will be compensated by great experiences there! Let's explore Japanese culture and share your experiences with me, ok!
Hi guys, my name is Huong Giang. I love travelling and Japan is the place that I can do what I desire to do. I hope my experiences will inspire you and it would be glad if we can share our things in common <3
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