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Tenants rights and responsibilities

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Tenancy agreements can be hard to understand for foreigners in Japan because tenants' rights in Japan can be different than your own country. Let's take a look at tenants rights and responsibilities

Responsibilities


Unless it is stated differently in your contract the tenants need to leave the house in the same condition as they have rented. Stickers and drilling holes in the walls are not allowed. Any damage other than normal wear and tear may cause deductions from your

deposit when you leave the house.


Any natural damages in the house such as water leaks are not the tenant's

fault, however, the tenant can be held responsible for neglect if they don't

report any problem at the house that may cause damage in the long run.

Damages caused by accidents or natural causes may be covered by your house

insurance. Make sure you get in touch with your agent when you encounter such

problems. We are here to help you. What many tenants from abroad don't understand is the cleaning fee: After moving out the owner or the property manager assigns a professional to clean the house and wax the floors for the next tenants. Thanks to this deep cleaning even older rental units look very good and the tenants can move in immediately without worrying about cleaning. This cleaning fee is mostly standard and it is based on the floor area of the unit and the number of airconditioners. The cleaning fee is not included in the rent so it should be additionally paid by the tenant. It is sometimes paid as an initial fee or most of the time it is deducted from the deposit. Some tenants misunderstand this fee as an unfair charge due to a damage that doesn't even exist.

Unfortunately, some houseowners can forbid keeping a pet with you. Some of them may only allow small dogs but not cats. However unreasonable it sounds to us they have a legal right to it. Some buildings even don't allow having children! What about the rights of the tenants?

If you have a normal/ renewable contract you don't have to worry about being kicked out of your apartment as long as you follow the contract rules, pay the rent on time and pay the renewal fee. Even if the unit you live in is sold to a third party, they have to continue your lease contract as it is. If the owner wants to terminate the contract they have to notify the tenants at least 6 months before. In case of normal contract, you don't have to worry about extreme rent increases as well. Yes, the landlord may ask for an increase but they should have a good reason for that such as an increase in property taxes or they should be able to show that the current rent of the house is low compared to similar houses in the same area. If you receive such a demand from your landlord you can negotiate with they in good faith. What happens if they want to tear down the building and build something new instead? In this case, the owner still needs to give at least 6 months for the tenants to find a new place and it is not uncommon to receive compensation for the trouble caused. If you find yourself in such a condition and worried about the initial fees of your next place, try to negotiate with the landlord for compensation. Your agent and licenced realtor in the real estate agency should be able to explain everything to you during to contract sign so please don't hesitate to ask them if you have any questions.


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