THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2023
Japan is a country with a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and a bustling economy, attracting a significant number of foreigners seeking new experiences and opportunities. However, when it comes to renting apartments in Japan, foreigners often encounter certain restrictions and challenges that can be overwhelming. In this blog, we will explore the various restrictions faced by foreigners looking to rent apartments in Japan and shed light on how to navigate these obstacles.
Foreigners in Japan are often referred to as “gaijin,” a term that can sometimes carry a negative connotation. Unfortunately, this perception can lead to discrimination in the rental market. Some landlords may harbor biases or misunderstandings about foreigners, making it challenging to secure an apartment.
The language barrier is another significant hurdle for foreigners trying to rent apartments in Japan. While English may be spoken in some larger cities or by real estate agents catering to expatriates, most rental procedures and contracts are conducted in Japanese. This can be a major deterrent for foreigners who are not fluent in the language.
In Japan, it is common for landlords to require a Japanese guarantor or cosigner for rental agreements. This person vouches for the tenant and takes on financial responsibility in case the tenant defaults on payments or damages the property. Unfortunately, finding a guarantor as a foreigner can be difficult, as it often demands a deep level of trust and understanding of the local customs.
For newcomers to Japan, establishing a rental history is virtually impossible. Many landlords prefer tenants with a stable rental history to reduce the risk of problematic tenants. This Catch-22 situation creates a frustrating cycle for foreigners looking to find their first apartment in the country.
Certain visa types in Japan, such as tourist visas, do not permit the holder to engage in long-term rental contracts. To rent an apartment legally, foreigners must hold a valid visa that allows them to reside in the country for an extended period. Moreover, some landlords may require specific visa types, such as a work visa, to consider an applicant.
While the restrictions on renting apartments for foreigners in Japan can be discouraging, there are strategies to overcome these challenges:
Renting apartments as a foreigner in Japan can present challenges, but it is essential not to be discouraged. Understanding the restrictions and seeking assistance from the right resources can significantly improve your chances of finding a suitable apartment. Japan’s real estate landscape is gradually evolving to be more inclusive, making it easier for foreigners to enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer. With patience, perseverance, and an open mind, you can turn the house-hunting process into a successful and rewarding experience.