$B!!!!(BThe Fine Art of Apartment Hunting in Kyoto|
$B!!!!(BFinding an apartment in Japan can be a fairly difficult process. Japan has a unique real estate system involving a lot of special terminology, and a great expense required for moving in. Moreover, some landlords may be biased against renting to foreigners. It is important to do some research ahead of time, and make sure you thoroughly understand your housing contract before moving in.
$B!!!!(BSearching for Accommodations:
$B!!!!(BThe Kyoto International Community House KICH lists properties on their message board and offers a free online housing search service at http://house.kcif.or.jp
$B!!!!(BReal Estate Agents. A real estate agent will give you information and show you rooms free of charge. You may want to bring a Japanese friend along to help.
$B!!!!(BHousing Magazines. Bookstores sell housing information magazines with descriptions of properties that are managed by real estate agents.
$B!!!!(BInternet. See page three for a list of links.
$B!!!!(BStudent Affairs Office. If you are an exchange student, try asking a counsellor at your school for assistance.
$B!!!!(BTips for Choosing a Property:
$B!!!!(BRent: To be affordable, rent should comprise about a third of your monthly expenses.
$B!!!!(BLocation: Consider the length of your commute to school or work when choosing a location.
$B!!!!(BFacilities: A separate bath/toilet, private kitchen, air conditioning and so forth may be more expensive.
$B!!!!(BSun exposure: Make sure to check the sun exposure of the room (is it blocked by surrounding buildings?), noise level, ventilation and so forth.
$B!!!!(BEnvironment: Is there a nearby train station, supermarket, and so forth? Familiarize yourself with the surrounding area.
$B!!!!(BApplying for a Property
$B!!!!(BIf you decide to use a real estate agent, they will show you listings for various properties. Choose the ones you are interested in, and the agent will take you by car to view the properties, until you find one you are satisfied with.
$B!!!!(BOnce you have decided on a property, you will fill out an application and pay a non-refundable "contract deposit" fee. The real estate agent will explain the points of the contract to you when you apply. Along with the contract deposit, you may need to pay the following fees before you can move in :
$B!!!!(B* 1-2 months rent in advance
$B!!!!(B* A housing deposit of 1-3 months rent
$B!!!!(B* Nonrefundable "Key" money (typically 1-3 month's rent)
$B!!!!(B* The real estate agent's commission fee (1 month's rent)
$B!!!!(B* Fire insurance (\10,000 yen per year.)
$B!!!!(BThe fees will vary depending on the property. Some properties may not require key money, so shop around until you find a price you are satisfied with. You will need the following paperwork to enter a contract: your guarantor's seal and statement of employment, renter's personal seal (hanko), renter's resident alien card, or some other form of ID. A contract will typically last from 1 to 2 years, with a renewal fee of 2 months rent if you wish to extend the contract.
$B!!!!(BFinding a Guarantor
$B!!!!(BIt is necessary to have a guarantor in order to apply for an apartment. Japanese people will typically use a parent, but an employer, older friend, professor, etc. may be used as well. If you are an exchange student and have difficulty finding a guarantor, you can apply for the Exchange Student Guaranty System which allows you to purchase renter's insurance for \7,500 per year, which lessens the burden of responsibility on your guarantor. If you cannot find a person to be your guarantor, you can apply for a joint guaranty through the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto (you must be enrolled in the Guaranty System to do so), in which case the$B!!(Borganization will sign in lieu of a guarantor. For more information, please consult the Office of Foreign Students Affairs at your university.
$B!!!!(BEnding a contract
$B!!!!(BIf you decide to end your contract ahead of schedule, inform your landlord at least one month in advance. You may have to pay a fee if you leave your contract early. Before you leave, pay your remaining utility bills (gas, electric and so forth) and thoroughly clean your room. Return your key to the landlord or building supervisor. Repair/Cleaning fees may be deducted from your deposit depending on the condition of the room. You may have difficulty getting your deposit returned, since some landlords will use the money to install new flooring or walls for the next tenant.
$B!!!!(BApplying for Public Housing
$B!!!!(BPublic housing is an alternative for people living within Kyoto Prefecture that is less expensive than renting privately. Call the Municipal Foundation Consolidation Public Corporation Kyoto Office for more information: 075-255-0499
$B!!!!(BTo apply for public house, you must have a foreigner registration card, live or work within Kyoto City or Kyoto Prefecture, and meet the income eligibility requirement. A guarantor is necessary. For inquiries: Municipal Housing: Kyoto City Housing Public Office 075-681-0541Prefectural Housing: Kyoto Prefecture Housing Provision Public Office: 075-432-2011. For further help and advice about apartment hunting, contact the Kyoto International Community House at 075-752-3511.
$B!!!!(BSome Useful Words:
$B!!!!(B$BJ]>Z?M(B $B$[$7$g$&$K$s(B hoshonin :guarantor. This is a person who can vouch for you and will accept responsibility in case of a problem.
$B!!!!(B$B7@Ls(B $B$1$$$d$/(B keiyaku :contract. This is the housing contract that will be created by you, the landlord and your guarantor.
$B!!!!(B$BITF0;:20$5$s(B $B$U$I$&$5$s20$5$s(B fudosanyasan : real estate
$B!!!!(B$B2HDB(B $B$d$A$s(B yachin: rental fee
$B!!!!(B$BNi6b$l$$$-$s(B reikin : Key money is a fee that is paid to the landlord when the contract is made. This money will not be returned.
$B!!!!(B$BI_6b(B $B$7$-$-$s(B shikikin: Deposit. This is a sum of money held by the landlord in case the renter does not pay rent or there is damage to the property.
$B!!!!(B$B6&1WHq!!$-$g$&$($-$R(B kyoekihi :"common use fee" this is a fee to pay for the electricity and maintenance of common use areas in the building such as hallways, stairs etc. In some cases it's included as part of the rent, in other times it's charged separately.
$B!!!!(B$B99?7NA!!$3$&$7$s$j$g$&(B koshinryo : Renewal fee. If you wish to extend your contract after the initial period, this additional amount must be paid.
$B!!!!(B$B2rLs0z$-!!$+$$$d$/$R$-(B kaiyaku hiki :Cancellation of contract. This amount is decided at the time the contract was made, and the corresponding amount taken from the deposit when the renter decides to leave before the contract is finished.
$B!!!!(B$B%"%Q!<%H(B apato. : A wooden building under two stories.
$B!!!!(B$B%O%$%D(B haitsu: A building constructed from a lightweight steel framework.
$B!!!!(B$B%^%s%7%g%s(B mansion: A steel frame concrete building over three stories tall.
$B!!!!(BLDK: L stands for living room, D stands for dining room, K stands for kitchen. There is a number written before "LDK". 2 LDK indicates two rooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen.
$B!!!!(BUS: stands for "Unit Bath" in which bath, toilet and sink are included in one room.
$B!!!!(B$B%;%Q%l!<%H(B Separate: Bath and sink and toilet are contained in separate rooms.
|$B"*(B$B!!(BVer. Korean$B!!!!!!(B$B"*(B$B!!(BVer. Chinese|