"Our mission is you!"      

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I find an apartment in Tokyo?
  2. Why should I choose Plaza Housing?
  3. Where is the Plaza Housing office?
  4. Do the staff speak English and/or Spanish?
  5. What is key money (reikin)?
  6. What is a deposit (shikikin)?
  7. Will I get my deposit back when I leave my apartment?
  8. What is a guarantor (hoshonin)?
  9. What is the difference between a mansion and an apartment (apato)?
  10. Are apartments furnished?
  11. What is an inspection (shinsa)?
  12. What does “jo” mean?
  13. What happens if I leave my apartment before the end of the contract term?
  14. What should I do if I have trouble with my apartment?
  15. Who can I contact if I have trouble with my landlord?




  1. How do I find an apartment in Tokyo?

  2. For detailed information on how to find an apartment in Tokyo, please see the step by step guide of The Plaza System on our Home page.

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  3. Why should I choose Plaza Housing?

  4. Here at Plaza Housing we understand the difficulties and the cost involved in finding an apartment in Tokyo. It is our policy to listen to your requirements and to do our best to find the apartment that you want.

    We welcome all nationalities at Plaza Housing, and we like to say that our mission is you. Our customers come from all over the world and from all walks of life. The staff here have many years’ experience in the Real Estate industry and we strive to provide the highest quality service to assist all those in need of housing in Tokyo, from university students and exchange and language students to families and couples. For anyone who has struggled to find foreigner-friendly housing, Plaza Housing can help make the process quick and painless.

    The search for an apartment in Tokyo can be a difficult process, especially when one is not familiar with the language or the real estate culture in Japan. At Plaza Housing, your preferences and concerns are our top priority. Our Real Estate staff offers consultation in Japanese, English, Chinese and Spanish to help make this procedure smoother for you.

    We offer guidance and support on a wide range of issues relating to renting apartments in Japan. We can advise you on legal matters, contractual matters, provide information on Real Estate Agent practices and assist in negotiations with your landlord. Our support is free of charge as we hope contribute to making a fair and just society in Japan.

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  5. Where is the Plaza Housing office?

  6. Plaza Housing is a one minute walk from Takadanobaba Station on the JR Yamanote Line, two stops from both Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. Please see our Contact page for further details.

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  7. Do the staff speak English and/or Spanish?

  8. Yes, we have English-speaking and Spanish-speaking staff here at Plaza Housing. Please see our Contact page to make an appointment, or just call in to see us.

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  9. What is key money (reikin)?

  10. Key money (reikin) is a non-refundable, once-off payment to the landlord payable upon the signing of the lease. It usually costs the equivalent of 1-2 months’ rent. While it is possible to find apartments for which key money is not required, it remains a stalwart feature of the apartment culture in Japan.

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  11. What is a deposit (shikikin)?

  12. Deposit money (shikikin) is a fee charged by apartment owners that is kept for the duration of the tenant’s stay. A deposit is paid one time, up-front and is usually the amount of 1-2 months’ rent. A portion is returned upon termination of the contract, after a cleaning charge is deducted.

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  13. Will I get my deposit back when I leave my apartment?

  14. A portion of the deposit is returned upon termination of the contract, after a cleaning charge is deducted as long as there is no damage to the property aside from usual wear and tear caused by daily usage.

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  15. What is a guarantor (hoshonin)?

  16. In order to rent an apartment, a guarantor is required. The guarantor is a person that can vouch for the tenant, and who effectively promises to pay any damages should the tenant become unable to do so.

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  17. What is the difference between a mansion and an apartment?

  18. A mansion is an apartment complex built from concrete while an apartment (apato) is an apartment complex built from wood.

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  19. Are apartments furnished?

  20. Apartments are not usually furnished. However, it is possible to rent furnished apartments. These apartments are usually short-term, one month contracts (known as monthlies) and tend to be more expensive. For most apartments you will have to provide your own furniture, including bed/futon, washing machine, fridge, television etc.

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  21. What is an inspection (shinsa)?

  22. This is a process by which the owner screens the prospective tenant. An application is filled out at Plaza Housing with help from our staff including information such as bank information, income, occupation and recent job history.

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  23. What does “jo” mean?

  24. This is a standard measurement for the area of an apartment, based on the dimensions of one tatami mat. One jo (ichi-jo) measures 180cm x 90cm (1.65m2). A standard Japanese room size is 6 jo or 10m2.

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  25. What happens if I leave my apartment before the end of the contract term?

  26. You may leave your apartment whenever you like as long as you give enough notice as per the terms of your contract. This notice period is usually one month.

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  27. What should I do if I have trouble with my apartment?

  28. If you have any trouble with your apartment please contact us here at Plaza Housing and we will do our best to have your problem fixed.

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  29. Who can I contact if I have trouble with my landlord?

  30. If you rent an apartment in Tokyo and encounter trouble with your contract, your landlord, your real estate agent or when you feel that something is not right or that you have been cheated, please call us here at Plaza Housing on 03-5292-2340. We are proud to be able to offer our professional services free of charge for renters in difficult positions, even if you did not rent through us. We are proud to be your Emergency Real Estate Agent.

    We offer guidance and support on a wide range of issues relating to renting apartments in Japan. We can advise you on legal matters, contractual matters, provide information on Real Estate Agent practices, and assist in negotiations with your landlord. Our support is free of charge as we hope contribute to making a fair and just society in Japan.

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