Finding an apartment in Japan can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. In this article, we will discuss the top reasons as to why your application could be rejected.
1. Low Income
The first reason as to why your application was rejected might be because your income isn’t high enough.
Around the world, the best rule of thumb when it comes to renting a house is that your rent should not be higher than about 33% of your salary.
Some landlords and property managers in Japan use a similar calculation based on your income by multiples of 36, which means that your annual income should be at least 36 times the rent for the apartment you are hoping to get.
For example, let’s say you are hoping to rent an apartment that costs around ¥50,000 the amount of income that you will need to make it around 36% is ¥1,800,000. Another example would be if the apartment you are hoping to rent in Japan costs ¥80,000 then the amount of income you would need would be around ¥2,880,000 annually. On the higher end of the scale if you wanted to rent an apartment that cost ¥112,000, then you would need to be making ¥4,320,000 annually. Not making enough money is one of the biggest reasons as to why landlords in Japan will reject your rental application.
2. Your guarantor’s income isn’t high enough.
If you are from a western-style country, the term guarantor might seem strange to you. A guarantor is a person who will pay on your behalf if you are not able to pay your rent. Most landlords in Japan require you to pick a guarantor as part of your rental application. Some companies cater to foreigners and don’t need one, or if you are only planning on staying for a couple of months you might not need a guarantor as well.
All people living in Japan, require a guarantor. That means that both foreigners and Japanese people will need to get a guarantor. Many people in Japan use family members as their guarantor. One problem facing Japan at the moment is the aging society. As more and more people retire, they are no longer able to act as guarantors for their family as once they go on pension their monthly income goes down.
One way around this is to use a rent guarantor company. For a small fee which is about a third to a full month’s rent, a guarantor company will act as your guarantor. Most landlords nowadays more or less prefer you to use a company as they are seen as less risky.
#3 Your job is seen as being unstable.
In almost every country, landlords will need to see that you are working or have a form of income.
Tenants in Japan are very strongly protected by laws, and it is not easy for a landlord to evict a tenant, even more so after they have a history of paying their rent on time.
What landlords want is to avoid a situation where they might have to evict you for not paying your bills on time. A good way landlords can avoid that nightmare is by picking a tenant with a good job at a well-known company.
If you are a contract employee, work for a dispatch company, are self-employed, or own your own business, you might find it a bit harder to find a place as you might be perceived as a risky renter.
3. Being a Foreigner in Japan
Next up is a bit of a big one. If you are a foreigner, you might face something called housing discrimination.
Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.”
Now, if you are a foreigner in Japan, you might have already faced a little bit of discrimination. It happens, there are people all over the world who will judge you based on your looks alone. If you are trying to find a place in Japan, it can happen and does happen to many people. The term is called housing discrimination.
You may have everything that the landlord is looking for, but you may still be rejected because you are not Japanese. It is not legal, and it’s not right by any means but it still does happen to many people.
In 2016 the Japanese government conducted the first survey on discrimination against foreigners living in Japan. They found that about 39% of foreigners living in Japan over the past 5 years reported that their application was rejected based on the fact that they were not Japanese. 52% said that they had never been denied housing based on the fact that they were foreigners.
In another question, about 27% of foreigners responded with the fact that they had given up looking for a place to live in Japan due to all the signs saying “No foreigners”.
It’s not unlikely that you will face this while looking for a house to rent while in Japan. If you do face this sort of discrimination there are places where you can go to file a report as the Japanese government over the years have been more active with trying to make a more foreign-friendly place.
4. Having Pets
The last reason on our list of reasons as to why your rental application got denied is that you could have pets. Now, it is a no brainer that many places will not allow pets in western countries and, in Japan, it’s no different. Pets are wonderful but it can be hard to find an apartment that allows pets in Japan. The Japanese style of housing and apartments are much different than other countries as they are much smaller and the walls are thinner. If you have pets you might find it a bit more challenging to find an apartment that allows pets.
And that is it for our list of reasons as to why your rental application might get denied in Japan. We hope that you find the apartment of your dreams.