Moving Home Checklist
While the prospect of moving to better and possibly bigger accommodations is appealing to many, the process of officially moving out is usually not. For those living in Japan and moving out for the first time, the unique procedures and requirements that come with vacating a premise here can seem rather daunting. We advise you to create your own checklist, which makes it easier for you to keep track of everything and ensure things go as smoothly as possible. So let’s go over what needs to be done.
Giving Prior Notice
When a tenant decides to move, the most pressing thing is to give prior notice. This is usually to the landlord though it can also be to your real estate agency or agent in charge of handling the apartment building or complex.
How to give notice of your intention to move out will again depend on the conditions set by the landlord or real estate agency. Luckily, nowadays, with many procedures being digitized, tenants can usually just send an email or fill out an online form. However, there is always the option of making a phone call as well.
Notice the Deadline According to the Apartment Rental Lease
Generally, in Japan, the minimum amount of time to give notice is 30 days or a month. However, this timeframe will depend on each individual’s apartment rental lease. Tenants should also be aware of the length of their lease contract – if they break the contract by moving out too early, a cancelation fee or penalty fee may be incurred. At Village House, for example, apartment leases are set at a standard of 24 months. If the lease is terminated before this, individuals must pay a cancelation fee, which is 3 months’ rent, if the tenant moves out within 12 months; and 2 months’ rent if they move out within 24 months.
”Checking Out” at City Hall or the Ward Office
Giving prior notice of the intent to move out sets a deadline, which tenants must adhere to. In Japan, one piece administrative procedure that needs to be done is to “check out” the ward one is currently living in. To do this, tenants need to go down to city hall or the local ward office and submit a moving out form or tenshutsu-todoke that includes information such as the current address, new address, and moving out date.
Once submitted, a moving out certificate will be issued to you, which can be used to “check in” to the new ward or prefecture. Obtaining a moving out certificate should be done within 2 weeks prior to moving out and registering at your new ward or prefecture should be done within two weeks of having moved into the new place.
Other Things to Take Care of Before Your Moving Day
The next priority on one’s moving homes checklist will be to inform any all services, subscriptions, and organizations you have registered your address with. Arguably the most important will be to inform the utility companies of the upcoming change in address. Your gas, power, and water companies will need to be given notice to either transfer or cancel your contracts with them as well as when to shut off the utilities (usually on the date of your moving day). Again, it’s best to give notice as early as possible to make these transactions go smoothly and avoid incurring any late or cancelation fees. It’s often advised to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice before moving out but obviously, the earlier, the better.
Next, one should inform the following organizations, services, and subscriptions, of a change in address:
- The bank
- The post office (simply fill out a relocation form with one’s old address and new address and any post or packages will be redirected to the new address for free up to a year)
- Work or school
- Internet service provider
- Cell phone provider
- Subscriptions such as newspaper or magazine subscriptions, Netflix, Disney+, etc.
- Food delivery services such as UberEats and Wolt
In this day and age, updating one’s personal information can be done online so it should hopefully not be too much of a hassle or take up much time.
In conclusion, when deciding to change accommodations, giving landlords or real estate agencies ample prior notice time will only aid in making the moving transition easier; and possibly save the tenant from having to pay any penalty fees. If you’re unsure of exactly what to do when moving out and have settled on renting a Village House property, part of your lease includes moving support; so feel free to use this service to inquire about what needs to be done prior to and after moving out.