To lower your expenses when moving into an apartment in Japan, look for properties that don’t require a deposit, key money, or agency fee.
More and more agents and landlords are waiving some or all of these fees, especially when they are trying to fill vacancies in the off-peak season (from about April to July) or are trying to lease-up a new building. Together these fees can add at least three months’ rent to your move-in costs, so it pays to be vigilant in your search.
For a list of properties in other parts of Japan, please go here. We currently list over 3,700 properties throughout Japan that don’t charge a deposit, key money, or agency fee.
If you are looking for short-term rentals in Tokyo, please see this list: Short-Term Apartments for Rent in Tokyo
Below are examples of affordable and conveniently located apartments that don’t charge these upfront fees.
If you are going to a bricks-and-mortar agency, here is some vocabulary that may help you in your search.
No deposit: shikikin-nashi (敷金なし) or shikikin-zero 敷金ゼロ
No key money: reikin-nashi (礼金なし) or shikikin-zero (礼金ゼロ)
Intermediary (Agency): chūkai (仲介）
Fee: tesūryō （手数料）
No agency fee: chūkai tesūryō-nashi
Property: bukken (物件)
I’m looking for a “no key money” property:
Reikin-nashi no bukken wo sagashite imasu. (礼金なしの物件を探しています。）
But why go to a bricks-and-mortar agency when you can just scroll! So let’s take a look at some examples.
- Where: Near Nakano Fujimicho Station on the Marunouchi subway line, 14-min direct ride to Shinjuku Station
- Total Monthly Cost: ¥110,000 ($998)/month
- Size: 26-sqm (280-sqft)
- Floor: 4th floor in 12-story building
- Notes: High-end bath/shower (please click through for photos). Pets negotiable. Convenient neighborhood with good shopping, near park.
- Where: 2-min walk from Ochiaiminami Nagasaki Station the Toei Oedo subway line, 6-stops direct to Shinjuku
- Total Monthly Cost: ¥¥91,540 ($830)/month
- Size: 19-sqm (205-sqft)
- Floor: 1st floor in 3-story building
- Notes: Compact but has everything you need. Kitchen with one burner, fridge. Air conditioner. Broadband installed.
- Where: 12-min walk from Yoga Station, 14-min direct ride to Shibuya on the Tokyu-Den-En-Toshi line.
- Total Monthly Cost: ¥88,300 ($800)/month
- Size: 18-sqm (200-sqft)
- Floor: 2nd floor in 5-story building
- Notes: Brand new (2017) designer apartment. Great residential neighborhood with lots of shopping and dining nearby, with easy access to the city center.
- Where: Bunkyo Ward, 4-min walk from Shin-Otsuka Stn on the Marunouchi Line, one stop from Ikebukuro and about 23-min from Shinjuku
- Rent: ¥69,000 ($625)/month
- Maintenance fee: ¥4,540/month
- Size: 14-sqm (151-sqft)
- Floor: Second floor in 2-story buildling
- Notes: Good budget neighborhood, close to a very convenient train line. Furnished with bed, table, TV, fridge, and washing machine.
- Where: Setagaya Ward, 18-min walk from Soshigaya Okura Stn on the Odakyu Odawarai Line, 22-min direct ride to Shinjuku
- Rent: ¥69,000 ($625)/month
- Maintenance fee: ¥8,000/month
- Size: 26-sqm (1279-sqft)
- Floor: Second floor in 7-story buildling
- Notes: Convenient neighborhood with supermarket, conbini, and budget restaurants nearby.
You may also be interested in: How to get the apartment you want in Japan