How to find a pet friendly apartment in Japan

How do I find a pets allowed/pets negotiable apartment?

Use the convenient “Pets Negotiable” search tool on our site to show only apartment listings that have been marked as Pets Negotiable by the agent in charge!

Use the search tools on our website to look for listings that agents have marked as “Pets Negotiable”!

Pet friendly/pet negotiable apartments actually only make up a small fraction of the properties available to rent in Japan. On our website as of October 2020, with 32,860 total listings, there are 3,622 apartments for rent that agents have marked as “Pets Negotiable” – just about 11%.

This means that searching for pet friendly/pet negotiable apartments will limit the number of potential apartments you will be able to choose from.

In most cases, there is a fee for living with a pet in the form of an extra month’s worth of rent when you pay the deposit.

What does “Pets Negotiable” mean?

You’ll basically find 2 kinds of categories for apartments you might be able to share with a pet:

  • Pets allowed (ペット可)
  • Pets negotiable (ペット相談可)

Pets allowed means the landlord should have a list of acceptable pets (type, size, number, etc.) and as long as you stay within the specified pet parameters you should be fine.

A “pets negotiable” apartment means that you can ask your real estate agent to find out what kinds of pets are acceptable in the apartment. This also means that depending on the type/number of pets, the landlord might include an extra fee in the deposit – something to keep in mind.

What kind of pets are allowed?

This varies from apartment to apartment and landlord to landlord. Some places are ok with cats but not with dogs, or vice versa. Fish, birds, hamsters, etc are a different matter. Many standard leases specify that fish and caged birds are acceptable, but this isn’t always the case. Since there aren’t any set ground rules of what is meant by “pet,” your safest option is to ask your real estate agent and landlord what is allowed and not allowed.

What happens if I get a pet in a no-pet apartment?

In the contract for renting an apartment, there will be parts outlining whether pets are allowed or not allowed. If you end up signing a contract for an apartment and it is explicitly stated that you are not allowed to live with a pet, you will run into a lot of trouble if you decide to sneak a pet in. You might think you’ve pulled the wool over your landlord’s eyes, but if your secret pet starts to make too much noise, a simple noise complaint could be enough to start an investigation. Or, if you move out and strange damage to the flooring, walls, etc. is found, you might be find yourself in some hot water.

Any combination of the following outcomes is likely to happen if you are found to be breaking your rental contract and living with a pet:

  • Asked to get rid of the pet
  • Asked to move out
  • Fined for breaking the contract

In any case, it’s not a good idea to try to hide a pet.

Can I bring my pet from home country to Japan?

It is possible, but there are is a lot of preparation and paperwork involved in bringing your beloved pet with you on your journey to Japan. Specific rules/regulations will vary according to country, so check with your nearest Japan Embassy for the exact requirements. For example, here is a link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for information on bringing a pet to Japan.

Can I bring my pet from Japan back to my home country?

If you eventually find yourself making preparations to move back to your home country (or just out of Japan), you’ll be comforted by the fact that it is possible to bring a pet that you get in Japan back with you. It does take some paperwork and time, and moving out of the country is a notoriously hectic period, so give yourself plenty of time to get everything in order when leaving the country. Here’s information from the Animal Quarantine Service in Japan about how to travel into/out of Japan with animals.

Remember that you’ll have to also check with your destination country’s laws/regulations on bringing an animal from a different country!

Example pet negotiable apartments in Tokyo

1K apartment for rent in Meguro Ward, Tokyo – ¥145,000/month

Image: Real Estate Japan
Image: Real Estate Japan

Recently built (2019) 5th floor apartment in Meguro Ward, Tokyo. The 1K layout does give you a little more room compared to more space-conscious 1R studio apartments, meaning that sharing the space with your pet should be a little be more comfortable. Free internet is a nice bonus for renters as well, since internet fees can run from around ¥7,000 to ¥9,000 per month or more. More info on our article about Setting Up Internet at Home in Japan.

  • Price: ¥145,000/month
  • Year built: 2019
  • Size: 28.40 m²
  • Separate toilet/bathroom: Yes
  • 2nd floor or higher: Yes (5th)
  • Closest station: 6 min to Meguro Station (Yamanote Line, Tokyu Meguro Line, Toei Mita Line, Tokyo Metro Namboku Line)
  • Browse more pet negotiable listings near Meguro Station

1R apartment for rent in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo – ¥108,000/month

Image: Real Estate Japan
Image: Real Estate Japan

Here’s another recently built (2019) apartment that is set up to be rented along with a pet. As per usual, you’ll want to send an inquiry to the agent with your exact pet specifications to make sure that your pet can be allowed. The area around Sangenjaya Station is great for pet owners as well. Setagaya Park has green space for walking your dog, and the nearby Seiyu supermarket is open 24 hours so if you need to pick up emergency cleaning supplies or treats you will be covered.

  • Price: ¥108,000/month
  • Year built: 2019
  • Size: 21.91 m²
  • Separate toilet/bathroom: Yes
  • 2nd floor or higher: Yes (3rd)
  • Closest station: 6 min to Sangenjaya Station (Tokyu Denentoshi Line, Tokyu Setagaya Line)
  • Browse more pet negotiable listings near Sangenjaya Station

Lead photo: iStock

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