No Key Money Apartments in Tokyo

No Key Money Apartments – One Stop to Shinjuku Starting from $312 a Month

Key money (reikin) is one of the most peculiar and frustrating aspects of renting an apartment in Japan, but it’s important to know that you can find perfectly suitable apartments without having to pay key money.

As we explain in this article (Facts about deposits and key money in Japan), key money as a “standard” requirement has been on a declining trend for some time.

The requirement to pay key money is often explained as a cultural custom or as a relic of the era of rapid post-war economic growth, when Japan experienced acute housing shortages in urban areas. Prospective tenants would pay key money to landlords to get to the head of the line. Nowadays, some landlords still charge key money. When a listing states that key money is required, it is typically equal to one or two months rent.

Whatever the initial reason for it, if a property requires you to pay key money and you agree to pay it, it will not be returned to you. It is a considered a gratuity to the landlord.

According to data compiled by SUMMO, in Tokyo in 2015, 36.5% of rental properties did not require key money. In Osaka, this number was lower, at 20.9%.

How to find No Key Money Apartments

But how do you find no key money apartments?

The most effective way to find a no key money apartment is simply by making it part of your search criteria.

If you are visiting a bricks-and-mortar real estate agent and can speak some Japanese, tell the agent that you are only interested in no key money apartments.

Property = 物件 (bukken)

No key money = 礼金なし (reikin nashi) or 礼金ゼロ (reikin zero).

No key money property = Reikin nashi no bukken.

The agent will give you thick folders of listings to look through. The listings always indicate whether the property requires key money. Just skip those!

If you are looking online, for example on Realestate.co.jp, you can simply tick the checkbox indicating “No key money”.

A search of Real Estate Japan’s database as of today shows that one of the reasons that it is not difficult to find a no key money apartment is that a majority (about 62%) of listings in our database are no key money properties.

In this article, we feature no key money properties located within one or two stops of Shinjuku at the very budget-friendly price point  of $610 (about ¥68,000) or less, and starting as low as $312 (¥34,800)

Let’s take a look at what’s available.

Dormitory-Style Guesthouse – 1 Stop to Shinjuku – $312 a Month Including Utilities

This dorm-style guesthouse near Nishi Shinjuku Gochome Station offers inexpensive rooms, with utilities included. An excellent short-term rental option. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

  • Where: Nearest stations are Nishi Shinjuku Go-Chome Station on the Toei Oedo line and Hatsudai on the Keio New Line. Excellent location near Shinjuku Chuo (Central) Park.
  • Total Monthly Cost: ¥34,800 ($312)/month
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: ¥20,000
  • Agency Fee: None
  • Size: About 9.82-sqm. You’ll get a bed-in a dorm-style room.
  • Floor: Second floor in 2-story building
  • Notes: Shared full-size kitchen and bathroom. Utilities included in rent. This is a great choice for a short-term rental. Just bring your suitcase.

Studio Apartment Near Okubo Station – 1 Stop to Shinjuku

No key money studio apartment for rent near Okubo Station on the JR Chuo Rapid line, one stop to Shinjuku. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

  • Total Monthly Cost: ¥62,000 ($554)/month
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency Fee: ¥64,800
  • Size: 13.06 m² (141-sqft)
  • Floor: 3rd floor in 3-story building
  • Notes: Sunny top floor apartment in an excellent location. Full kitchen. WiFi installed. Auto lock with TV monitor.

Studio Apartment Near Hatagaya Station – 2 Stops to Shinjuku

No key money apartment for rent near Hatagaya Station, two stops from Shinjuku. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent.

  • Where: Nearest stations are Hatagaya on the New Keio Line (two stops to Shinjuku) and Yoyogi Uehara on the Chiyoda Line. Great location for getting to Shinjuku and Shibuya, not to mention proximity to Yoyogi Park!
  • Total Monthly Cost: ¥66,000 ($590)/month
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency Fee: ¥68,040
  • Size: 14.88 m² (160-sqft)
  • Floor: 1st floor in 2-story building
  • Notes: Loft-style studio apartment with kitchenette and unit bathroom. Air Conditioner. WiFi already installed. Short-term leases are not available for this apartment.

Studio Apartment near Nishi Shinjuku Go-Chome Station – 1 Stop to Shinjuku

No key money apartment for rent near Nishi Shinjuku Go-Chome Station, 2 stops to Shinjuku. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

  • Total Monthly Cost: ¥66,000 ($590)/month
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency Fee: ¥62,240
  • Size: 15.08 m² (162-sqft)
  • Floor: 3rd floor in 14-story building
  • Notes: Studio apartment with kitchenette and unit bathroom. Coin laundry in building. A/C and WiFi installed. Short-term leases are not available for this apartment.

Studio Apartment near Higashi Nakano Station – 11-min direct ride to Shinjuku

No key money apartment for rent near Higashi Nakano Station on the JR Chuo line, 11-min direct ride to Shinjuku. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

  • Total Monthly Cost: ¥68,000 ($610)/month
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: ¥63,000
  • Agency Fee: ¥63,000
  • Size: 19.25 m² (207-sqft)
  • Floor: 3rd floor in 8-story building
  • Notes: Bright and clean 3rd-floor apartment near three stations. Washing machine hook-up space in apartment. Video intercom. Gas cooktop. Short-term rental is not available.