The following is a simplified guide on living in japan based on information and past experiences. We would always recommend to seek professional advice. If you find any of the statement(s) below to be incorrect pls. contact the administrator immediately.
Leasing (Renting) an apartment
1. When you cannot find a guarantor for leasing
There are some financial companies who will represent as your guarantor when you cannot find one at a fixed monthly rate. For assistance and more information contact KCIC.
2. How to Get Back your “Shikikin”
Most of apartment owners or real estate companies ask for “shikikin” before contracting to lease or rent an apartment. “Shikikin” means damage deposit, all of which should be refunded when you cancel your lease and leave your apartment. “Damage” does not include damage from the ordinary usage. Things hurt naturally as time passes. Rent includes depreciation of the house/apartment.
When you intend to end renting an apartment, you should inform the owner or the real estate company at least 1(one) month in advance. At the same time ask when and how to refund your “Shikikin”. Some owners accept to cancel out your last payment of rent with “Shikikin”, but others don’t. Such a case they will refund “Shikikin” after checking whether there are considerable damages in your apartment, and this is usually done one month after your leaving the apartment. The amount of refund is often less than the money you paid them as “Shikikin”.Therefore you need to discuss when and how much they will refund you before leaving.
If you need assistance in getting back your “shikikin”, pls. inquire with KCIC.
Tips for a sound and legal living
Have a Copy of your Passport, Visa, and Alien Card!
According to Japanese Immigration Law, foreigners must always have their passport or alien card with them. They must be able to show it to Authorities whenever necessary. A foreigner will be asked to pay a fine of 100,000 Yen or more if they will not be able to show either. Thus we recommend everyone to make a copy of your passport and alien card and bring it with you at all times!
Showing them copies of your documents will sometimes be not enough to convince them, in this case ask the police authorities to come with you to your apartment and show them the original document. If they bring you in the police station, you can be released at once if some one acts as your guarantor.
Get your Alien Card as soon as a possible!
As required by law, any foreigner staying in Japan for 90 days or more is required to apply for an Alien Card at the City Hall in your area, this is irregardless even if you only have a temporary visitor’s visa. Most City Hall is also willing to issue Alien card to an “overstay” foreigner but of course it is always
better to apply before your visa expires. Experience tells us that Expired alien card is better than nothing !!
Wear a Neat Dress in Town!!
Do not walk around town wearing only a tank top and Slippers or anything that would single out your attire from everybody. This will give law enforcement officers an impression that you are a foreigner and that you could be inquired anytime for your documents. “Blend in with the crowd” by dressing appropriately.
Apply for Public Services at City Hall!
Any city/town government offer their residents a variety of services, for example free or affordable medical checkup, free counseling, Japanese classes, etc. In addition they offer various subsidies, for example child allowance, school allowance, family support and so on. It is recommended to apply for whichever is applicabel to your status. If you have your health insurance card issued by the city where
you are living or if your spouse has his health insurance card issued by his employer and you are his dependent, you can take a medical examination at the nominated hospitals or clinics, which is free or extremely cheap, but you should be 40 years old or more. Furthermore, some cities, for example Fujimi-shi, offers female residents from age of 18~39 physical checkup at a fee of 1,500 Yen. If you are interested, inquire in your City Hall or KCIC.
Insurance companies offer various insurance plans. It is important to choose the most appropriate insurance policy that would be fit your needs and status or else it would just be another monthly burden. Choose the insurance company who fairly pay the insurance to policyholders. Some examples are
All in one package plan, annual premium is around 49,800 Yen per person.
1. Seimei Kyoussai offered by Saitama Kennminn Kyousai Kyoudoukumiai ( Cooperative)
Policy of 2000 Yen monthly premium for adults: Insurance 1,000, 000 Yen in the case of death due to accident 400,000 Yen in the case of death due to disease 40 years old or more.
Furthermore, some cities, for example Fujimi-shi, offers women residents from age of 18~39 physical checkup at a fee of 1,500 yen. If you are interested, inquire from you City Hall or KCIC.
2. Seimei Kyoussai offered by Tominn Kyuosai Kyuodou-kumiai (Cooperative)
More reasonable and renewable until 85 years old, but only available for people who live or work in Tokyo area.
3. “Kokumin Kyousai” by Zenrousai (Cooperative)
Phone: toll free 0120-593-244
The insurance for the death in a traffic accident is larger than policies offered by other coop but less in other cases. Renewal until 65 years old.