1. Renting  an apartment
  2. Important things to pay attention to in daily  life
  3. Joint guarantor
  4. Private guarantee company
  5. Insurance
  6. Other links

Renting an apartment

Procedures for renting an apartment

  1. When looking for an apartment in Japan, it is common to search through a property agent (see "Explanation of Terms" below). If you tell them the conditions of the room you want, they will search for a room that meets your request and show you the room.
  2. Once you have found the room you want, you will complete the rental contract procedures. When signing an apartment contract in Japan, it is common to require a joint guarantor. If it is difficult for international students to find a joint guarantor, they can contract with a private guarantor company. (with examination)
  3. After completing the rental contract procedure, you can receive the room key from the broker and live in the room.

Explanation of terms

  • Brokers: Agents who introduce real estate properties and perform contract procedures, etc.
  • Brokerage fee: Fee paid to the broker when moving into a room introduced through a broker
  • Lease Agreement: A contract for renting a property. A contract is concluded when the landlord, tenant, and joint guarantor affix their names and seals.
  • Important Matters Manual: A manual summarizing the important points regarding the rental agreement. Qualified intermediary will explain before contract
  • Co-signer: A person who acts on behalf of the borrower if something happens to the borrower. Generally, relatives are often asked to
  • Shikikin: Money that is deposited with the landlord when signing a lease. It will be refunded when the contract period expires, but it is often appropriated if there are room repair costs or unpaid amounts.
  • Contract period: Usually 2 years
  • Cancellation Penalty: Money paid if you cancel the lease contract and move out before the contract period (2 years in total) ends.
  • Management company: A company that manages property on behalf of the property owner. If you have any questions while you are living in the apartment, contact the management company.
  • Landlord: The owner of the property. Also called  lessor, lender
  • Restoration fee: When you leave the room, it is a principle to return it to the landlord in the same condition as when you moved in (excluding natural wear and tear). You are responsible to pay for restoration.

Points to note when signing a contract

  1. Japanese intermediaries basically explain everything in Japanese. All contract documents are written in Japanese.
    In order to correctly understand the contents of the contract for signing, it is a good idea to have an accompany who understands both Japanese and your language to help you looking for an apartment.
  2. Once you have decided on a room, you need to check the condition of the room with the landlord or agent before moving in. If there are scratches or stains, take a photo within 7 days of moving in, write the location on the checklist, and send it to the management company. Please keep the same contents until you move out.
    If you don't have this proof, when you leave the room, it will be judged that you made the scratches and stains, and you will be charged for the repair cost.

Important things to pay attention to in life

There are various rules while living in Japan. Especially, you need to pay attention to the following points and follow the rules.

  1. Strict observance of rent payment deadlines
    Rent must be paid by the due date every month.
    If the rent is paid in advance and the amount of the rent, etc. is fixed, the invoice will not normally be issued. Even if you do not receive an invoice, you are expected to pay by the due date each month.
    If you do not meet the payment deadline, you may be charged a late payment fee or the lease contract may be canceled.

    If you leave the house on vacation or when you return to your hometown, be sure to pay the rent up to the deadline in advance. If you do not pay by the due date, even if you are in your home country or overseas for research, you will be asked to pay the rent from overseas, so please be careful.

  2. life sound problem
    Japanese apartments don't have special equipment for soundproofing, so the sounds of daily life sometimes echo in the surrounding rooms. Even if you don't think you're making a particularly loud noise, during quiet times such as late at night or early in the morning, noise can easily reverberate in the rooms next door or above and below. Refrain from talking on the phone, chatting, humming, the sound of the shower, the sound of TV or music, playing musical instruments, etc. from 22:00 to 7:00 in the morning so as not to disturb others.
  3. garbage problem
    The rules for how to dispose of garbage are strictly determined by local governments.
    Garbage must be sorted correctly according to the rules of the local government.
    Separated garbage is to be disposed of at the designated place by 8:00 on the day of the garbage collection day.
    Garbage that is not sorted cannot be collected by collection companies, and remains as it is. Birds such as crows and animals are scattered and scattered, causing great trouble to local residents and management companies. Not only will you cause trouble, but the management company will charge you for the cost of disposing of the scattered garbage.
    You must follow the garbage separation rules and dispose of the garbage on the designated day of the week and at the designated place. The place to throw it away depends on the property and area you live in.
    Check with the management company of the apartment you live in.
  4. Water pipe freeze, burst accident
    During the winter, when the outside temperature drops below -4°C, the water in the pipes freezes and the pipes may burst.
    If a water pipe freezes or bursts due to your own negligence, you will have to pay for the repair costs.
    Repairs cost money and time.
    Check the temperature during winter and drain the water pipes when you go out or leave the house.
    Please check with the management company of the apartment about how to drain the water.
  5. Mold
    Leaving the room in a humid state can cause mold to grow on the walls and floors of the room.
    Any damage to the room or facilities caused by mold will be charged a repair fee.
    Make sure that the humidity in the room is 60% or less (purchase of a hygrometer is recommended), ventilate well on a daily basis, and clean up immediately when condensation occurs to prevent the growth of mold. increase.
    Regularly clean the room, such as ensuring good air circulation between furniture and walls.
  6. When moving out
    You must notify the landlord or management company of your apartment one month (or two months depending on the property) before you move out. This is called a one-month (or two-month) advance notice of cancellation.
    If you do not give notice of cancellation, you will have to pay an amount equivalent to one month (or two months) of rent as a penalty.
    On the last day of moving out, you and the management company (or landlord) must check the damage to the room. This is called “Tachiai when you move out.”

    Please remove all your belongings from the room, dispose of the garbage, and clean the room by yourself by the day of the room check.
    If the room is not used properly, international students may not be able to rent the room in the future, so please clean the room well on a daily basis and clean it before returning it.

  7. breach of contract
    The apartment you are renting belongs to the landlord. Therefore, acts such as remodeling the room without permission, removing/disposal/resale of accessories and equipment are violations of the contract.
    It is strictly prohibited to share a room with someone who is not listed in the contract without permission, or to sublease (minpaku) to others without the permission of the landlord or management company.
    If you violate the contract, the contract may be terminated.


As of June 30, 2018, we have stopped accepting new applications and renewal applications for the Hokkaido University  Guarantee System.
For those who apply by June 30th, the university will act as a guarantor until the enrollment deadline at the time of application.
(Please check your own guarantee period on the "guarantee" given by the university.)

Even after the university's  guarantee period has expired, if the enrollment period is extended due to further education, etc., and if you are enrolled in the university and live in an apartment, you will need to apply for the one by a private guarantee company.

The management company that owns and manages the property introduces and designates an affiliated guarantee company, so the tenant will apply to that guarantee company.

Hokkaido University professors and staff cannot act as  guarantors for rental contracts.
Please be careful not to ask your teacher to be your guarantor for the apartment.

private guarantee company


When applying to a guarantor company, you will need an "emergency contact", but Hokkaido University faculty member and staff cannot be your emergency contact, so please do not ask your professor or administrative staff to be your emergency contact.

When applying for a guarantee contract, please ask for emergency contact information at (1) and (2) below.
① One of your parents in your home country (or a relative)
② A friend in Japan (preferably a friend in Sapporo)

Depending on the property, the property's management company or landlord may ask you to use a designated guarantor company.
In that case, you must use a designated guarantee company to sign a contract for that apartment.

There are many guarantor companies in Japan, and the guarantor fee varies depending on the company. Following gives you some idea.

  • Initial guarantee fee (Guarantee consignment fee for the first year)
    30% to 100% of rent, etc.
  • Renewal fee (guarantee consignment fee per year from the second year onwards)
    10,000 yen ~ etc.

Warranty details

The guarantor company provides the following guarantees to the management company and the landlord.
(Guarantee details differ depending on the company.)

  • Monthly delinquent rent, etc.
  • Remaining figurine removal, storage cost
  • litigation costs, etc.
    *Insurance such as fire insurance is not included in the warranty provided by the guarantor company.
    Separately, you must take out fire insurance (including renter's liability insurance) and personal liability insurance.


Residents do not need to look for a guarantor company.
Apply for a guarantor company designated by the management company, or the university will introduce a guarantor company that is easy for international students to use.

If you apply through a real estate agent such as a management company or intermediary, the person in charge of the management company or intermediary will tell you about the application procedure.
For the procedures, if you are looking for a room, please contact the broker, and if you are already moving in, please contact the management company or landlord.

Hokkaido University has picked up some guarantor companies that international students can use for your reference.

  1. Global Trust Networks (GTN) In addition to international students, Hokkaido University faculty and staff can also use this service.
    Initial guarantee fee First year = 30% of rent, etc. (Minimum guarantee fee 15,000 yen ~)
    10,000 yen (annual amount) from the next year onwards
    We have a large number of foreign staff who can speak Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Parents in your home country and friends in Japan (non-Japanese are also acceptable) are required as emergency contacts. The friend you request as an emergency contact does not have to speak Japanese. *Please be careful not to ask your academic advisor or homeroom teacher for emergency contact information. If you have any troubles or troubles while living in the apartment, you can contact or consult the GTN call center.
  2. Hot guarantee
  3. Japan safety
  4. J-Lease
  5. CASA

As a general rule, the guarantee company does not offer you a life support where you can contact for daily troubles. So if you need life support for language problems and so on, ask the real estate agent for the service. 


If you live in a rental apartment, it is mandatory to take out the following insurance.

  1. Fire insurance (including tenant liability insurance)
  2. personal liability insurance

If a water leak accident occurs in your room, the inside of your room will be flooded,
If the damage extends to the downstairs or the next room, you must first compensate the landlord of the room or the management company for the damage to your room.
Any damage to the downstairs or the next room must be compensated to the resident or the landlord of the room.
1 is compensation for the landlord of your room, and 2 is compensation for third parties, so you need to purchase insurance that covers both 1 and 2.

If the landlord or management company of the property specify certain insurance, please follow the advice.
University co-ops also handle insurance. The details of coverage differ from company to company.

Other links

  1. Real Estate Agent on campus.
    Unilife Hokkaido University store (Unilife)
    English and Chinese speaking staff available at Student Communication Station
  2. In addition, there are several real estate agents with staff who can speak English and Chinese around Hokkaido University.
    For details, please contact the Student Support Division (Counter 1-A on the 1st floor of Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education).