Campus Life

Private Housing

  • Updated on March 1, 2016


Upon renting an apartment, a student is usually required to pay a security deposit and 2-
3 months of rent as a key money. For particular terms and meanings used for housing,
please see below.
In Japan, a guarantor is also required to rent a private apartment. If a student cannot
find one before December 31, 2018, please read here.

Terms and meanings used for housing

Shiki-kin (security deposit)

Shiki-kin (security deposit)Shiki-kin is a security deposit on renting an apartment. Upon vacating the room, the landlord usually takes a certain amount of money from shiki-kin, which is called shiki-biki, and return what is left to the renter. If the renter falls behind in the rent payment or destroy/damage something in the apartment, a greater amount will be deducted from shiki-kin.
The amount which will be returned after vacating the room=shiki-kin - shiki-biki - repairing fees

Rei-kin (key money)

Rei-kin or "thank-you money" is the amount paid to the landlord when the renter first rents the apartment. It is usually equivalent to 1-2 months’ rent and will not be returned upon vacating the apartment.

Tetsuke-kin (deposit)

Tetsuke-kin is a deposit when renter makes a contract. Once the renter pays a deposit on the apartment, no one else can rent it. Upon signing the lease agreement, tetsuke-kin will be incorporated in the shiki-kin. Even if the renter decides not to make a contact, the tetsuke-kin will not refunded.

Kyoueki-hi (common area charge)

Kyoueki-hi is a monthly payment for the costs of electricity and cleaning of common area such as the entrance and hallways of the apartment complex.

Tesuu-ryo (commission charge)

Tesuu-ryo is a commission for the private real estate agent who successfully helped the renter sign the lease agreement of the apartment. The maximum set by the Japanese law is the equivalent to a month’s rent and this is usually the amount required.

Rentai-hosyounin (guarantor)

In Japan, a guarantor is usually required to rent an apartment. If any events happen to the debtor (=renter), the guarantor will bear a full responsibility instead of the debtor (=renter). For example, if the landlord (=debtee) faces a problem, such as the debtor (=renter) is unable to pay the rent or he/she is disappeared without a notice, the guarantor will have to pay the remaining rent or pick up the debtor’s (=renter’s) belongings.

Mae-yachin (advance deposit)

Mae-yachin is to pay the next month’s rent by the end of the previous month. A renter should be aware that this mae-yachin (advance deposit) system is adopted in most of the Japanese private housings. Therefore, the renter needs to inform the landlord of his/her leaving more than a month in advance, otherwise, he/she will be charged for the extra rent.