- Updated on March 1, 2016
Kobe University cannot provide full rooms in the Kobe University dormitories for all international students. Therefore, students who cannot live in the dormitories need to look for an apartment themselves.
In Japan, a guarantor is usually required when renting private housing.
Kobe University does not serve as an institutional guarantor for housing lease agreements. If it is necessary to have a guarantor for a lease contract, students are required to use a private guarantor company specified by the real estate agencies, etc.
The existing guarantor contracts under the current Rental Guarantor System at Kobe University will be continued throughout the remaining lease contract period or until graduation, as long as the contract is not changed. Please refer to Rental Guarantor System at Kobe University.
●To International Students who will rent private housing
◆ Private guarantor company
If it is difficult to find a joint guarantor, international students are required to use a private guarantor company.
However, the final decision for guarantor company selection is made by the property owner or real estate agency.
◆ Fire insurance
Students must enroll in the fire insurance specified by real estate agencies, etc. in case of fire damage or water leakage. If no insurance is specified, international students should enroll in the Kobe University Co-op's Mutual Insurance for Fire.
Please refer to the following website of University Co-operatives Mutual Aid Federation.
Finding an apartment before coming to Japan
The following company provides consultation services from finding an apartment to making a contract on behalf of people who live abroad. Services are available in multiple languages such as English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Nepalese.
Please contact the company directly to inquire about the availability of accommodation, or with any other inquiries.
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.
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 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.
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.