First and foremost, congratulations on finding your perfect student home! In order to make the booking process as smooth as possible, we have summarised a few of the key booking questions for you. Please do read them before booking.
One – Property Type
Accommodation in Japan includes student accommodation, apartments and then privately rented accommodation. Student accommodation can only be rented by students. Whereas serviced apartments and privately rented accommodation is available to anyone. Please read this information page carefully, especially the section on fees, as Japan has a lot of fees that are not found in other countries.
Two - Room Type, lease, floor, direction, roommates etc
You must always confirm the booking information with your consultant when you go to book an apartment or property to rent. Examples of important information to check include: apartment name, room type, lease term, number of rooms etc.
If you have a roommate or floor preference, you must indicate this in the apartment application form. Uhomes will push your preference to the apartment provider and the apartment themselves will try to meet your requirements. However, neither uhomes or the apartment 100% guarantee you will get your preference. In fact, the apartment retains the right to change your room without consulting you. We cannot help where an apartment decides to do this. (If you arrive and the apartment has changed your room, you can contact us and we can try to help you resolve the situation, but the apartment has the final say on your room).
Rooms in Japan do not necessarily face north, south, east or west. As a result, no apartment will consider a request as to the direction a room faces.
An apartment will not release any information on the nationality or race of its residents. Please understand this is a sensitive issue and you cannot require them to share this information.
Please bear in mind that photos on the uhomes platform are provided by the apartment or rental property themselves (only a small number of photos/videos are taken by uhomes). Rooms are often nicely decorated, and apartments will organise professional photographers to take beautiful photos of the room. The images are therefore a guide to how the room could look rather than the actual situation of the room.
Student apartments do not indicate the specific room number, it is not possible to indicate the room number when making an application to a student apartment. Renting in an apartment is different, the contract will be specific to a room itself, so the room number is defined but may vary from images or floorplans you have seen before.
Images may vary. Room Type images are accurate when they were uploaded, and are only representative of that type of room, not of the specific room you are actually booking.
Roommates and Rooms: All residents will be students. Smoking and the keeping of pets is not allowed in any Japan property.
Live Broadcasts are carried out for each property. Please watch them before booking in order to get the most accurate impression of what your room and the property will look like.
Emergency protection: Student Accommodations are required to find you alternative accommodation if an emergency (e.g: burst water pipe) means you cannot live in your room. Please contact reception immediately if you notice anything unusual or non-functioning in your room or communal area.
Your uhomes consultant is not a lawyer. They will provide you with help as well as they are able to, drawing on their own overseas study and working experience of the apartment rules. However, they cannot translate the contract terms, or provide you with professional-level advice on the legal ramifications of the contract. Our consultants views do not represent the exact views of the apartment provider. If you do have serious concerns about some terms of a contract, you will need to hire a lawyer to give you professional advice.
Three – Booking Process
Submit the necessary materials
ID (ID Card, Passport or visa and offer) and the relevant booking information.
Usually two months’ rent is required as a booking deposit. This confirms your booking and will be returned to your at the end of your tenancy providing you pass the room inspection.
You will be provided with a rental agreement contract to sign. Please read this very carefully and make sure you understand what you are signing. You should keep one copy for yourself.
Set up payments
Rent payments may be monthly or may be one-time payments, please check your contract
Double check all of the information including Apartment name, room type, rental prices, room and roommate preferences. We will try to accommodate those requests but please note that neither uhomes nor the Apartment guarantee you a specific room or roommate.
Take all the relevant documents and confirmations when you move in to ensure the apartment can find your details
Four – Fees and Charges
In Japan, one to two month’s rent is the standard deposit amount. This will be returned to you minus any cleaning or damages that have occurred during your tenancy.
Often referred to as “Key Fees”this common practice in Japan is one-off non-refundable payment to the landlord. It is usually between 1-2 months rent.
Unlike many other countries, cleaning fees are mandatory in Japan and charged to all tenants. On the plus side, this means your room should be spotless when you arrive. On the downside, you will be charged to clean it before the new tenant moves in after you.
Compulsory insurance when renting in Japan, protection against fire in the property. This is required to be paid by the tenant.
The internet is paid for by the tenant in Japan as standard, although infrequent exceptions may apply in student apartments.
Bills should include water, electricity, gas and internet. Most apartments include these utilities for you but you need to check the contract. Some apartments may limit your allowance to protect electricity use and you may have to pay more if you exceed your allowance. Where your apartment does not include bills, please discuss it with your roommates early to avoid any potential misunderstanding.
Contract Renewal Fees
Generally speaking, contracts in Japan are for two years. There is a fee if you wish to renew the lease after this time.
You may also be required to insure your contents, incur bank transfer fees, be charged for maintenance of communal areas and/or antibacterial cleans. Please read your contract carefully to check which fees apply.
Five – The Contract
Before signing the rental contract, please be sure to check whether your personal information and rental related information (eg: rent, lease term, lease start time, time to pay various fees, etc.) are correct.
After checking the contract, please sign and include the date. Every contract in Japan must have a paper copy. But they may also send you an electronic copy to start with.
After signing the contract, play the deposit (usually two months’ rent) as soon as you possibly can. Remember that you still need to confirm your booking and the price may change if you do not sign, confirm and pay the deposit in a quick enough fashion.
Please remember that your consultant is not a lawyer, and as such, cannot be held responsible for any terms that are included in your rental agreement.
Six – Move in, extensions and refunds
It is not possible to move in early. All apartments in Japan do not allow early move in. This is because the previous resident has not moved out, and when they do the apartment has a very short turn-around time to clean and make the room ready for your arrival. Extending your lease should be done 2-3 months before the lease ends, and you will need to continue to pay rent as usual during this process.
Subletting may be possible, but please note you may be charged by the apartment if you wish to transfer the tenancy to someone else. You may also not get your deposit back, depending on the rules of the particular apartment. Uhomes can help you find a new tenant if you wish to sublet, but please note uhomes bears no liability or responsibility to successfully arrange for a new tenant in the case of subletting.
Try to move in between 09:00 – 17:00 on Monday to Friday as these are the office times of the apartment so someone will definitely be there to assist you. If you arrive after this time, you may need to book a hotel for that night before moving in the next day. Bring your passport and a printed copy of your rental agreement. Pay close attention to the inventory list and take photos and notes where you think there could be an issue.
You must clean your room before leaving, return all the keys to the apartment and confirm your move out. Any loss, damage or cleaning fees can be deducted from your deposit so make sure to keep records of any inventory, take pictures of the status of the room and the objects in it.
Breach of contract – You will be penalised one months rent for attempted to finish your contract early.
Seven - Why uhomes
When you book with uhomes you get a designated consultant to explain the benefits of each property and help you select the most ideal property for you from our entire platform. That consultant will also help you book as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We use our consistent communication with the Apartment to make sure this happens without incident. There are also offers and promotions as well as group booking that may not be available elsewhere.
Eight – Service Fees
99% of all properties in Japan on uhomes are completely free to book. We do also have a Personalized Service if you need help selecting the right property for you. This service includes a private consultation, landlord contact, and photos provided for you, help with signing the contract and ironing out any issues that may come up. Because this requires on-to-one specialised consultation, there is a service fee of 3,480 RMB.
Nine – Offers & Promotions
Uhomes works hard to provide you with the best offers and promotions, our cash back offers are the strongest on the web, and we have group booking functionality to get your group offers. Other promotions include the chance to win free airport transfers, local travel cards and other gifts.
Ten – Cash Back
Please note that it takes us 4-6 to process cash back offers. This means you will get your cash back in December but maybe as late as March after you move in in September. This is because we need to wait for you to move in, then wait for the Apartment to confirm successful move in, and then process payments from our side. When ready, you can make withdrawals directly in the uhomes app.
Eleven – PickupAI
Uhomes works with Ctrip to provide PickupAI, an airport transfer service which includes being able to select the language of your driver. Bookings must be made 24 hours in advance.