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Terminating apartment contract in Japan

hiverloon

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This is actually more of a general question, but I would like to ask this anyway as the regulations may differ between countries.
So, if an apartment in Japan has a minimum of 1 year contract, but in between (say, in the 6th month of the rent) I decided to move out and terminate the contract, how much must I pay? The answer may well depend on the real estate company, but I believe we can still talk about in percentage of the amount of money which would have been paid in the rest of the contract.
The thing is, in my PhD program I will probably stay in Tokyo for the 1st semester, then move to another town out of research reason in the 2nd semester.
 

Majestic

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It depends what the rental contract says. In my experience you don't forfeit anything. This excludes the deposit that the landlord keeps to cover any damage you may have caused to the apartment, and to cover cleaning expenses after you leave. There is a lot of internet debate about whether "cleaning expenses" are in fact a legitimate expense that the landlord can recoup from you, but suffice it to say that it is general practice for landlords to deduct this from your deposit.
 

aspenx

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Yes, it is entirely dependent on the rental contract.

For a relatively short period like six months, I would suggest you check out foreigner-targeted apartments/shared houses instead due to the lower startup cost and the process is much easier and clearer.
 

hiverloon

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Thanks for the answer.
In my experience you don't forfeit anything.
Really, then why had they set a minimum number of contract years? Moreover, I have seen some articles online saying that breaking an apartment lease midway may put the tenant in an inconvenient situation, as the real estate company will have to advertise the vacated room in the remaining of the contract. Is it rather loose in Japan?
 

Majestic

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The contract is an agreement between the renter and the landlord that the apartment will be rented for that period for the price agreed. Its not intended to bind the renter to live there the entire time, or that he/she will pay the rent for that full length of time even if he/she moves out earlier. I saw it put like this on another website: the rental agreement describes the terms of use, therefore if the renter isn't using the apartment, the landlord does not charge for the use of the item.
If the rental agreement contains penalties for early cancellation of the contract, those will of course apply.
 
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