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Renting a House

Japan With Kids - Forums: Shopping in Japan: Real-estate, Purchase/Rental: Renting a House

By Owen Self on Monday, July 1, 2002 - 8:00 pm:

I am moving over soon and looking for a place to rent.

Our 5 yr old son will be going to St Marys, so I was hoping for a place nearby in Setagaya, though I suspect it might be a tad expensive.

We are looking for something like a 4LDK around 160-170m2, in a quiet area suitable for young kids, for less than Y650,000.

Are we dreaming? Are the "list" prices on websites like "At Home" negotiable or is it a sellers market?

Any suggestions for alternative locations welcome.

Any experiences with local real estate agents and recommendations would also be greatly appreciated.

By Nancy on Tuesday, July 2, 2002 - 1:24 am:

Hi Owen,

If you have decided 100% on the school, it makes changing areas difficult unless you are prepared for a long commute. We live in Yokohama, prices are lower than in Tokyo. It sounds as though you (and your company) are not working with a relocation consultant. Why don't you contact me by e-mail?
Thanks, Nancy

By Lynn Chen on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 2:43 pm:

Hi Owen,

I used to live in Setagaya near Shimokitazawa and moved recently because it was too far from my office. The house we lived in was a two-story, four bedroom (180 m2 in total) with garden and a two-car garage underneath. We paid 770,000yen/mo but rents in that area came down a lot within the past year. Just before we moved, we saw a house for rent not too far from ours, similar size minus the garage and it was rented for 650,000, and there are some smaller houses in the area for cheaper. I suspect that the house we lived in before is going for a lot less now. If you are willing to go our even more, towards Sakura-Shinmachi, a friend of ours rented a really modern 3bdrm semi-detached house (150m2) for 470,000yen. All these houses are listed with Ken Corporation. They have an excellent foreign department and staff there all speak pretty good English.

One thing to remember: it is really a renter's market now, especially in Setagaya, where it is a little far out. Always negotiate. The asking price for the 470,000 house was 700,000. Of course that is rare, but still possible.

By Natasha on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 1:24 pm:

"Real estate agent ordered to pay Indian for racist question
Thursday, January 16
SAITAMA The Saitama District Court has ordered a real estate agency and an employee to pay 500,000 yen in compensation to an Indian man for asking him the color of his skin when he telephoned the agency to rent a home, court officials said Wednesday.

"It is quite illegal that the employee persistently asked the color of his skin," Judge Sota Tanaka said in a statement.

The 28-year-old man, a computer company employee in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, demanded 1.2 million yen in redress from the company, Nikken Juhan of Toda in the prefecture, the employee and the Saitama prefectural government, which supervises local real estate agents.

The judge dismissed the plaintiff's claim against the local government."

More details at:

There's was another thread about real estate discrimination where one person argued that it was actually really useful to have an agent who would tell you bluntly which owners might rent to you and which ones wouldn't, just to save you time. Anyway, take this info and do what you will with it. I don't think the agent is necessarily the pivotal factor in whether or not you get an apartment. The agent can not force an owner to rent to you. There is a lot of "discrimination" among Japanese too by the way. For example if you have the wrong type of job or are a single mother...

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