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Real Estate Agents
By Annmaree & Owen on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:00 pm:
Here in Japan for the 2nd time and contemplating renting a house thru Kencorp. Unlike my previous expereience, in this case, the same real estate company is "representing" both the leasor and me. This seems like a major 'conflict-of-interest' situation to me.
I expect "my" agent to negotiate rent on my behalf (at least as much as the concept of 'negotiation' exists in this country) AND to negotiate the damages/deposit at the end of the tenancy. Not a lot for a months rent - especially once we hit the stratospheric gaijin house rents.
My suspicion is however that the cosy relationship between different arms of Kencorp dosent actually operate to serve the best interests of the lone gaijin renter. Would appreciate any comment that would either confirm/deny my suspicion.
By Katherin Higgins on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:46 pm:
My husband and I used Ken Corp. And while I would agree they are probably making a killing off working both sides we have not had any problems with the apartment or in our dealings with them. I was highly suspicious of using a company that has sooo much advertising geared toward gaijins. But at the end of the day if you or your husband do not know Japanese well enough to tell your landlord that you need to change the locks because your key was stolen in a foreign country (which is what just happened to me) then you should use Ken Corp or another english speaking dual agent because since they do both sides they will handle that kind of detail for you and the landlord. I think we are probably paying higher prices because we didn't know anything about Tokyo or renting here but I think the units they work with must meet a certain standard or they would have a bad reputation very quickly. Good luck apartment hunting!
By Linda Gondo on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 9:33 am:
Dear Annmaree and Owen,
Any particular reason you are restricting yourselves to Ken Corp? Ken doesn`t have a monopoly on the market and many of the other English speaking real estate companies have listings which Ken doesn`t. Also some properties are multi-listed, and what happened in our case was that one real estate agent told us the property we wanted was out of our price range, only to be told by another that it was feasible, and this is the property that we ended up renting. Some companies have better negotiating skills and have better relationships with the owners of particular properties than others. We have always shopped around with at least five or six real estate agents.
Also one thing to remember when you look at properties on the web is that much of the time the rents can be discounted very substantially so if you really like the look of something always ask about it even if it is substantially out of your price range.
Here is a good link: