Alright. So a lot of you are looking at property online and the number of english websites is limited. So here is a (hopefully) helpful glossary of terms you will find on Japanese property websites.
Some other important things to remember:
Most properties advertised online are non-exclusive, meaning the agent or agents advertising the properties are not the same as the management company. Often agents will advertise the cheapest price for units available in the building next to photos of the biggest, or nicest
Japanese websites generally advertise the rent separate from the management or maintenance fee. Always remember to add the two together to get your monthly total. Often, with one bedroom apartments the water is charged as a flat rate. So look for this too. Usually 2000 yen per month.
#Locksmith fees: different from key money, is a one time fee to replace the barrels, keys, and locks on the door of the apartment. Required by 99% of properties. Prevents any and all previous tenants from accessing your new home.
#Insurance – renters, fire or otherwise. Yeah, you want to pay for this. this covers you for damage caused by you to the building in the event of a fire, or if you flood your apartment by leaving a sock in the washing machine drain. (this happens more than you think) Two stories: a close friend accidentally flooded his, and his downstairs neighbors` apartment and got stuck for 1 million yen in damages (no insurance). While another tenant had some water damage caused by an upstairs neighbor (insured) and received 1 million yen in damages. Usually 10,000~20,000 yen for 2 years.
#cleaning/sterilization/sanitation fees – 50/50 on these. Usually required by the owner. If the apartment you are interested in has it = unavoidable unfortunately.
#24hr “life” “support” “anshin” etc fees. – these are usually unnecessary given that the only support you will receive will be in overly polite japanese over the phone, but come in handy when you break a window, lose your keys or your plumbing decides to stop performing it`s specified duties. As above, if required = unavoidable.
#club fees – my advice: stay away from properties which require these. Any services and benefits don`t reall outweigh the costs.