Even for Japanese people, it’s not easy to rent good apartment in Japan. But it’s much harder for foreigners. “10 things you need to rent an apartment in Japan” is a good reference. Finding a Japanese guarantor is one of the most difficult problems. And, some landlords reject to contract with foreigners by abusing the principle of “Freedom of Contract.” (The civil law doesn’t allow it. So you can sue. But, you wouldn’t like to live in the apartment owned by such bad landlords.)
Recently I began to feel UR Housing can be one of the best choices for foreigners and also Japanese.
UR stands for Urban Renaissance Agency. It used to be a public housing organization which lent cheap houses to people. UR is still a public corporation. Their role is to renovate old apartments, build modern ones and supply them to people with the appropriate rules.
Unlike the old days, it’s thought UR is more expensive than private housing. But you cannot compare the rental fees simply because the environment of UR apartments is better than others. The public housing had to have low building coverage and a certain number of parks. It was defined by the law. In some Japanese private housing, you might be facing at a wall of the next building when you open the window, but it will never happen with UR apartments. Also, your children can find their playground in the apartment grounds.
UR follows the Japanese law and ignores Japanese business customs. Japanese private housing usually require you to have a Japanese joint guarantor and pay commission, rewards and renewal fees. Or they rejects foreigners for no reason at all. But UR doesn’t require the above costs or any joint guarantors. Plus, it’s open to foreigners. A permanent, mid, or long-term resident can rent UR apartments.
Some UR apartments are located in the suburbs. But usually a small supermarket, a barber and other shops are located in the apartments grounds or near by. And, such apartments definitely have a bus stop. So you aren’t troubled for anything.
And one more thing, some real estate agents won’t introduce UR to you because UR doesn’t require a commission.
- UR official English documents.
- White Stone – they explains what is UR in proper English and help you to find an apartment in Kanto region.