Looking through apartment listing is a long and sometimes infuriating process. It can be one that sees you finding one apartment that looks pleasing but then coming to find something is off. Jumping into an apartment too quickly can lead to unforeseen problems down the road, and leave you with a terrible experience of the country. Always ask for a walkthrough before agreeing to anything when it comes to renting, and make to check for some things when you get a chance to preview the place.
The first thing that you should try to catch before looking at the paperwork is any kind of damage to the room, or rooms, of the apartment. Any small thing can end up coming back on you when you decide to leave for a new place. Make sure to scan the walls in all areas to see for discoloration, tearing, holes, scratches, peeling, and general mistreatment. The reason this is so important is that the landlord can charge you a massive move out fee, and claim it is to cover the damages caused while you were living there. It’s best to take pictures of it as soon as you see it, and mark it on any paperwork. The more documentation you have, the better. If you are using a realtor you can address it to them first, and they will relay everything to the landlord.
Not every apartment comes completely bare. There are fully furnished ones that are easy for those who want a smooth moving experience or can’t really afford their appliances. These will raise the overall cost of the rent as they are allowing you to use them during your stay in the apartment. The first thing to do is to make sure they are all in working order. Note any types of damage to the outsides and insides of each product. You most likely won’t be able to test the appliances since the power will probably be shut off, so ask the landlord or realtor about their working conditions. This is another time to take extra precautions by taking photos and being thorough with your questions. Each apartment can come with a mixture of all of these machines:
Anything that isn’t in the apartment for use, you will have to buy, or there may be no place for it there. There are still lots of places that don’t have hookups for washers, so make sure to ask if you want to have your own washer.
Checking for the age of the building and room is easy to get. They usually post it on the websites or on the flyers. Depending on the age of the building there may be some things that are easy to add, and other times not able to add. The age of the building is important to the fact that Japan has to weather a lot of natural occurrences throughout the year. The older building may not have been built when newer means of resistance to the elements were developed and can impact how the building reacts to them. The newer buildings generally come with ease of access to the internet and other modern conveniences as well. The general utility we are a concern as well, so ask the landlord or realtor about the history of the building. There could have been repairs or renovations that have brought it up to code currently.
Checking for basic things like light switches, bathrooms, and other hook-ups is essential too. There are many apartment listings that are either out of date or have inaccurate information about what is in them. There are still very cheap rooms in the cities that don’t have showers, toilets, or cooking areas. Be thorough in your research to ensure that it isn’t one of those places, and make sure to double-check during the walkthrough. If it seems off then ask as many questions as you can. Check for any hanging wires, and if you can, check the lights to ensure there are no problems there. The same goes for running water and pipes leading to the house. Internet connection is also a must needed utility that some places are simply unequipped for. It could be because of the building, or the landlord, but finding if there are all the available spots in the apartments is very important. If your apartment isn’t already set up for internet, then it will take longer for you to get it turned on at the new place, as they now have to send someone to set the whole thing up from scratch.
It is a good idea to double-check the outer wall of the apartment when you first get there. This is another area that landlords can decide to charge you for if it isn’t kept up. Same as the inside, make sure to check for any kind of damages that are there before you showed up. If there is, make sure to report and make the landlord knowledgeable of it. This goes for the patio area as well. Some patios will have dividers if side by side and they will generally have places to hang clothes. If not you will need to buy the necessary items to be able to dry your belongings. The railing in the patio area is also a place that ends up costing you if any visible damage is there, so try to double-check the entire area. If there is no patio then make sure to check for a drying spot outside of the windows in the apartment. If there are no spots there you will have to dry them inside or ask about where it is ok to do so. You can check and ensure you have proper privacy as well, especially if you live on the first floor. Many places have some extra netting to keep people from trying to steal clothes. This is important for women who live on the lower levels of apartment complexes.
Try to have a keen eye during the walkthrough, and don’t let any small question go unanswered. If something doesn’t seem right, then you need to clarify it with the landlord. It never hurts to be too careful when looking for a new place. Don’t let any small thing get passed you and you can ensure when you move out it will be an easy and pain-free experience.