Unveiling The Enigma Of Key Money: A Guide For Foreign Renters In Japan

Gift Money to Landlords: A Japanese Custom

When renting an apartment in Japan, tenants are often expected to give a monetary gift to the landlord, known as “key money” or “reikin.” This custom is unique to Japan and can be confusing for foreigners unfamiliar with the practice.

What is Key Money?
Key money is a non-refundable payment made to the landlord before moving into an apartment. The amount varies depending on the location, size, and age of the apartment. It typically ranges from one to three months’ rent.

Why is Key Money Given?
Key money serves several purposes:
– It shows the tenant’s sincerity and appreciation to the landlord.
– It helps secure the tenancy, as it demonstrates the tenant’s financial stability.
– It compensates the landlord for any inconvenience caused by the tenant’s move-in.

Is Key Money Required?
While key money is customary in Japan, it is not legally required. However, refusing to pay key money may make it difficult to secure an apartment, especially in competitive rental markets.

When is key money paid? It is typically paid before the tenant moves into the apartment.
Can key money be negotiated? In some cases, tenants may be able to negotiate a lower amount with the landlord.
Is key money refundable? No, key money is non-refundable.

Understanding the custom of gift money to landlords is essential for foreigners renting an apartment in Japan. While not required by law, it is a widely accepted practice that can help secure a tenancy and build a positive relationship with the landlord.

gift money to landlords japanese

gift money to landlords japanese

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