Friday, March 18, 2005

non-returnable and returnable deposits

What notorious about renting house or flat in Tokyo is... 2 month non-returnable deposit along with 2 month returnable deposit for contract. 5 month rent money to pay ( 1 for next month rent in advance) at once is usually more expensive than one month income! But from the point of landlord, it's far from good sucking money I must say.

For instance 1-month fee out of 2-month non-returnable deposit goes straight to the property agent as a mediation fee. Out of 1 month non-returnable deposit left,,,,for instance in the case of my small studio flat just let, 30000 yen was paid for house cleaning and disinfect ion and other 20000yen was paid for my cost of front door key change. Lucky was that ex-owner of the flat remodeled everything so I did not need to improve anything...(it was far from my taste though,,,,this was why I let my tenant improve the room by themselves)

Here, people may point out that the landlord sucks the makeover cost from the tenant. The landlord makes an accusation for trivial reason not to return non-returnable deposit too. It's true, sadly. This is the very problem of housing industry in Japan . The modern rules restrict the landlord charge the makeover cost from the tenant. Especially in Tokyo there has been so called the Tokyo rule started since last autumn, the detailed guideline for landlord and tenant what cases would be in responsible of tenant to be deduced from returnable deposit and what's case is not. For instance, coffee stain on the floor carpet is a part of normal life, this means no responsible of tenant. But if it turned moldy it is the responsible for the tenant. Tenant has got to pay for only responsible portion. Clear isn’t it. Unfortunately there is an old custom that the tenant has to pay for all makeover cost when leaving so that everything could be as new as initial condition. And STILL many property agents still try to use this old custom by hiding the existence of new rules from people!! Really, landlords are not professional and cannot know the new role unless property agents tell them. Then the property agent sucks from the tenant in the name of the landlord. This is very problem.
Anyway I know the new role and I support it. I don't expect to suck from the returnable deposit therefore one-month non- returnable deposit can not go to my pocket.

But I wonder how the landlord of the other counties manage it. As I know, in UK landlord only charges 1 month returnable key deposit. How can landlord manage to pay a mediation fee to agent and maintenance cost? For instance, it is said in Japan that the reason to take certain amount of deposit is, if the tenant died along and can’t find relatives of the tenant, then it’s the cost of the landlord to give the funeral and clear all the stuff and clean the room. There is the risk that people dose not want to live in a room where someone just died! How can the landlord of say UK manage this kind of risk? Very interesting.