What's Key Money? How to Avoid it Renting in Japan
The dreaded key money, The most commonly hated fee involved with the initial payments for apartments in Japan. Below you will find everything that you need to know about this fee and more.
What Is Key Money?
Some people think that reikin (礼金) or ‘key money’ means the total initial cost for an apartment in Japan. This is not the case. It is only one out of many non-refundable fees that can be attached to an apartments initial cost. Key money is basically a present that you give to the landlord. This fee is most common with desirable or larger apartments. However it is still very common for most apartments in Japan.
What's The Reason For Key Money?
What is the cost of this fee?
Can I avoid paying key money?
Because this fee is the most hated and well known realtors will sometimes use this against you. An apartment with no key money will not necessarily mean it will be cheaper for you. There can be many other fees involved that can drive up the cost. Make sure you know the total initial cost. Hidden fees are extremely common with most apartment listings especially on Japanese websites. Most of the time you will have to find this out by giving them a call or even going to the realtors offices in person.
Author, Derek Heidenreich
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