Most of the apartments on the market are privately owned by individuals or corporations. But did you know that public housing is also available as an option? They are called “UR apartments” and owned by the Urban Renaissance Agency, an government-owned corporation. The UR Agency was established in 1955 to help solve the housing issue created after WWII. There are roughly 800,000 UR properties in Japan, and they are in very high demand. Why? Well, there are a lot of advantages with UR apartments that make them an attractive option when compared to privately owned ones. We’ll give you more on that.
What’s good about UR housing?
Moving can cost a lot of money. As mentioned in one of our earlier articles, initial fees can cost roughly 5 month’s worth of rent. Budgeting your expenses can be a painful experience for many people. However, you can save a lot on initial fees on UR housing. Unlike privately-owned property, here are some fees that you don’t need to pay:
- broker fees
- guarantor fees
- key money
- renewal fees
- key replacement fees (usually cost about 14,000 to 20,000 yen)
In addition to the low initial cost, moving out can be hassle free as well. You only need to contact the UR Agency at least 2 weeks prior to the date you plan to move. When you move out of your apartment, you are expected to pay for any wear and tear, as mentioned on the renter’s contract. And many people say the contract details are vague and don’t have any ideas where they draw the line. That’s where a lot of unexpected fees tend to incur when you move out. However, UR contracts make those terms and conditions crystal clear. You are expected to pay only 30,000 to 40,000 yen from your deposit, which is 2 month’s worth of rent.
If you are interested, we can also introduce you to UR housing. Click here for details.
Now you know how attractive UR housing is. However, they have their disadvantages that you should consider before you weigh your options. As mentioned earlier, there are only about 800,000 properties throughout Japan, and roughly 450,000 of them exist in the Tokyo area. Demand is very high, and you may not come across a property that suits your needs. Also, many of these homes were built during Japan’s booming economy, meaning that they are at least 35 years old. Anyway, we will list the cons below:
- Fewer properties compared to conventional ones, meaning they may not meet your preferences (e.g., location, layout, facilities.)
- Screening requirements (income, etc.) are more stringent compared to conventional property. There are minimum income requirements depending on the rent. Contact us for more details.
- You must apply for rent within a week after the date of viewing. You will not have enough time to weigh your options.
- You must pay 2 month’s worth of rent for deposit.
As most of the property on the market tend to be older than their conventional counterparts, we recommend you to thoroughly check the apartment and its facilities during viewing. Although most rooms are periodically renovated, not all facilities have the latest fixtures that you would see in conventional ones. However, if you’re not so fussy and meet all the requirements, you may have some luck.
To sum things up….
Now that you have an idea of what UR housing is like, you may be interested in viewing some rooms. We can also introduce you to UR property. Just keep in mind that you must make a temporary application and submit personal information before viewing. We are a UR certified agent, and we can also introduce you to property that are usually not disclosed publicly.
The application process is basically the same as renting a conventional property. The only difference is that you apply at your local UR agency. You can only view a listing once. We recommend you to bring a measuring tape, notes, and your phone for taking pictures. It’s best to list up any concerns you have on your mind and jot down the answers once you view the property.
If you like the place you viewed, you can apply for registration at your agency and submit all the necessary documents, including your income certificate. We hope you find your dream UR home!
If you plan to move to Japan or seek assistance after settling in, please contact us
If you have plans to move to Japan or need help getting settled, we’d be glad to assist you. We can also help you from choosing the right apartment to assisting you with the paperwork, as well as provide support for your everyday life.
For details regarding support, refer to: our services
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