Looking to rent an apartment in Japan? If you have already started, you know how tough the process can be! Renting in Japan can be a complicated experience, especially for foreigners. Be prepared to wade through a lot of red tape!

One of the most confusing parts of renting in Japan is the need for a guarantor. What is a guarantor? How do I find one? Here we list all you need to know to about rental guarantors in Japan to secure the apartment you want.

What is Rental Guarantor?

A guarantor is a person who can cover the cost for you if you cannot pay your rent or damage fines. However, the recently revised Civil Code does allow a limited Guarantee Amount (the maximum amount the guarantor must pay).

Please note that a ‘guarantor’ and ‘joint guarantor’ have slightly different meanings. A guarantor may request the tenant to pay their unpaid rent. A joint guarantor (連帯保証人(れんたいほしょうじん), or ‘rentai hoshounin’) is legally responsible if the tenant doesn’t pay for rent or damages.

In Japan, a co-signor or guarantor is called a ‘hoshonin’ (保証(ほしょう)). As this person is agreeing to fulfil your financial debts, they must prove they have the financial means to pay. Most Japanese people ask a parent or close family member to be their guarantor.

Who can be a Rental Guarantor?

For foreigners who are new to Japan, finding a guarantor can be difficult. Many landlords or management companies have the following requirements for a guarantor:

  • A Japanese national
  • Someone who works full-time, with proven evidence of a stable income
  • Someone under the age of 65

This is so they can ensure that the guarantor can pay and (hopefully) will not pass away before the rent is due!

So, what do you do if you can’t find such a person?

What if I can’t find a guarantor in Japan?

Luckily, …continue reading