At FREA, we are always seeking ways to improve our service for foreigners seeking housing. Please read on for one client’s experience this year, and how we intend to address the possibility of similar cases in the future.
- The Housing Search On A Short Timeline
- Apartment Issues Discovered After Move-In
- The Costly Expenses Associated With Rental Leasing In Japan
- FREA’s Guarantee For Housing Satisfaction
The Housing Search On A Short Timeline
Earlier this year, FREA assisted in the apartment search for one of our clients who was newly relocated to Tokyo as an international hire. The company employing and sponsoring his work visa did not provide support for housing, so as is common of many expats, he had prepared a few weeks of short-term housing upon arrival on his own and was determined to secure long-term housing before this expired.
Most foreigners seeking housing in Tokyo highly prefer to be located within an optimized commute route to work, so we focused on housing options to the west of Shibuya with direct train line access. After viewing several properties, our client settled on a recently built, spacious 1LDK in Setegaya-ku—one of the notably residential wards in Tokyo. Although the move-in timeline was tight, arrangements were successfully made to complete all application and contract-processing details in time for our excited client to transition over smoothly from his short-term housing.
Apartment Issues Discovered After Move-In
All seemed rather well, until a few weeks later we received contact from our client asking to confirm that the contract indeed had no penalty clause for moving out early. In the haste to lock down an apartment in time to avoid extending the temporary housing, our client had inadvertently overlooked the presence of a fire station just down the road, which would sometimes (loudly) dispatch trucks during the night.
But the large roadway located at the rear of the building posed overall problems too—although it had been relatively quiet during the daytime viewing, there was a surprising number of trucks passing through at nighttime, generating not just noise but floor vibrations, too (the apartment was a first floor unit).
The Costly Expenses Associated With Rental Leasing In Japan
Our client woefully confessed that he had been sleeping poorly and was already contemplating moving elsewhere, though the high amount of initial leasing costs already paid to the property management company to secure the lease contract meant that he would need to reduce his budget for the subsequent apartment. This actually mirrored the past housing situation of FREA’s CEO, who had herself experienced a similar case of moving into an apartment in Tokyo, only to realize after that there was in fact a fire station located in the immediate area.
Suggestions of ways to mediate the interior noise level were provided promptly, along with the open offer to assist with a fresh apartment search at no agency fee (typically one month’s worth of rent) if our client chose to go through with the move.
Ultimately, our client elected to search for another apartment with us and was able to relocate to a different complex tucked further away from the major roadway for a significant reduction in unwanted sounds.
FREA’s Guarantee For Housing Satisfaction
At FREA, we stand behind the belief that our agency fee—set at the same industry rate as all other real estate agencies in Japan—should come with only the best of our services in helping foreigners to find their ideal housing meeting their needs.
If any of our clients find themselves dissatisfied with a housing property that they have leased with our support within 3 months of the lease start date, we are happy to offer assistance in searching for the next replacement property at NO additional agency charge!
(Initial costs paid separately to the property management company for the starting of a lease will still apply)
Of course, the best outcome would be to succeed in finding housing that has no significant detriments, and we always encourage our clients to thoroughly examine not just the housing unit itself, but also the shared common areas (such as garbage disposal) and surrounding neighborhood, too.
Still, we realize that it is possible for details to be overlooked during the housing search, and for unforeseen issues to arise afterwards. We hope that this additional guarantee helps bring extra peace of mind to our international clients during what can often be a stressful relocation period.
Please choose FREA with confidence for your housing relocation needs in Tokyo!