Why are Apartment Rental Expenses in Japan Expensive?
In Japan, is is customary for a lessee to pay not only monthly rent but also (1) security deposit called “敷金” (しききん, Shiki Kin) and (2) key money called “礼金” (れいきん, Rei Kin). For example, in the case of a listing with “Deposit: 2 months, Key money: 1 month, Monthly rent: 100,000 yen”, you are expected to pay 400,000 yen (= 200,000 yen deposit + 100,000 yen key money + 100,000 yen for rent) in the first month. After the second month, the expected payment will only be 100,000 yen monthly rent.
When you move out, some of the security deposit will be refunded from the lender, but you can’t have the key money back. While you can negotiate the rent costs, you need to understand that such practices are common in Japan. In many cases, the refund policy of the security deposit is determined at the time of contract, but if you wish to have more security deposit back, you need to use the room cleanly. However, as you know, Japan’s clean standard is very high, so you will need to live very carefully.
In that sense, the destruction to the room by Kisara (left girl in black) and Miori (right girl in pink) provides a sufficient reason that the security deposit is not refunded in this image from “Black Bullet”. If you rent an apartment in Japan, I recommend that you check the conditions of your contract thoroughly.
Keep in mind that even within Japan, the standard conditions of security deposit and key money differ depending on the region. In the eastern region (metropolitan area), the common condition is “Deposit: 2 months, Key money: 1 month.” In the western region, the common condition is “Deposit: 5 months, Key money: 0 month,” with the return of deposit worth 1-4 months’ rent when you move out.