Initial fee & monthly expenses for staying in sharehouses

When you move in, you should know in advance about the initial costs and expenses other than the rent.

As you can see, by comparing multiple share houses, there are many technical terms related to real estate, and furthermore, the lack of uniformity in these terms can be a problem for many foreigners.

In this post, I will explain the Japanese language used when signing up for a share house regarding costs.

Initial fees for staying in a shared house

保証金 [ Hoshoukin ] (ほしょうきん)

Security deposit : The purpose of the deposit is to cover the cost in case there are rent arrears. A portion of the deposit is deducted to cover the cost of repairs, etc. when you move out. It is generally cheaper than the deposit paid when signing a contract for a regular apartment.

事務手数料 [Jimu Tesu ryo] (じむてすうりょう)

Administration fee :  A fee may be charged for drawing up the contract and for preparations until you can move in. It is commonly called 契約手数料 [Keiyaku Tesu ryo] (けいやくてすうりょう) , as well.

前家賃 [Mae yachin] (まえやちん)

The first month’s rent :  This must be considered as an initial fee, as you will have to pay the first rent before you can start moving in. It is also called 初月の家賃 [Shogetsu no Yachin] (しょげつ の やちん), meaning the rent of first month.  If 共益費 [Kyoeki hi] (きょうえき ひ) “common service fee” or 管理費 [Kanri hi] (かんり ひ) “management fee” are required in addition to the rent, these fees must also be paid along with the advance rent before moving in.

火災保険料 [Kasai hoken ryo] (かさいほけんりょう)

Fire insurance fee :  There are some share houses where it is not mandatory to have fire insurance.

保証料 [Hoshou ryo] (ほしょうりょう)

Guarantee fee : When signing a contract for a regular apartment, you will generally need a guarantor, and if you do not have one, you will have to pay a guarantee fee to the guarantee company. The guarantor fee is your security in case you are unable to pay the rent.
Share houses generally do not require a guarantor, but some share houses do require the payment of a guarantee fee.


Monthly expenses for staying in a shared house in Japan

家賃 [Yachin] (やちん)


共益費 [ Kyoeki hi ] (きょうえきひ)

It’s common area fee. It is also called 管理費 [Kanri hi] (かんり ひ) .  A common service fee is required in many share houses to cover the cost of cleaning and supplies such as toilet paper and detergent for common areas. In many cases, the cost of internet is also included. Whether utilities are included depends on the share house.


Fees required when moving out

鍵の交換代 [Kagi no koukan dai] (かぎのこうかんだい)

Fee of changing a lock : In general, it is customary to change the locks after moving out of an apartment, but in some cases, share houses also change the locks of the rooms, and the tenants are responsible for the cost.

清掃代 [Seisou dai] (せいそうだい)

Cleaning fee : There are share houses that charge a cleaning fee when you move out. It is also called クリーニング代 [Cleaning dai] (くりーにんぐ だい) . Regardless of whether you are using the room neatly or not, you may be charged a certain cleaning fee uniformly, or the cleaning fee may vary depending on the inspection when you move out.



違約金 [Iyaku kin] (いやくきん)

Penalty : You will pay this if something happens that violates the contract, such as if you cancel the contract before the fixed-term lease expires.

原状回復費用 [Genjou Kaifuku  hiyou] (げんじょうかいふくひよう)

The obligation to restore the property to its original condition is to restore the decrease in the value of the property caused by the lessee’s occupancy and use, such as willful negligence or negligence on the part of the lessee, breach of the duty of care of a good manager, or other wear and tear caused by use that exceeds normal use.
To put it simply, if you damage or lose furniture, equipment, or fixtures in the share house, you will have to pay for it.

フリーレント [Free rent] (ふりーれんと)

This is a contract where the rent is free for a certain period of time (usually one month to three months at the most). If there is a free rent contract, you can assume that there are many vacant rooms in the share house and the owner wants to move in as soon as possible.


Differences from ordinary rental properties

In case you sign a contract for a general rental property,

  • 仲介手数料 [Chukai tesu ryo] (ちゅうかいてすうりょう) “Brokerage fee, Agent fee” is required .
  • 普通賃貸借契約 [Futsu Chintaishaku Keiyaku] (ふつうちんたいしゃくけいやく) ”Regular lease contract” are the most common. “Regular lease contract”. The period of lease contract is normally two years and the contract is subject to renewal. Fixed-term lease contracts are a rare case.
  • Instead of a security deposit, there are other fees called 敷金 [Shikikin] (しききん), 敷引 [Shikibiki] (しきびき), and 礼金 [Reikin] (れいきん) “key money”, which are set by the property. Click here fore more detail.