Trying to wrap up a landlord issue in Tokyo.

My apartment building has recently been very empty . . .

. . . as you can tell from this set of mailboxes. The tenants do not clean out the junk mail, because for the most part, other than myself and my neighbor, there aren’t really tenants.

Eight “1K” apartments. Two tenants.

Now, here’s the issue: I have a two month security deposit the landlord, that I want applied to the rent. Technically, the security deposit is meant as security. But practically, this building is not being rented out in the usual fashion. You can see what that means, don’t you? If I leave the country, that security deposit would never find its way back to me.

Additionally, the landlord plays a couple of games. His agent calls the apartments “monthly mansions”, a la Leopalace. But they rent some out in regular lease fashion. Others seem to be rented out to a modeling company on an “as needed” basis. This means the modeling company pays, well, rent. Then has the “right” to stick one of their flown-in employees in that apartment during an assignment. Allegedly, the price they (the modeling company) pays is at a heavy discount.

So in one breath, I’ve been told that my lease is really a “hotel” where I happen to have a 200,000 yen security deposit requirement. But then, I learn that the people one floor below are in there on a transient basis, where the actual renter gets a sizable discount because they describe their rental agreement as the option to stick people in the apartment when needed.

I think I’d be stupid to keep paying money beyond what the actual rent is when my future in Japan is not certain. (There is another issue of previous overcharges, but I’ll leave that out for now.)

4 thoughts on “Trying to wrap up a landlord issue in Tokyo.

  1. I wish I had done this in the past (ask landlord to take rent out of deposit). My deposit was unlawfully retained, and I didn’t know enough at the time to get it back…

  2. The major reason I’m doing it this way is because the landlord played too many games with definitions. The argued both sides of the coin. On the one hand, in 2008 they had me sign a 3-month lease (renewable), with a 30-day notice provision. The rent was 150,000 a month. My neighbor got a 2-year lease (30-day notice provision) at 100,000 a month. Each time I asked about this, I was given unsatisfactory responses. Work was its own battle, and I try to keep my plate light on fighting battles.

    When I asked for a rebate of the money I was overcharged (maybe for about 18 months) in June 2009, I was told my room was the equivalent of a hotel (“Rent for Use” under Article 594 of the Civil Code), not a lease. However, then, here is the follow-up: overpriced rent, and then “give us a security deposit, too!” What hotel makes you give up a security deposit?

    Finally, I realized I’m just being made a sucker out of, in typical Japanese fashion. One plausible excuse is offered on top of another, and together they’re mutually inconsistent. “So, hotel you (landlord) say? Well, I have prepaid the charge then? Now you say lease? Where is my 1,000,000 yen in overcharges when you were saying it was like a hotel?”

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