Apartment / Guarantor

How to Find Housing in Japan

If you are not living in a dormitory/student village arranged by Keio University, you will need to find housing on your own through the people around you and a guarantor. You must know what type of housing suits your needs (distance from school, budget, etc). When students seek private housing in Japan, they will generally be required to have a “guarantor.” Usually students are also required to pay a rental deposit, key money and a real estate commission. This means, essentially, that students need to prepare at least 6 months rent in advance to be able to move in. In the downtown area, housing tends to be quite expensive and so most students prefer to live in more affordable areas about an hour away.

Where to Look for Residence

Japanese students often use a real estate agent or read housing information magazines to look for apartments. You may try this method in consultation with your friends and guarantor. The ability to communicate in Japanese is crucial when you approach an agent. Someone who can communicate in Japanese to facilitate the negotiation process should accompany you. We introduce a real estate agency which has English, Chinese and Korean website, and can be accessed from overseas for foreign students who still have some difficulties to communicate in Japanese. It provides various plans such as housings with no guarantors required and short term furnished rooms etc. For more information, please send the following information by e-mail keio_dormitory@info.keio.ac.jp

  • Your name, gender
  • Student ID number (If you do not know, please indicate the period of studying in Keio as well  as your faculty or graduate school name.)
  • Your language (English, Chinese or Korean)

We will let you know about the agency by return.

Comprehensive Renter's Insurance

When renting an apartment, you need a guarantor to co-sign the contract with you. It becomes the guarantor's responsibility to pay the rent on behalf of the tenant if they are unable to do so. Japanese students usually ask their parents or close relatives to be the guarantor, but it is not easy for an international student to find someone who is willing to take on such a financial responsibility. However, there are some measures that can be taken in order to ease the responsibility of the guarantor, which in turn could ease your search for one. 
If, by all means, a cosigner cannot be found, it is possible for Keio University to cosign the lease for the period of study at Keio University. Roommates, however, are limited to family members and other international students of Keio. Also you should not have any history on late rent payment. Depending on conditions, there are possibilities that your application be rejected. We advice you to consult with the International Center before applying. Please note that we do not accept applications from overseas as an interview with the applicant is required in the screening process.

When signing contracts of any sort in Japan, such as for apartments or mobile phones, be sure to read the contract carefully and understand it fully. Contracts are legal documents, which should be signed with full understanding. Signing contracts without complete understanding of the contents may result in unexpected, severe consequences. If you have any trouble understanding the contract, be sure to contact the IC or ask a Japanese friend who is knowledgeable in the area.