Having pets is not as common in large cities like Tokyo as it is back home, however many people still keep dogs, cats, hamsters and other beloved pets. When searching for a pet-friendly apartment there are several things to take into account, such as size of the apartment, size of the pet and extra costs involved. Here are our tips for finding an apartment with a pet in Japan.
When searching for an apartment in Japan, you will find that many landlords will not rent to foreigners, although the higher the budget, the less this is a problem. If you throw pets into the mix, your pool of available apartments or houses narrows considerably. Nonetheless, it is still possible to find a pet-friendly apartment in Tokyo or other parts of Japan.
First of all, Omakase Helper can help you find apartments that allow pets, so do be sure to indicate your wishes on our housing request form.
Room for negotiation
While many apartments are not advertised as “pet friendly” on their online listings, it is possible in some cases to negotiate with the landlord, especially in the case of small pets such as fish, guinea pigs and birds. Omakase can do this on your behalf.
When submitting an application for housing, the landlord will ask what size and type your pet is. This is for them to judge how likely your pet is to damage their property. If your pet is too big, or belongs to a breed known for destruction, you may be out of luck even in a “pet-friendly” place.
Old vs new apartment
If an apartment owner is willing to allow a pet in their building, it may be because the apartment is old and in need of renovation anyway. If having a new and modern building is very important to you, please specify this as it will narrow your options down even further.
Living with a pet may mean forking out for more than just pet food. Many landlords will charge you an additional deposit to keep a pet (so, instead of one month’s rent as a deposit, you will pay two month’s rent as a deposit). They may also charge a higher monthly rent as a kind of “pet tax”. You are also less likely to get your deposit back when moving out, and more likely to incur extra cleaning charges.
For those with a high budget, there are options for special pet-friendly apartments with soundproofing and pet doors.
Pet terminology in Japanese
If you are searching by yourself, here are some useful terms:
petto kinshi (ペット禁止)
petto fuka (ペット不可)
petto genkin (ペット厳禁)
petto OK (ペットOK)
petto ka (ペット可)
petto soudan ka (ペット相談可)
When looking for a place to live with pets, remember to choose a suitable area. While this isn’t important for an animal that stays in a cage, like a bird or a hamster, if you have a dog you will want to find an apartment near a nice park or walkway in order to take your dog on pleasant walks. If you wish to find a pet-friendly apartment and need some help, please contact us and we can give you some options.