Once you have decided where to move-in, you will need to complete the necessary procedures for water, electricity, and gas. To avoid problems after you move, be sure to complete all procedures on time.
If you are still thinking about renting a new property in Japan, you may find this helpful!
How to Rent a House in Japan:
In Japan, water supply is managed by the local waterworks bureau. Therefore, you will need to go through the procedures at the waterworks bureau before you move out and after you move in, respectively.
Application for moving-out should be made 1~2 weeks prior to your leaving. If you delay the application, you will have to pay the water bill of your old residence even after you move out.
The application can be made by phone or through the website of the water bureau in your local jurisdiction. Prepare documents that show your customer number, such as a meter reading slip or a payment receipt.
Once you have applied, you do not need to be present when the tap is shut off. Water bills for less than one month in the month you move out will be charged on a pro-rated basis.
As soon as you move-in, register to the waterworks bureau in the area.
You can register for the water service through the waterwork bureau’s website, by phone, or by posting an application form. Credit card or direct debit from your bank account are available as the payment method.
If the water bureau is the same before and after your move, you can complete both procedures at once
Termination of Use
Electricity is supplied by the electric power company of your choice. You need to follow the procedure below whether or not you change the electric power company when you move out.
Application for termination of use should be made 1~2 weeks prior to moving out. Call the power company or visit their website to apply. You will need to prepare documents that show your customer number, such as a meter reading slip or payment receipt.
Once you have applied, you do not need to be present on the day you stop using electricity. Electricity bills for less than one month in the month you move out will be charged on a pro-rated basis.
Using the Utility
In order to use electricity from the day you move in, you must decide which electric power company you will use and complete the procedures to start using electricity one week prior to your move. You can call the electricity company you will be using or apply through their website.
As for payment methods, you can choose to pay by credit card or debit from your bank account. If you do not change the company before and after your move, you can complete the procedures to stop and start using electricity at the same time.
Choosing an Electric Power Company
Until recently, electricity was provided exclusively by one power company in each region. Examples are Tokyo Electric Power Company and Kansai Electric Power Company. They are called major electric power companies. However, as a result of the 2016 legal reform that freed up the electricity market and allowed other private companies to enter the electricity business, people can now choose an electricity company by comparing plans from a large number of power companies. Gather information carefully and sign a contract with the power company that best suits your needs.
As a result of intensified price competition, each company is offering proposals that are appealingly inexpensive.
When making your choice, be careful of the following 3 points to avoid loss.
1. Will it really be cheaper?
Even if the basic rate of electricity is lowered and the company appeals its low price, it may not actually be profitable if you take into account pay-as-you-go charges and expiration of promotions. Select a company by calculating all the charges.
2. Is it easy to cancel?
There are plans that offer inexpensive initial fees and require you to pay a high cancellation fee when you stop using them. Some power companies only allow cancellation by phone, making it inconvenient to terminate your contract.
3. Is the customer support system adequate?
When you sign a contract with a small electric power company that is new to the market, even if the rate plan is low, the customer support system may not be well organized. It would be difficult to get through them by phone, or there may be limited ways to contact them, which may cause problems when you need their help. Also, if you do not speak Japanese, choose a company that offers English-language support or allows website inquiries and application.
Termination of Use
Gas is supplied by the gas company of your choice. You need to follow the procedures below whether or not you change the gas company when you move out.
The application to discontinue use should be completed 1~2 weeks prior to moving out. To apply, call the gas company or visit their website. Prepare documents that show your customer number, such as a meter reading slip or payment receipt.
Once you have applied, you do not need to be present on the day you stop using gas. Gas bills for less than one month in the month you move out will be charged on a pro-rated basis.
Using the Utility
Unlike water and electricity, in order to use gas after moving in, you must be present when the gas company opens the gas valve. Therefore, one week prior to your move, you should decide which gas company you will use, complete the procedures to start using gas, and designate a day and time to be present.
Applications can be made by phone or through the website. As for payment methods, you can choose to pay by credit card or debit from your bank account.
If you do not change gas companies before and after your move, you can apply to stop and start using gas at the same time.
Selecting a Gas Company
As with electricity, the market for gas has begun to liberalize. Choose a gas company in the same way as you choose an electricity company.
There are many companies, led by major electric power companies, that offer both electricity and gas. It is advisable to choose a combined electricity and gas plan with a single company, as a price advantage can be obtained and it is easy to manage the bills.
Remember to apply for water, electricity, and gas before you move to avoid unnecessary expenses and inconvenience at your new location. When moving, it is also a good time to review your infrastructure expenses. Compare plans from different companies to find the electricity and gas company that best suits your needs.
If you are thinking of moving but have not yet decided on a new place to live:
SUGEE Housing, operated by SUGEE, is a real estate agent service specializing with foreign nationals. We have English-speaking consultants ready to assist you in your apartment hunting. If you are looking for a new place to live in Japan, please feel free to contact us.
Talk to a SUGEE consultant:
Notes for the readers:
Under no circumstances shall the company or its affiliates, partners, suppliers, or licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages arising out of or in connection with your access or use of or inability to access or use the application and any third-party content and services, whether or not the damages are foreseeable and whether or not the company was advised of the possibility of such damages, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, company’s aggregate liability to you (whether under contract, tort, statute, or otherwise). The foregoing limitations will apply even if the above stated remedy fails of its essential purpose. This article was written on 15 April 2022.
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