Once you have found a new place to live, you should start preparing to move in and move out. Follow the procedures that can be found at the municipal office, otherwise, it may lead to the revocation of your visa.
If you have not found a new property, you may find this helpful!
How to Rent a House in Japan:
To do 1 to 2 months before moving out
1. Contact the management company (if renting)
As soon as you have decided on a place to move to, first notify the management company or landlord of the property you are currently living in that you have decided to move out. Discuss with the management company and determine the specific move-out procedures and time that you will need to vacate the property. Coordinate the procedures for cancellation of fire insurance and replacement of locks with them.
The deadline for giving advance notice to the management company when moving out is stipulated in the lease contract, and it is generally mandatory to notify one or two months prior to moving out. If you fail to meet the deadline, you will be required to pay an additional fee.
2. Decide on a moving company
Once you have decided on a moving date, contact moving companies and make an application. It is a good idea to obtain quotes from several companies before deciding which one to request. If you can complete the application in plenty of time, you can save money and you do not have to pack in a hurry.
3. Infrastructure-related moving procedures (gas, electricity, water, WiFi)
To avoid unnecessary expenses and confusion during the move, infrastructure-related moving procedures should also be completed as soon as possible. Basically, notify the service provider of the move so that the services are ceased from your current address, and apply for the services for usage in your new address.
4. Arrange for mail forwarding
It is possible to notify delivery companies in Japan for them to forward to your new address. Apply for Japan Post’s forwarding service which can be done at a post office or online through the e-Transfer website (https://welcometown.post.japanpost.jp/etn/). Once the application is completed, packages sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new address for a period of one year from the date of application. After completing this application, you may also apply forwarding at other delivery services such as Yamato and Sagawa.
To do within 2 weeks before moving out
5. Moving out procedure at the municipal office (when moving out of the city)
If you move out of the city, you must complete the move-out process at the municipal office and obtain a notification of move-out. It is required when you complete the moving-in procedure at the municipality after your move. The procedure can be done 14 days prior to the move, so do not forget to accomplish this. At the municipal office, you need to fill out the moving-out form, which can be obtained there, and submit it together with your residence card.
6. Cleaning, disposing of unneeded items, and packing
As the moving date approaches, start packing and clean your room! It is best to complete the disposal of bulky waste as soon as possible, as each municipality has its own schedule for disposal. If you do not meet the municipality’s garbage disposal date or transfer these items to somewhere else, you may choose to hire a waste collection company, but it might cost you at least 10,000 yen.
If you are renting, you will need to restore the property to its original condition. In addition to basic cleaning, you should try to remove wallpaper you put up yourself, as well as clean stains from sinks, exhaust fans, all walls and floors. If this is not done adequately, the cost of restoring the apartment to its original condition may be deducted from the security deposit to be returned when you vacate, or you may be charged a separate fee.
7. Moving out
After the moving company arrives and removes all your belongings, staff from the management company will be present when you actually vacate the property. They will inspect the condition of the property, and if necessary, discuss restoration costs. You also need to return your key to them there.
To do after you move
8. Moving-in procedures (Relocation procedures)
Within 14 days of moving, you must complete the move-in procedures at the municipal office where you are moving to. Take the notification of moving out obtained at the municipal office of your old address, and your resident card, and complete the procedures at the municipal office of your new address. During this procedure, you will also need to change the address of your residence card, My Number Card, National Health Insurance, and National Pension if necessary.
If you move within the same city, the procedure will be a relocation procedure; you will still need to complete the procedure within 14 days, but you do not need to obtain a notification of moving out before moving in.
Failure to follow this procedure may result in the revocation of your visa. Make sure that you complete the procedure for notification of moving out before you move and the procedure for moving in (relocation) after you move in by the due date.
9. Change registered address for various services
Once you have completed the move-in procedures, it is time to finish changing the registered address for various services. In general, you will need to change your address for the following items:
- Driver’s license
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
- Cellular phone
Renewal of a driver’s license is done at the police station with jurisdiction over the area where you are moving.
Some moving procedures can lead to the cancellation of your visa if not carried out propertly. Start the procedure as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary expenses and to ensure a smooth moving process.
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:
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 行政書士浜岡事務所. “外国人の引っ越し.” Hamaoka-gyousei.com, Retrieved 15 April 2022 from https://hamaoka-gyousei.com/procedures_while_staying/moving.html.
 Evergreen Marketing Co., Ltd. “引越しする時にやることリスト｜4つの時期に分けて紹介.” egmkt.co.jp, 2021, Retrieved 15 April 2022 from https://www.egmkt.co.jp/column/consumer/20210225_EG_003.html.