Notifying the Landlord
When you wish to terminate your rental agreement, you will need to notify your landlord or real estate agency in advance. This period will be specified in your rental agreement (typically 1 to 2 months prior to moving out).
Contact utility companies (electricity, gas, water, internet, etc.) at least 1 week before moving out.
If you are moving to a new address in Japan, you can apply at the post office to have your mail forwarded for up to one year.
When moving out, there are administrative procedures you will need to perform at your local municipal office, such as submitting a moving-out notification (転出届け, tenshutsu todoke). If you are moving to a new municipality in Japan, you will also need to complete procedures at the new municipal office, such as submitting a moving-in notification (転入届, tennyu todoke) within 14 days.
Tokyo Tech’s Guide for International Researchers has a list of things to do before leaving Japan:
Large Garbage Items
If you have to dispose of large items such as furniture or large quantities of garbage, contact the waste collection office of your municipality in advance and make arrangements to have the items picked up.
Home Appliance Recycling Law
Consumers are required by law to recycle certain kinds of home appliances. A recycling fee is often charged as well. Applicable home appliances include air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines.
Home Appliance Recycling Coupons
Home appliance recycling coupons are provided as a convenient method for paying recycling fees. Recycling fees can be paid via retailers or by postal transfer. For details on laws and procedures for discarding home appliances, please refer to the following:
- Home Appliance Recycling Law | Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japanese)
- Home Appliance Recycling Coupon Center (Japanese)
- Japanese Home Appliance Recycling Law | Panasonic
Returning the Keys
Be sure to return all original keys associated with the apartment (door, windows, mailbox, etc.).
After you have informed your landlord or real estate agency of your intention to move out, they will schedule a date to inspect the apartment with you. Through this inspection, they will determine if cleaning or repairs are needed, the cost of which will be deducted from your security deposit. Refer to this Sample Checklist to see what things are typically inspected.
To retain as much of your security deposit as possible, take good care of your apartment, clean it thoroughly when moving out, and remove all personal items before you leave.