Apr 1, 2018
A new law will go into effect in June to regulate minpaku, private residences rented out by their owners as short-term lodgings. To most, the new law will address changes that have occurred in recent years due to the rise of Airbnb, the worldwide online service that allows travelers to book rooms in private homes directly from the owners of those residences.
Mar 4, 2018
Many Japanese people are wary of investment as a means of growing their savings. There are a variety of reasons for this caution, so most keep their money in a bank, gaining almost no interest in the process, in the hope that they won't lose any in the long run. However, some salaried workers who understand that their state pensions won't be enough to live off of when they retire do invest money in real estate, despite the fact that Japanese real estate has seen limited growth ever since the inflated asset bubble burst in the early 1990s.
Feb 11, 2018
On Dec. 18, the Supreme Court's petit bench ruled against a man from Fukuoka Prefecture who was suing the management association (kanri kumiai) of his condominium for firing him as its president of the board (rijicho) because the regulations of the association contained no stipulations for dismissal.
Dec 31, 2017
Dec 3, 2017
The apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, where police found the remains of nine bodies in late October is one of 12 units in a two-story wooden apartment building located 10 minutes from Sobudai Station on the Odakyu Odawara line. Each unit consists of one room and a kitchen and, according to various media, rents for about ¥20,000 a month. The suspect in the murder case moved into the apartment in August, even though he didn't have a job at the time.
Nov 5, 2017
Oct 1, 2017
According to an article that appeared in the Asahi Shimbun last June, authorities are unsure of the title holders to 4.1 million hectares of land in Japan — in total, an area equivalent in size to the island of Kyushu. Though this problem has been evident at least since the 1980s, the government didn't do anything about it until a few years ago when it appointed a group of scholars to study the matter. The group's results were announced on June 26.
Sep 3, 2017
Aug 6, 2017
Jul 2, 2017
Until the postwar growth period, the majority of Japanese rented rather than owned the places where they lived, but renters in Japan have never had much in the way of rights. Still, it is difficult to evict someone from a home they rent, even when they've been delinquent with payments. The Leased Land and House Lease Act essentially requires a landlord to go to court to carry out an eviction, which can be costly in both time and money, even when a tenant is clearly at fault.
Jun 4, 2017
In the 1990s when we rented an old house in Saitama Prefecture, we needed a parking space since we had a car at the time. There was none on the property and so we talked the landlord into tearing down a decrepit prefabricated storage shed that stood next to the house. He did, and then, at our own expense, we had a carport erected on the newly vacant lot.
Apr 30, 2017
On April 19, the Lower House of the Diet unanimously passed a revision to the Safety Net Law. The revision creates a new system that will register vacant properties with local governments and, ideally, these properties will be renovated and then rented out to low-income individuals and families who are otherwise unable to access public housing, which is currently at a premium in Japan, especially in large cities.
Apr 2, 2017
Mar 4, 2017
Feb 4, 2017
Dec 31, 2016
In its Dec. 20 issue, Asahi Shimbun reported on a couple in their 60s living in Saitama City. Two years ago their neighbor installed an Eco Cute system that uses heat pump technology to heat water more efficiently and, thus, reduce electricity costs. But since the system was installed, the older couple's health has been deteriorating, mainly due to loss of sleep. Eco Cute operates only at night, when electricity costs are low, and the couple claims that their neighbor's unit emits a low frequency hum, which keeps them awake. They sued the neighbor and the manufacturer of the Eco Cute unit.
Dec 3, 2016
Japan's vacant house problem will become worse before it becomes better. According to government estimates there are 8 million residences in Japan with no one living in them, a number that Bloomberg reports will increase to 20 million by 2033, representing a third of all the homes in Japan. A good portion of these residences are abandoned. There are no plans for anyone to live in them ever again, a prospect that alarms the central government, as it should. Abandoned homes are firetraps. Often they are filled with garbage that breeds vermin and surrounded by overgrown vegetation. Unmaintained sewage systems and septic tanks can spread disease. They are eyesores that diminish surrounding property values.
Nov 5, 2016
No one died in the recent earthquake that struck Tottori Prefecture, but the temblor was strong enough to cause extensive damage. Several thousand people are still in evacuation centers, which means it is not safe for them to live in their homes. Most of these houses were probably built before the latest building standards were put in place to minimize damage caused by large quakes, but what most people don't know is that these standards are not uniform throughout Japan.
Oct 1, 2016
Sep 3, 2016