Once settled in, chances are you'll have to pay to stay
In Japan, property rental renewal fees can cost around one month's rent per year. The question is: What is it tenants are paying for?
By PHILIP BRASOR and MASAKO TSUBUKU
In 1946, Japan was in ruins. The housing shortage was severe and inflation was high, so the government issued a directive to freeze rental fees. To make up for the perceived loss of income, property owners came up with supplemental fees — renewal fees, called koshinryō, and "gift money" or reikin, a mandatory gratuity that new renters paid to landlords for the privilege of moving in.
Though the purpose of these fees may have been obvious at the time, they became arbitrary once owners were allowed to set rents freely again. Yet many landlords continued to demand them simply because they could, and they still can. Read More