For properties under our management we will handle all the issues with the renters. If the current renter moves out we will inspect the property, get the place cleaned up and charge the renter accordingly. Some costs may fall on the owner at that time. We will calculate the amount based on the applicable regulations. We will make an assessment of the market conditions and recommend a new asking rent and advertise the property on the internet and among other brokers to attract a new renter. Once a new renter is found we will prepare the contracts and handle the moving in.
When a broker finds a renter there are normally two months fees involved. The owner pays one month to his property manager and the renter pays one month to his agent. Many property managers want to get both months and as a result they do not share the listing with other brokers and advertise only in their shop and website. As still most renters in Japan find properties through the offices of their local broker this will make it much harder to find tenants quickly. Akasaka Real Estate will work with local brokers. We allow them to advertise the property and receive one month broker fee from the renter. And as it is still common to receive one month key money for small apartments there is generally no cost to the property owner in finding a new tenant as this key money pays for our 1 month agent's fee
Small apartments are normally rented out within a month or two, although the duration is dependable on the economic cycle. During a recession it can take a few months more. In such a time we normally recommend to set the asking rent a little lower to avoid a long vacancy.
Repairs and Renovations
Maintenance of the building is done by the union of owners. When a renter moves out some cosmetic work might be required. Occasionally an air conditioner or a water heater will need replacement. As a property manager we will handle all the required tenant requests and necessary repairs. We regularly work with three different contractors to make sure we get the work done at a competitive rate. And naturally we do not accept any presents from these contractors, even though such practice is common in Japan.
Renters are seldom behind on their rent payments. A guarantor can be called upon if the renter does not pay, but a polite phone call is usually enough. Legal procedures are expensive and slow so we normally try to resolve any situation with the minimum amount of confrontation. However in extreme situations we consider changing the locks, but this should only be done as an absolutely last measure after repeated efforts to resolve the situation through negotiations.
As a property manager we take care of all the required steps to collect the rent on behalf of the owner.
For the properties we manage all the reporting is done online through our website. The owner can look up any time the latest transaction records, including the last rent payment, the P&L statement, balance sheet and rent roll. We also provide a statement for the income tax payable in Japan. For non-residents we even handle the non-resident income tax filing.