Yesterday I had another appointment with my rental agent, who showed me a nice and rather spacious apartment with lots of natural sunlight. It’s an old apartment and the kitchen and bathroom would benefit from renovation, but it is still very nice and, most importantly, ready to be moved into. So, I said we can start the rental procedure.

Already yesterday I had to fill in a “rental application form”, which is essentially collecting all my data: name, address, workplace, income, and all the information of my guarantor as well. As I don’t know details of my guarantor (like his workplace address and income), I sent him the paperwork and will wait for his answer. This form will help the owner of the apartment (whom I met yesterday, nice young man, living next door) decide whether to take me as a tenant. Once he decides (positively I hope), we can make the real contract.

Today I went to the agency again, where I received a form with information about the apartment including things like address of the apartment, contact information of the owner and management company of the building it is in. Also things like monthly rent, deposit, contract duration and renewal fee are stated on this form. And useful stuff like who’s providing gas and electricity and what things are in the apartment (think air conditioner). And what I am allowed to do and not in my new place. For example, I will not be allowed to have the two P’s: Pets and Pianos. They didn’t say anything about drum kits though. But maybe pianos are more annoying…

The most annoying thing about this form, however, was the waiting time incurred. I had stated that I would come around noon to pay the application fee (one month’s rent, refundable if the owner does not want me after all. And I was so happy that the agent’s fee is only half a month’s rent. I wonder what other fees they come up with to line their pockets…). But when I came, the form I was supposed to get was not ready, not even close. It took them about 30 minutes on the phone to collect all the information before they were finally ready to explain the details to me.

Interestingly, I did not even get angry. I watched the situation almost as from the outside, as if this was happening to somebody else. It was more amusing than infuriating, really. I have been here only for 2 years and I am slowly turning into a Japanese… Next step: mastering the language.