What Happens if You Miss A Rent Payment in Japan?

I’m usually quite conscientious about making sure all of my bills get paid on time, even if it means I don’t have a lot of funds leftover. I just hate having debt burdens on my shoulders (DAMN YOU STUDENT LOANS!). There is one instance in recent memory where a silly, unintentional mistake ended up leaving my account just under what I needed to pay my rent.

Whenever I get paid, the first things I set aside are my payments for my two student loans and my rent payment, which is 55,000 yen. I actually have set this money into a separate account to keep me from even being tempted to use it for any reason. One day my hunger got the better of me, and my everyday use account was just about empty. I pulled 1000 yen out of the very account that I was using to pay my rent. Harmless right? Wrong!

I thought I had put more than enough into my account to prevent just such an instance. However, there was one bill that I forgot about, though, my automatic Softbank payment (for those who don’t know, Softbank is my cell phone provider here in Japan). Because Softbank pulled their money automatically a few days later, and I had taken out a little. After all was said and done, my bank account ended up being at 53000 yen on the day the company (Kazusaya) tried to pull the rent…2000 yen short…ugh.

I found out about the little snafu after my payment was due, and thought, “Oh crap, I’d better put the money in!” I did.

I was expecting that Kazuya (the apartment company) would try to draft the fee once more, but that never happened. I began to worry as to whether a late fee would be assessed, whether I was going to have to jump through hoops just to get my rent paid. I was a little nervous because it’s never happened before.

GET TO THE POINT, DONNIE!! What Exactly Happens to You When Forget to Pay Your Rent in Japan?

Okay, are you sure you want to hear this?

Well when you forgot to pay your rent, they hire a team of ninjas to come after you. On the first notice, the ninjas are actually quite friendly. They just come up to you with smiling eyes and just say “Don’t forget about that rent payment, okay buddy!” Time passes…the second notice comes around. Generally the same team comes to your apartment and this time, unfortunately, they rough you up a bit with their empty hand ninjitsu techniques. The third notice, they take about the blunt weapons: brass knuckles, nunchaku, etc…weapons that are just meant to bruise and cause pain. Remember, the goal at this point isn’t to maim or kill, it’s “gentle” coercion. And on the fourth notice…you really don’t want to go there…ALL BETS ARE OFF! I’m talking shuriken, swords, hand claws, smoke bombs, shinobi black magic coupled with the intent to maim or kill. The fourth notice is seen as a direct insult the the company you’re renting from and the only way to restore their honor is to take your life. Kinda sucks…


In reality, I received a phone call from the apartment’s billing company. It was a little tough to make out everything the woman on the other end was trying to communicate. I was able to recognize enough Japanese to know she was talking about my rent, and that she was going to send a bill in the mail. She was quite polite, and things were settled quickly and easily.

A few days later I checked my mail box and this was inside:

I took this bill to my local convenience store, paid it, and now everything is back on track:

I did have to talk to the representative in Japanese, so it might be a little challenging, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”

I’m not certain that you follow the same procedure in all circumstances, but I would imagine that it would be something similar. If something happens with your rent payment, I just recommend getting in touch with your apartment management, or whoever is responsible for receiving your rent payments, as soon as possible and just let them know what’s going on (even if you have to get a Japanese person to do it for you). But don’t panic…it only makes things worse…trust me.

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow!


Donald Ash

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  • Mariko


    • Donald Ash

      お疲れ様でした, まりこちゃん!

    • Donald Ash

      お疲れ様でした, まりこちゃん! :)

  • Marisa

    Yeah, I love it here that when you don’t have enough inn your account when an auto payment goes through that they just send the bill in the mail. Not like back home where they keep putting it through and you get charged late fees and over draft fees every time they try to put it through.

    • Donald Ash

      I agree. It’s definitely a lot more lenient here, Marisa.

  • Stoo

    By law they can’t evict you for up to 6 months unpaid rent!

  • Donald Ash

    Really, Stoo? That’s pretty interesting info.

  • Really interesting article. Things are simple in Japan, even the complicated things.

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