The general process for finding a rental is to make an appointment with a real estate agency. A real estate agency acts as an intermediary between the renter and the apartment owner. When looking for a long term apartment in Japan, contacting with the agency is good but you can also look on the internet for the information and find apartments that way. They usually have phone numbers you can call to set up an appointment to visit the apartment and see if you like it. The best way to find an apartment is to ask an agent to find one for you. Locations that are closer to the city center, popular areas, and places closer to the train stations, as well as newer properties usually have higher rent. Also, rooms where you can own pets tend to be a little more expensive. In most cases, the next month’s rent should be paid by the last day of the present month. Reikin (key money), which is non-refundable payment made to the landlord. It usually amounts to approximately 1 to 3 month’s rent. Shikikin (deposit) will be returned to the renter, when the renter moves out, as long as the rent has been paid up. At some apartments, a maintenance fee called kyoekihi or Kanrihi may be required in addition to the monthly rent. This is used for cost for shared areas of the apartment, such as electricity and cleaning expenses and is to be paid monthly together with the rent. For rent you can also look for houses instead of apartments. Houses give you more freedom with pets and also allow you to enjoy activities such as gardening in the backyard. Japanese traditional houses are also available for rent for those who would like to experience a more Japanese life. Real estate agents help to find out this kind of house.