Archive For The “Buyer Beware!” Category

Developer loses 6 billion Yen in fraudulent land sale

Developer loses 6 billion Yen in fraudulent land sale

Major property developer Sekisui House has reported to have lost as much as 6.3 billion Yen (approx. 58 million USD) to scammers in a fraudulent land sale in central Tokyo. According to a public announcement made by Sekisui earlier this month, they had agreed to purchase the property from a company that claimed to have…

Three arrested for fraudulent sale of land in Minamiazabu

Three arrested for fraudulent sale of land in Minamiazabu

Three men and women have been arrested for the alleged fraudulent sale of a 300 square meter block of land in Tokyo’s upscale Minamiazabu neighbourhood. According to the police department, the suspects forged the identity of the landowner and collected a 240 million Yen (approx. 2.15 million USD) payment from a buyer in early 2014….

Real estate investors: Beware of sales talk

First-time property investors across Japan are starting to find themselves with poor performing investments that don’t meet what they were promised by salespersons. Despite cashflow-positive claims made at investor seminars, some buyers are finding out that their rental property is running in the red, which means they pay cash out of their own pocket each month…

Sublease lawsuits on the rise

Sublease lawsuits on the rise

Disputes on sublease agreements for rental properties are on the increase across Japan. A sublease or rental guarantee agreement is where a company, often a real estate agency, leases an apartment building or block of flats from the property owner to sublease out to tenants. The owner is guaranteed a fixed rent each month and…

Foreign buyers of real estate in Japan still lack adequate support from agents

As a foreign buyer of real estate in Japan, whether living abroad or in the country, you may find that there are only a small number of real estate agencies that are capable and experienced in working with foreign clients. Even if the language barrier is not an issue, finding an agent who has worked…

Sublease and rental guarantee agreements causing problems for first-time investors

Starting September 1, companies* offering sub-lease arrangements to investors and landlords will be obligated to include a clause in pre-contract documentation to warn the property owner that future rent may be subject to change. The new rule has come after a recent spike in complaints from landlords who, at the advice of real estate brokerages and construction…

Beware of agency-arranged building inspections

Recently, several of Japan’s major real estate brokerages have started offering home inspections on properties they list. In some cases the agency will offer to provide coverage for up to two years following the sale for any defects, but the fine print usually requires the property to already be free from defects and for the…

An agent’s disclosure obligations regarding stigmatised properties

Under Article 47 Item 1 of Japan’s Real Estate Brokerage Act, agents are prohibited from intentionally failing to disclose any matters relating to the building that may have a serious affect on the client’s decision to proceed with the transaction. This means that real estate agents are obligated to notify clients of defects to a property, such…

Consider earthquake resistance when buying real estate in Japan

Consider earthquake resistance when buying real estate in Japan

Nowadays Japan has some of the most rigid earthquake codes, however that wasn’t always the case and older buildings may be more susceptible to earthquake damage than some buyers realise. Picking a location Choose a property on solid ground. Properties on reclaimed land, flood plains, former lakes, ponds, riverbanks, rice fields, or marshes are more…

Ageing gas pipes pose potential hazard

Ageing gas pipes pose potential hazard

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has estimated that there approximately 80,000 gas pipes across the country in commercial and residential buildings that pose a risk of gas leaks due to the age of the pipes. An additional survey in 2014 found that there were 8,290 ageing pipes in public buildings, including schools and…

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