No disclosure requirements for natural deaths, MLIT

On October 8, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) announced the new guidelines for disclosing stigmatized properties to future tenants and buyers. Up until this point, there have been no clear rules on when or what to disclose to a potential occupant, leaving it up to the real estate brokers to follow their own practices. This has been a frequent cause of trouble and confusion.

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Poorly managed apartment buildings of concern in Tokyo

Apartment buildings do not magically care for themselves. They require the apartment owners to be proactive about ensuring regular maintenance and repairs are carried out. By doing so, a building can last a long time while also helping with the resale values of those apartments. A poorly maintained building can become unpleasant to live in and resale values can plummet.

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Majority of wooden homes built before 2000 need earthquake-retrofitting

According to the Japan Wood-frame House Earthquake Reinforcement Business Cooperative, made up of contractors and architects that provide earthquake-retrofitting services, 93% of the 4,000 homes that have had earthquake-resistance inspections carried out over the past 15 years in Tokyo were at risk of collapse in an earthquake that produced a seismic-intensity (shindo) level of upper 6 or higher (*Note: The seismic intensity scale is difference to magnitude). The average age of a house surveyed by the Cooperative was 37 years.

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80% of sellers/buyers not choosing home inspections

According to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in the first half of 2018, only 18% of transactions involved home inspections. 

Between April and September 2018, a total of 5,932 home inspections were carried out across Japan. A total of 12,904 inspections were forecast for the year, almost double the number seen in 2017. Still, this amounts to less than 8% of the 169,000 existing home sales on an annual basis.

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