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Rent Inequity – How to Negotiate Rent Reductions for Rental Housing

The most common complaint about rental housing is that the rent is too high. Many people want to negotiate with their landlords to lower their rent, and some do try. How should one go about getting a rent reduction?

Shoji Otani2023/10/25

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Rent Inequity – How to Negotiate Rent Reductions for Rental Housing

Rents are high for the same floor plan and size.

Q. I found out that the rent for my room is higher than the rent for the other rooms in my apartment, even though they have the same layout and size. I asked the landlord to lower the rent to match the rent for the same layout, but he refused.
I can’t shake the feeling of injustice. What should I do?


A. Under Japanese law (Land and House Lease Law), both the landlord and the tenant have the right to request an increase or decrease in rent.

For example, if the rent is too high for the same floor plan, the tenant can ask for a rent reduction.

However, the landlord’s response may vary depending on whether “some people happen to pay less rent even though they have the same floor plan” or whether “only the consultant’s room is expensive.
In addition, even with the same floor plan, there is often a difference in rent depending on the number of floors, room orientation, sunlight, and other factors.

The key here is whether the difference in rent is so large that it seems unreasonable to anyone.
If the rent is truly unreasonable compared to other units, you should organize and document the reasons for the difference and try to negotiate a lower rent as a landlord.

You can’t tell me what other people’s rents are.

Q. I heard that a tenant with the same conditions negotiated with the landlord to reduce his rent. When I asked him to tell me the rents of other tenants, he would not tell me. I also tried to negotiate with the landlord, but he refused, saying that the circumstances were different and that he could not give me the same rent reduction.
I asked him what the “circumstances” were, but he said he could not tell me because it was a matter of personal privacy. Please tell me how to negotiate a good rent deal.


A. I heard that a tenant with the same conditions negotiated with the landlord to reduce his rent. When I asked him to tell me the rents of other tenants, he would not tell me. I also tried to negotiate with the landlord, but he refused, saying that the circumstances were different and that he could not give me the same rent reduction.
I asked him what the “circumstances” were, but he said he could not tell me because it was a matter of personal privacy. Please tell me how to negotiate a good rent deal.

Written by.

Shoji Otani

Shoji OtaniPresident, Japan Housing Performance

Inspection Association (NPO) / Chairman, Organization for the Promotion of Distribution of Vacant Houses / Former Director, Japan Association of Lawyers for Arbitration ADR
Born in 1948 in Hiroshima Prefecture. In 2004, he founded the Japan Housing Performance Inspection Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving housing problems. He advises on contractual issues such as subleases, deposits and guarantees, and victim groups, and negotiates and discusses with relevant government agencies and related companies.

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