Own Your Japan

A person tries to use their home as an office and is asked to leave.

Shoji Otani2023/10/15

A person tries to use their home as an office and is asked to leave.

Q. I am currently renting a property for residential use, but I would like to use it as my home and office when I become independent. When I consulted with the management company, I was told that if I use the property as an office, I will be asked to move out. Do I have to move out?


A. In general, you cannot use a property that is zoned “Residential Only” as an “office” or anything like that. However, there are different types of “offices”. It is not true that all “offices” are not permitted. The key is how much work you bring to a “residential only” property.

One of the problems with using a property for business purposes is that an indeterminate number of people will come and go. This is because the coming and going of an indeterminate number of people can interfere with the safety and comfort of other tenants, make it difficult for tenants to use the parking lot or bicycle storage, or cause serious damage to the property itself.

However, if the property is a “home and office” with few visitors, the other tenants will not have to worry. Also, there would be no problems that would interfere with the use of the parking lot or bicycle parking.

For example, there are many cases where an individual’s workspace is called an “office” for convenience, as a place to register self-employment. In addition, with the introduction of remote work, it is becoming more common for people who work for a company to also work from home.

In the above cases, “home and office” is considered to be within the permissible range, even if it is used exclusively for residential purposes.

You can explain the details of the “office” use to the management company and the landlord and ask for their understanding by submitting a letter stating, for example, “If, by any chance, the use as an office causes inconvenience to the landlord or other tenants, the use as an office will be terminated.
If the management company or landlord does not understand the situation and you use the space as an office, you may get into trouble with the management company or landlord, and in some cases this may lead to a lawsuit, so you should carefully explain the situation and seek their understanding.

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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