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Thread: Interac housing lease

  1. #1
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Interac housing lease

    Hi, another newbie who received an Interac offer here. I've been reading this site for a while and it's been very helpful, so I figured I could try asking a question.

    For various reasons, I don't really want a Leopalace apartment. They look nice but no thanks. From what I've been able to dig up, it's not impossible to find your own place. But what I want to know is, how long are you stuck with Leopalace if you decide to take it? I've heard 6 months from people on forums and the whole year from the recruiter. It might be the case that I have to take Leopalace until I can find my own, but I don't want to start looking only to find I won't be able to do it for so many months.

    (This is all assuming I'm not sent to the super inaka; I did mention to the recruiter that I grew up in a town of 5k people...)

  2. #2

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    if nobody who knows for sure answers, try checking the Interac site, the FAQ section is pretty decent. if it's not mentioned there, email the office in Tokyo.. except they won't be around to answer immediately T_T but maybe you'll get lucky!
    The mouth speaks what the heart is full of

  3. #3
    Member cosmiccircus's Avatar
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    Zombiekelly - I was thinking of asking the exact same question here XD I really don't want to live in Leopalace if I can help it, but getting an apartment on your own is reeeeally difficult unless you have blood relatives in Japan >__< I've heard that Interac can try to help us arrange a place, but I'm not sure if they would be willing to sign the contract as a guarantor. Although... I'm sure there are A LOT of placements out in the inaka where there aren't any Leopalaces, so they must be arranging other apartments somehow, right? O.o

  4. #4

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    our recruiter told us that if there isn't a Leopalace establishment in your area then they will help you with another apt... but only if Leopalace isn't a suitable option. otherwise you're on your own
    The mouth speaks what the heart is full of

  5. #5
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    There's conflicting information out there. I've asked on other boards and they've said the older/noisier places will take foreigners, and I don't care about having to pay key money. The thing is some say Interac will act as guarantor and some say they won't.

    I plan to be there for around 2 years and want my own place. I've looked into it and the only thing I haven't been able to find a lot of info on is how long Interac makes you sign for the Leopalace.

  6. #6

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    If you're expecting to find something comparable to an American apartment ANYWHERE in Japan, especially one that will rent to a young foreigner with no rental history in Japan, you're just going to find yourself very frustrated and be grateful for a Leopalace set up for you by Interac. For someone who has lived in Japan before and stayed in a shared house, the Leopalaces look pretty sweet to me!!! When it comes to living space in Japan, it's probably the first and most extreme cases of culture shock, especially for an American suburbanite, so just "gaman" dude.
    Last edited by gakumonman; December 23rd, 2012 at 11:26. Reason: because I'm going to teach English in Japan so can't have any mispelt versions of (your)

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    .
    Last edited by akanemukade; September 27th, 2017 at 05:05.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    I don't care about the size of the apartment, I already live in a shoebox by some freight train tracks here in the US. What I'm really looking for is somewhere that will let me keep a pet so I can eventually get one. I read some posts from a guy on JET who had to pay for the JET place as well as his own place when he brought his kitties, so if I have to do the same for a few overlapping months, so be it. I'm planning on being in Japan more than a single contract as it is and I don't have that much debt in the US.

    I guess a good question to ask would be if Interac gives you as hard of a time as AEON does when it comes to housing. A classmate of mine worked for them and they gave her a very hard time when she got married and didn't want their shoebox anymore.

  9. #9

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    Ok fair enough, I cant speak towards owning a pet in Japan, but not to be a dream squasher or anything but, working as an ALT is not the most stable form of employment in Japan, even if you're the best teacher in Interac's portfolio, there's still the chance that your BoE won't renew their contract with Interac and you'll have to move again and deal with finding a place that will take your cat all over again. I'm just saying maybe you should feel things out before making pet ownership a priority for your new life in Japan.
    Last edited by gakumonman; December 23rd, 2012 at 15:32.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    I don't want to be an ALT forever, obviously, but I'm a big animal person and whole heartedly believe in the stress relieving power of animals.

    My kanji isn't as good as it should be, but from snooping on Leopalace's Japanese website, they have pet friendly buildings in most of their prefectures. Maybe I could twist some arms for one of those.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    I am right there with you Kelly I had been wondering the same thing about apartments for the exact same reason xD. I didn't think Leopalaces allowed any pets, then again, I haven't heard of this certain buildings allowing pets rule. Hopefully someone else can shed some more light on this. Though, I have seen a few ALT's (in the jvlog community) with pet turtles that live in Leopalaces)
    Last edited by Konnichiwayuki; December 24th, 2012 at 01:56. Reason: I remembered something ^_^"

  12. #12
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    If you look at the pictures on the website, certain models (the ones with the stair loft) advertise a pet door between the kitchen and leash hooks near the window.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    this is interesting...
    I was just gonna get a leopalace that I get stuck with for the first time and after the year, if i want to stay longer I was gonna look into getting my own place... maybe a roommate, (fellow ALT) and all... if its in the same place.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    You're right! I just saw that little doggie door and the dog lying in the middle of the apartment. I liked the little dog hook for the leashes outside the apartment .

    Also, Merry Christmas to all

  15. #15

    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    Interac will sort your apartment for you if you request it. The following is my experience with Interac.

    You will have NO say in anything regarding your apartment. They will put you somewhere that's relatively close to your assigned schools, and that's it. If there are no Leo Palaces, you'll get a typical Japanese apartment. I wanted a more urban placement in general, and I got a rural city and my apartment is on the outskirts of that city, about 30 minutes cycling to the centre of town. Essentially, my Leo Palace is sandwiched between two rice paddies and a mountain. Be prepared for some disappointment, especially if you're angling for a pet friendly apartment.

    In my city, Leo Palace is pretty uniform: one room with a desk, mini table, raised bed thing and a wardrobe; a tiny kitchenette, bathroom, toilet and laundry area. For one person they're very liveable, but cold in winter and hot in summer (insulation, Japan...insulation.) If you want to go and do your own thing with housing, which I will be doing if forced to stay in my city for another year, be prepared for the huge upfront costs, and the difficulty of finding people and companies that will rent to foreigners. You'll need about 6 months rent (key money, deposit, finder's fee for the estate agent, other silly fees, and usually 2 months rent paid up front) and a lot of patience!

    That said, Leo Palace isn't too bad. They're small, but if you keep busy with friends and other activities, you won't spend too much time in it anyway. The most important thing I would suggest is warm clothes for winter. I don't live in a cold place, it's rarely below freezing, but my apartment is positively Baltic. Sweaters, slippers, socks and other cosy things are the best!

    If you want to move out of LeoPalace, you're better waiting for 6 months in order to get your deposit back. Technically you CAN move before then, but it's more trouble than it's worth. You'll be going to a new country, meeting new people, getting settled in at work and working out what to do with yourself and money is a problem. I arrived in August 2012. My first FULL paycheque was on 30 November. I was paid 20,000 yen on 30 Sept for my training, and about 80,000 yen on 31 October for September's work less the initial set up costs for my apartment. Depending on your current financial standing, you may not have the money to get out of a LP before 6 months.

    Also, remember that you may not like your placement! It's easy to say "I'll be there for 2 years" but you may really want to move, you may find another more suitable job, and Interac may lose the contract, thus leaving you without a job.

    Edit: Regarding pets; turtles, goldfish, etc. are usually OK. Bigger animals like dogs, cats are the ones that cause concern. Public Service Announcement: PLEASE remember that a pet is for LIFE! Consider in advance how much it may cost you to take your buddy with you if/when you go home. Will there be a quarantine, or a bill? Buying an extra ticket for a pet isn't cheap. Japan is not well known for its kindness to animals. There may well be an adoption centre somewhere in a larger city, but in the smaller backwaters, they often do not exist and unwanted pets are thrown out onto the streets and left to fend for themselves. Please don't add to the problem.
    Last edited by Yarantoikenbai; December 28th, 2012 at 23:50.

  16. #16

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    that's a really awesome reply, thanks so much for the insight Yarantoikenbai
    The mouth speaks what the heart is full of

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    Yes it is! I have a cat and was thinking about taking it, but decided against it... He is kinda old, and he doesn't do car rides very well... Pus the summer being to hot... I don't know how the air cons work but I don't think I would want to leave it on all day...

  18. #18
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    Worst case scenario I find a man who likes pets.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Interac housing lease

    @TAmember2003

    Usually your air conditioning unit is one of the "stick on wall" types; rather inefficient and not particularly cheap. It's definitely not something you want to leave on all day, the costs would be astronomical. Again, Japanese places aren't usually insulated very well, so the moment you turn off your heating/air conditioning, you will notice a change in temperature very quickly. It's not the best environment for a kitty, but you could freeze a bowl of water and leave it out for him/her during the day, so it would be cold for a while

    @stephii, you're welcome! I'm more than happy to help out if anyone has any concerns or questions. It's a big move, and I was very nervous about it myself, it's nice to have any reassurance.

  20. #20

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    Last edited by akanemukade; September 27th, 2017 at 05:06.

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