What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? Get at least two reputable real estate agents. Please contact Crown Tokyo. Proximity to school or the school bus route is important to families. For all transferees, proximity to transportation is an issue. Certain neighborhoods have higher concentrations of foreigners with shops and facilities catering to foreigners. Expat housing contracts need to be corporate contracts. If your company does not have corporate entity status in Japan or will not sign a contract on your behalf, please contact Crown Tokyo for advice. What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? Yokohama consists of 18 municipalities known as "ku." Naka-ku and Nishi-ku are two where many international shops and some international schools are located. Apartment complexes (mid- to high-rise) are available, as well as single-family houses in the suburb. Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? Rent only. Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common? Deposits equivalent to three to six months' rent are common, and tenants also pay a commission to the real estate agent. This commission is generally equivalent to one month's rent plus tax. Non-refundable key money (1-2 months' rent) is sometimes required. Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra? Utilities are not included in the rent. Average is about 10% of the rent. Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? Yokohama is very safe for such a large city, but the usual precautions should not be abandoned when moving to Japan. Like any place, there are house robberies, pickpockets, etc. I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city? 100-volt alternating current, 50 Hz cycle in eastern Japan (Tokyo) and 60 Hz cycle in western Japan (Kobe, Osaka area). Bringing large appliances is generally not recommended, as the voltage may be different and expat properties may supply the necessary large appliances. Small appliances may not work correctly due to the difference in the current and/or the cycle. Some work, others wear out more quickly than they normally would and some may not perform as well as usual. It is recommended that hair dryers, vacuums cleaners, microwave ovens, etc. be purchased in Japan. Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? Landlords do not provide curtains, drapes or light fixtures, and expect the tenant to remove them prior to vacating the premises. Apartments and houses are usually in excellent condition and the tenant is expected to pay for restoring it to that same condition. IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.