Important points to note when vacating your home for extended periods
Here you will find points to be aware of when vacating your home for an extended period of time, whether for work placement, home leave or a long vacation. While you are away, issues may arise which will require your attention. Please check the contents below carefully to help ensure a stress-free period of absence.
- If you pay your rent by bank transfer, make sure to transfer the rent for the whole period you will be away BEFORE your departure. If this is not possible, be sure to set reminders – either through diaries/calendars or on your mobile devices, as it is easy to forget to pay when you are overseas.
- If your utility bills do not come out of your account and you will be missing a payment cycle, make sure your bills are forwarded to someone who can pay them for you, or arrange for someone to regularly check your mailbox.
Provide contact information, Procedures for delivery
- Provide your building’s management company with emergency contact information, and an email address you can be reached through
- If you are leaving the country for more than one month, please provide the management company with an emergency contact who will be in Japan during your absence. Also let them know your planned dates of departure and return.
- For long absences, notify the post office in advance. The post office can hold mail items for up to 30 days if you fill in a “fuzai todoke” (notification of absence). Alternatively, you can have them forward mail to another address in Japan.
- If you have any regular deliveries (such as newspapers), make sure to suspend service until your return.
Equipment, appliances and final checks
- Where possible, make sure your delivery box (takuhai box) will not be used during your absence.
- Make sure that no taps are dripping, and if you are leaving for an extended period, turn off the mains supply.
- Clean the kitchen, making sure to remove all food stains and moisture, as these may cause mold and attract pests.
- If you have a ventilation system that usually works 24/7, make sure it is left on in your absence to help prevent mold.
- If a maid will be visiting the home in your absence, be sure to give any specific instructions (such as those outlined on this page) before your departure.
- Empty your refrigerator and freezer as much as possible.
- Unplug any electrical devices that will not be in use. This will help prevent fires and potential surges in the event of a lightning storm.
- Please do not turn off the electrical breaker before you leave, as this will cut power to the drainage pump, and may lead to water leaks. Ventilation systems may also be affected.
- Make sure that outside drains are not blocked by leaves etc. and clean them before your departure. Water damage originating from a poorly maintained drain will be considered your responsibility, so if you are leaving for an extended period, arrange for the drain to be kept clean while you are away.
- Turn off all gas taps.
- Make sure any security systems are set correctly when you leave.
- Wherever possible please do not take your house keys with you if you are leaving the country. Instead, leave them with someone you know in Japan.
- Please do not leave pets in your home alone while you are away. Leave them with a friend or use a pet hotel or pet sitting service.
While you’re away
- Be very careful with your keys. Make sure your keys always travel with you, preferably in hand luggage. Do not send them in unaccompanied baggage. Make sure you have your keys to hand before you return to Japan.
- If the building management company tries to contact you, please respond in a prompt manner.
Please understand that there may be times when, due to an emergency or scheduled maintenance/inspections, you may be asked to give permission to enter your home while you are away.
- Please check your mailbox and delivery (takuhai) box.
- Make efforts to thoroughly ventilate the property.
- Please note that if there is an unpleasant smell from the sink, the cause may be a lack of water in the part of the drain that seals the odor from the pipes below. This can be fixed by running some water and waiting.
Have a good trip!