Q&A : Real property in Japan

How is real property defined in Japan?

In Japan, Civil law Article 86 says that “Land and any fixtures thereto are regarded as real property.” A fixture usually refers to a building. Also, Land and a building are each regarded as separate and independent pieces of real property.

How is real property used in Japan?

Real property in Japan is used as a residential, office and retail purposes.

How is real property used as a business in Japan?

For example, in Japan, real property developers can build detached houses and condominiums and sell them to people for a profit. Estate agencies help people to buy houses and condominiums and they charge a fee for this. Real property can also be leased to individuals and companies for a profit.

What is the major right to use real property in Japan?

The most important right of real property in Japan is ownership.

Are there any other rights to use real property in Japan?

In Japan, another important right of real property is called leasehold. Leasehold involves a contract (or lease) by which a landlord or lessor gives a tenant or lessee the temporary right to use land or other real property.

What is the process of purchasing real property in Japan?

A conveyance of real property by purchase must be recorded in writing to be legally valid and able to be asserted against persons other than a seller. Property registration is made at the local Legal Affairs Bureau by submitting the necessary application form and attachments to prove a conveyance of real property.

Some documents about a conveyance are needed with the application for registration of transfer of ownership, (Purchase and sale agreement or a document in which the seller confirms details of the conveyance such as buyers, date and time, the contents of the property.), seller’s Seal certificate (within three months from verification), Registration certificate and buyer’s copy of the certificate of residence.

When the registration is completed, a registration certificate and registration completion certificate are issued by the local Legal Affairs Bureau.

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