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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

LIFELINES

Deposits, insurance and health


Security deposit

I think I've heard that a law's been passed preventing a landlord from keeping your security deposit for wear and tear of an apartment.

Can you give me any information on this or point me in a good direction.

I have still got another year on my lease but I want to start planning ahead.

We just checked again with our real estate friends and the law did indeed come into force in Tokyo on Oct. 1, 2004.

It was in response to a lawsuit filed by a renter who was sick and tired of having to pay for normal wear and tear.

Basically, although the lawsuit was in Tokyo and only Tokyo made the law change, it can be pretty much applied throughout Japan using the Tokyo law as an example.

Do any of our readers have experiences outside of Tokyo?

For any questions, call (03) 3585-0026 and speak with Mr. Yamaguchi of the Zaikei Real Estate office.

From our readers

I was somewhat surprised to read your answer to the lady who was denied insurance because she is a foreigner.

It happened to me too, but my strategy is to take my money away from where I am not welcome.

Particularly in the case of nonlife insurers, I have noted many TV commercials and ads coming from long established foreign firms that are managing to pry open the market that not so long ago was reserved only for Japanese companies.

I found it difficult to believe that your reader would be denied service by the Japanese subsidiary of a Swiss Insurer such as www.zurich.co.jp , a French Insurer like www.axa.co.jp, or an American insurer like American Direct ( www.americanhome.co.jp ).

Of course, as you stated in your reply, if she is not fluent in Japanese it would be better to get some assistance from a Japanese-speaking friend.

Nevertheless, some insurers could have staff members who speak English and can help.

As for me, when I was denied insurance because my vehicle didn't yet have its license plates I called the nearest office of Generalli ( www.generali.co.jp ), which provided me with an English translation of my insurance policy.

However, I don't know if they extend this courtesy to every non-Japanese customer.

Care in English

I am looking for an English-speaking gynecologist in Yokohama.

If there isn't, any in Tokyo would be fine.

You can call Dr. Fukuda at (045) 224-8030. For any other medical needs in Yokohama, try the Bluff Clinic at (045) 641-6961.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

Ken Joseph Jr. directs The Japan Helpline at www.jhelp.com or on (0570) 000 911


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