About deposit refund trouble


2019/02/04 Monday Housing

Contracts for rental houses such as apartments, etc. are based on the agreement of both the lender and borrower according to the principle of the so-called contract freedom. However, troubles may occur depending on which of the lender side or the borrower side will restore the original state when leaving.

[Trouble example]

  • After leaving the rental apartment, I was charged with an expensive house cleaning fee, although I used it cleanly, the security deposit (*1) was not refunded.
  • After leaving the rental apartment, I was asked to pay a considerably expensive amount for cost of restitution (*2), and the amount was charged in the exceeding security deposit.

*1 Security Deposit (Shikikin)

The deposit money given to the lender when moving is called Security Deposit (Shikikin) and will be used when the person borrowing a rental housing did not pay the rent or for the repair expenses when the house is dirty or damaged. When moving out, if the deposit money have not been used, it will be returned to the borrower.

*2 Cost of restitution

When the wallpaper or tatami is naturally discolored due to  sunlight, deterioration and bruises due to normal use, etc., the lender will bear the repair cost. Dirt and scratches etc. caused by negligence of the borrower, the repair cost will be shouldered by the borrower.

If you are having trouble with rental agreement, such as refund of deposit when leaving the rental housing, Do not worry alone, let’s consult with the center.

Consumer Hotline
TEL:188 (in Japanese only)

※When you make a phone call, an announcement will flow and will guide you to your local municipal consumer consultation desk or the Mie Prefecture Consumer Affairs Center.

Click here for other troubles on consumer affairs and consultation desk.

Important points for not getting caught in trouble with Internet shopping

2019/02/04 Monday Housing


There are many people who can easily shop at online mail order site and have used things. There are sites and applications selling clothing, daily necessities, food, home appliances, cars and homes as well.

The internet mail order is convenient! You don’t even have to go out to shop anymore, you can order at home, and the goods will arrive at your home by parcel delivery. However, since the seller’s anonymity is high and it is impossible to see the items in hand, problems are likely to occur.

Let’s see an example of these problems.

I did not receive what I bought at an online shopping site

[Victim] I’ve received a sales guide e-mail. Let’s see it!

It’s a great site, there are lots of nice things!

That’s it! I want a new computer ~ Wow ~ this laptop is cheap! Let’s see!

I like this computer! It’s only 50,000 yen! But … there are lots of things I do not know … all written in Japanese. I hardly can’t read.

But definitely it’s a nice PC. Other shops sell for 100,000 yen.

I do not want to overlook this sale … that’s it! I will buy this personal computer.

Enter my name, address, credit card number here …

It looks like it will arrive tomorrow! Well, that’s fast!

[Telop] One week later

[Customer] Wait! My computer has not arrived yet… I wonder what’s wrong …

[Friend] Check the site, something might have happened.

[Customer] Yes, I will check. The site listed it as delivered, but I have not received anything.

[Friend] That’s strange … Have you ever bought something on this site before?

[Customer] No, it was my first time. I was sent a mail about the PC sale. It was cheap and looked so good, so I bought it. What should I do?

I do not have contact information on the site … What should I do?

[Friend] I see … This is difficult. Look for the company name or address on the selling destination.

[Customer] I do not see anything like that. Uh-Oh! I entered my credit card number! What should I do?

How can we avoid having such trouble? We will tell you about the important points.

Important points

Let’s check the information of the vendor who operates the site

Let’s check whether the vendor who operates the site is trustworthy, whether the company profile, representative name, location, telephone number etc. are displayed properly and check whether it is a real company.

Let’s check for unnatural places and expressions in the site address (URL).

Let’s look closely whether the URL of the site matches the URL of the EC site that you wish to purchase or whether it is displayed in unnatural Japanese as machine-translated.

Let’s check if they are using a system to encrypt on the personal information input screen.

There are fake site that looks exactly like the real ones. They are known as phishing site. If you enter the credit card information into the fake website, it might go to other people’s hands. In the URL of the page where the information is encrypted, “s” indicating “Secure” is attached to “http://” and “https://” is attached. In addition, there is a mark of 🔒 next to the URL.

Other important points

  1. Let’s save all the e-mails exchanged with mail-order sites.
  2. Let’s sprint or screenshot the screen at the time of ordering.
  3. If you cannot contact the mail-order site, let’s consult a Consumer Affairs Center.
  4. The moment you know that it is a fraud, tell the credit card company or the police.

Especially, when payment method is only in advance payment, attention is necessary.

The item that arrived was different from the image you thought

The following example is a case when the delivered product is different from the image that you expected.

[A] The hat I ordered on the net arrived! It is a product only available online!

[B] How nice! Show me!

[A] Wait! Was it in this color?

[B] That’s right … The thing that I received is certainly the color on the site… But it seems to be different from what is on the site. You have not used it yet, and if you do not like it, you can return it, right?

[A] Yeah. I will check for the return on the site I bought.

[A] Ugh. The letters are so complicated, there’s a lot of kanji I can’t read them. What should I do?

[B] You should have confirmed properly first before ordering.

[A] What should I do?

[Caption] Before confirming the order on the mail order site, you have to check the information on returning goods and exchanging items.

Important Points: Return Policy

There is no legal cooling-off system for net mail order. However, what is written about the conditions of return or exchange is referred to as “returned goods special contract” (henpin tokuyaku), and on the mail order site, display is mandatory by law.

  1. Confirm whether the return restriction is displayed on the site: Be careful about sites that do not display the returned goods special contract.
  2. Confirm conditions for returning goods and exchanging: Returning special contracts varies depending on the seller. For example, some non-refundable goods may be returned, or even if they are written as return or exchange OK within 8 days after purchase, if they are used once or unsealed, they cannot be exchanged.
  3. How to return or exchange goods, who will pay for shipping cost: After purchase, within how many days can you return or exchange it? In what way will you contact the merchant? Also, let’s check who will pay for the shipping cost of the item.

If you cannot read Japanese, let’s ask someone who understands Japanese before you press the order button to check the terms and conditions of the return policy.

Online mail ordering is very convenient, but in order to not encounter troubles, please make sure that the site is operated by trustworthy distributors, whether the product is genuine, what conditions are returned or exchanged, etc. Let’s order like this from now. Also, if the item arrives, let’s check immediately if it is the item you ordered or do not have any damages.

Problem solving becomes more difficult when trouble occurs by using overseas mail order site. Therefore, let’s order more carefully.

If you have trouble with a product purchased from abroad, please consult a cross-border consumer center.


※Not accepting consultations by phone.
※Consultations only in japanese.