Quite common in Western countries, the concept of shared accommodation in Japan is still relatively new. However, according to Oak House, a guest house and apartment operator in Tokyo, such accommodation is gaining in popularity. Fifteen years ago, the company managed about 150 units; today that figure has risen to 2,300. Shunned by some as being inconvenient and a hassle, others are being drawn to added-value properties featuring amenities such as yoga studios and home theater facilities. Oak House said there is a waiting list of 100 people at its most popular location.

Shared accommodation also has the benefit of being cost effective as no key money (a mandatory, nonrefundable payment, typically equivalent to two months’ rent, given to the landlord for the privilege of being able to live in the unit) or security deposit (typically two months’ rent, and though technically refundable, is seldom returned in full as apartment cleaning fees and other expenses are deducted) are required. Additionally, furnishings are provided, something else that is not common in Japan, meaning initial outlays can be kept to a minimum.

With the popularity of this type of housing increasing, companies in Japan are concocting various inducements in an effort to draw in renters.

While 80 percent of its properties house men and women communally, Oak House, for example, said that it has begun increasing women-only locations and other complexes where men and women are housed on separate floors in order to further its appeal among female clientele.

Seeking to differentiate itself from the competition even further, Lady Share House B&D in Osaka has come up with a rather unique method for calculating rents that incentivizes successful dieting. Renters are weighed every three months, and, starting with a minimum rent of 38,000 yen (approx. US$400), their rents are calculated by multiplying their weight in kilograms by 1,000 yen (US$10.50). So, for example, someone weighing 50 kilograms would need to cough up 50,000 yen in rent, but if three months later they managed to shed a few unwanted kilos and tipped the scales at only 45 kilograms, their rent would be reduced by 5,000 yen a month ($52).

Lady Share House B&D also has an exercise studio equipped with aerobic bikes and other fitness gear. The company managing the facility operates a beauty spa as well and offers tenants free lectures on topics such as dieting and weight loss techniques.

Sorry, guys, at the moment this property only accepts female tenants, so you’ll have to find your motivation elsewhere.

Is there any chance of this rent by weight concept taking off at place near you?

Source: News Post-seven