Certification system eyed for rental housing with elderly watch services

Japan is taking steps to make it easier for rental housing owners to lease their properties to elderly individuals by certifying rental housing equipped with services to watch over tenants.

The land ministry is envisioning a system where local governments will certify rental housing offering monitoring services for elderly tenants, provided by local operators of support services for the elderly struggling to secure rental homes.

Property owners often hesitate to enter rental contracts with seniors and individuals with disabilities due to concerns about their ability to pay rent or that they may die in their homes and not be discovered for a lengthy period of time.

Japan currently has a system for property registration with local governments to accommodate elderly and other individuals requiring special assistance in securing housing. However, the number and quality of registered housing units are considered inadequate, especially with the expected increase in elderly individuals, particularly those living alone.

For rental housing certified under the planned system, services to watch over elderly tenants would be provided mainly by local social welfare corporations and nonprofit organizations that support elderly people struggling to find rental homes.

These service providers would regularly visit tenants, utilizing information and communication technology devices like motion sensors to ensure their safety. Additionally, they would assist tenants in accessing essential public services such as medical care and elderly assistance programs.

Also envisioned is a system to publicly certify debt guarantee companies that cover rent obligations of elderly and other people needing special assistance in finding rental homes.

To implement these systems, the government is expected to submit legislation for revising the housing safety net law during the current ordinary parliamentary session.


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