lifestyle

Housing website to offer LGBT support in finding tolerant landlords

20 Comments
By RocketNews24

Suumo is a national housing information website, compiling a vast database of available properties for sale or rent as well as providing advice and other support for buyers. Their presence in Japan is huge to say the least, with physical service counters in various locations and commercials that run around the clock.

Starting next month, they plan to expand even further by offering a search aimed at members of the LGBT community, including cohabiting same-sex couples, all over Japan. Suumo will begin a registry for landowners to specifiy that they are tolerant of LGBT lifestyles and allow tenants to live openly.

Often in Japan, people who live certain lifestyles must deal with rejection from discriminating renters or feel they have to keep certain aspects of their life secret for fear of eviction or alienation. A spokesperson for Suumo’s parent company Recruit Sumai Company said that this move was intended to help give LGBT people peace of mind when looking for a place to live.

Realtors who cater to LGBT communities aren’t new to Japan, but having such a wide-reaching company like Suumo acknowledge the need to cater to a wider range of lifestyles is an important step. In addition to increasing awareness on a large scale, perhaps this will push property owners to realize that not only is accepting everyone the decent thing to do, it’s profitable!.

Source: NHK via Genxy

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Same-sex couples to be recognized in Sapporo, Japanese city with population of around two million -- Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward to offer marriage certificates to same-sex couples -- Touching DoCoMo ad shines light on diversity, features well-known Japanese lesbian couple

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


20 Comments
Login to comment

Why should anyone's orientation matter at all, as long as they pay their rent and don't disturb their neighbors?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Often in Japan, people who live certain lifestyles must deal with rejection from discriminating renters

Just not being Japanese is enough for some - as I found out when trying to find a new place 10 years ago.

When I asked the real estate agent specifically why one landlord had suddenly pulled the plug upon receiving paperwork, he said that the landlord's reasoning was "no foreigners because they are dirty", but the estate agent reassured me by adding jovially "don't worry about it, it's because he's an old guy".

LGBT, foreign, disabled, divorced, tattoos - as Sensei258 said above, it shouldn't be an issue as long as rent gets paid and neighbors aren't disturbed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

this might be a issue in other countries, but LGBT-friendly landlords?? In Japan?? Totally IRRELEVANT, since most of japanese seems to be quiet and they usually don't disturb other neighbors, regardless of they sexual orientation. How about NON-JAPANESE friendly landlords? Never had any issue renting in Japan but I know it's a hassle for many people here.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

ThunderbirdFEB. 20, 2017 - 09:57AM JST this might be a issue in other countries, but LGBT-friendly landlords?? In Japan?? Totally IRRELEVANT, since most of japanese seems to be quiet and they usually don't disturb other neighbors, regardless of they sexual orientation. How about NON-JAPANESE friendly landlords? Never had any issue renting in Japan but I know it's a hassle for many people here.

It's obviously not "IRRELEVANT" if so many LGBT customers are having trouble they have needed special services. As the article points out, this isn't new to Japan.

If between 4% and 10% of a population are gay, that would guarantee there are more LGBT Japanese people than foreigners. And while discrimination against foreigners sucks, if we are non-Asian there's no pressure to conceal our foreignness. So that means the pressure we face is different. I've been rejected from tons of apartment applications for being foreign, but once I'm in, I'm in. No landlord is ever going to go, "Hey, did you know that white guy in 302 has been a foreigner all this time?! We've got to put a stop to this!"

As foreigners, we can whinge like spoilt children about one disadvantaged group getting much-needed relief that we don't. Or we can applaud and be allies to a disadvantaged group getting support that opens the door to us also getting support later. How selfish and short-sighted do you want to be?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Again, I always had many gay friends back in my home country (for me they are way more civilized and less childish than many straight men) but this is totally irrelevant in Japan. Especially in a country where everybody mind their business and you just can't tell apart who's straight or gay. Just look at this:

Suumo will begin a registry for landowners to specifiy that they are tolerant of LGBT lifestyles and allow tenants to live openly.

What do they mean with "openly"? If they get a straight-friendly landlord register, can I rent there and greet my neighbors with a "Good morning madam, I eat p^-^y" or have a big "Hey! I'm straight!" banner on my door? And what the heck is this pointless picture in the article?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Imagine-god forbid-actually enforcing anti-discrimination laws! Instead of setting up a ghetto website where marginalized minorities are actually afforded the privilege of giving up their hard earned money to rent property! Imagine another first world country with websites like this and "foreigner houses"!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Often in Japan, people who live certain lifestyles must deal with rejection from discriminating renters or feel they have to keep certain aspects of their life secret for fear of eviction or alienation.

At least they can hide their certain lifestyles. How do you hide being foreign?

Imagine-god forbid-actually enforcing anti-discrimination laws!

Actually, as far as I know, there are no anti discrimination laws to protect you if you are foreign.

Instead of setting up a ghetto website where marginalized minorities are actually afforded the privilege of giving up their hard earned money to rent property! Imagine another first world country with websites like this and "foreigner houses"!

I wish they would at least call them foreigner houses. They use a much more derogatory word.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think this is ass backwards. The default position should be that everyone is welcome. But, landlords who want to proclaim their ignorance and bigotry could add notes on those they don't want to rent to: disabled, gay, gaijin, vegetarian, whatever.

That way the idiots are easy to spot and shame.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I give Suumo the benefit of the doubt as am pretty sure they have LGBT's best interests at heart (not $) but I still don't quite understand the 'issue' with LGBT as tenants. Who cares about what happens behind closed doors? Plus how do they know if Akiko and Miki are lesbians or flatmates, do they (suumo and potential landlords) ask them? Same with blokes, if I visit a place with a mate will they ask if we are together? Dunno that many LGBT yet the few i know/knew never came across as noisier, dirtier etc than heteros. Why would they anyway? So am a bit perplexed about suumo's real 'contribution' to LGBT.

@hollisbrown, went through the exact same about 12 years ago. The real estate J guys I met were all extremely helpful yet it pretty much came down to us being 'too gaijin" for landlords. Have to say it was my first time in Japan and it did shock/sadden/anger me at the time (and that was in Tokyo!). We ended up calling the 'gaijin' real estate agent who 'specialised' in 'ppl like us' and quickly moved into a horrible little flat surrounded by other foreigners. And guess what, most of them were noisy, inconsiderate, dirty etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ThunderbirdFEB. 20, 2017 - 10:59AM JST Again, I always had many gay friends back in my home country (for me they are way more civilized and less childish than many straight men) but this is totally irrelevant in Japan.

You keep repeating this without substantiating it, yet the article shows clearly there is demand for the service.

goldorakFEB. 20, 2017 - 03:36PM JST I give Suumo the benefit of the doubt as am pretty sure they have LGBT's best interests at heart (not $) but I still don't quite understand the 'issue' with LGBT as tenants. Who cares about what happens behind closed doors?

Some landlords probably do. I've been lucky enough that my landlords have usually been very professional and very uninvolved in my day-to-day life (maybe because they manage with a kanrigaisha rather than managing it directly themselves), but once I had a landlord with a key to just get into my apartment whenever she wanted and I knew someone whose landlord popped her head in to complain about stuff.

Then again I knew an adult in the US who had a landlord who forbade her from having male guests over after a certain time and would actually check up on her if she thought she was breaking those rules. Unfortunately, there are people all over the world who think that their ownership of land entitles them to interfere in other people's lives. It's probably no accident that in many democratic countries the franchise first went to landowners.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Grow up Japan! These couples/people should not have to go to any special company to find an apartment. ALL apartments should be available to them - and to foreigners. The issue here is that Japanese laws have no teeth and people get discriminated against. No doubt the company will make money of this but it is sickening that this even needs to be done.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Being gay and a foreigner in Japan, having many gay Japanese friends and having a Japanese boyfriend myself, I feel qualified to say that YES, LGBT Japanese people do get discriminated and turned away from housing here should they decide to live together. I've heard of it happening a couple of different occasions from several different people. It's not just foreigners that suffer discrimination.

As I am planning to move in with my boyfriend in the near future I for one am glad that they are acknowledging this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"tolerant landlords"?!!! that is total crap. if you want to take advantage of the free market and the legal system you have to offer your goods and services WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Housing website to offer LGBT support in finding tolerant landlords

The entire idea is dumb and it just shows how Japanese think most of the time backward and always try to find a solution to the problem instead of fixing the source of the problem.

The LGBT community does not need a website to show them where to find a landlord nice enough to rent them an apartment. What they need is a LAW that guaranties equal rights to everyone and punishes severely any landlord who discriminates people and refuses to rent them an appartement because of their sexual orientation (or any distinction).

Everything that does not go that way is just useless smoke trying to convince people that Japan is getting civilized.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Agree with others that this concept is so unprogressive and obsolete. Just settle them on the rainbows.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Such a shame this is necessary.

Like so many have said, provided you are paying the bill, not destroying the property and generally being a good tenant then whose business is it what ethnicity, race, sexuality or gender you are.

While its extraordinary difficult to enforce surely there should be rules at least that you can't simply refuse on the basis on ethnicity, race, sexuality or gender.

Come on Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One of the issues is that some Japanese folk, especially older ones, seem to think that 'gay' or LGBT (just lump them all together as 'gay', because I guarantee you the term LGBT and it's meanings will absolutely confound these poor people) are these wild, flamboyant and outrageous, possibly even dangerous, stereotypes. You can hear them comment sometimes that "there are no gay people in Japan", and part of the reason is that they are imagining them to be the extreme version of the stereotype. They can't fathom that such people are actually entirely normal people. It's 2017, get with the times....wait, yeah, Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is stupid, not renting to someone because of their sexual orientation? If this is the case then I'm suprised that millions of people here even have houses with the sexual orientation they have here..... yep little girls.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, i just remembered the first year i was in Japan, i was at a real estate and i was looking through some apartments, since i had no Japanese conversational/writing/reading skills whatsoever i had to stick with the cheaper ones, then, i found a cozy one 1LDK near a convenience store and was quite cheap. But the agent insisted "外国人だめ".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But the agent insisted "外国人だめ".

seems that stuff havent changed that much huh?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites