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Property vs House Owner 2007/12/6 00:01
In Japan who has the greater weight (legal), the owner of the house or the owner of the property the house is on?
by Lacalifusa  

owner 2007/12/6 14:14
Almost all houses in Japan are purchased with the land, so the land and house will have the same owner.
In many cases, we buy a piece of land first and then design and build a house on top of it. In other cases, people buy a new house that has already been built on the land by an agent, but still the house is sold with the land.
by mamiko rate this post as useful

according to what I know 2007/12/6 19:06
Older houses are often built on someone elses land. The house I grew up in was one of them, and the landlord had owned a huge piece of land in the area ever since there were hardly any houses, but mostly farms.

I'm not sure what you mean by "legal weight" but in our case, my family ended up doing as the owner of the land wished to, which was to purchase half of the land my family were already renting for our house, giving the other half of the land back (in which the land-owner built an apartment on), and my family re-built the house into something half the size.

Quite often you hear stories like the following. An owner of a huge piece of land, which originally was a hill or forest or farm, would die and the heir gets stuck with an unpayable amount of inheritance tax. So the heir sells the land to some construction company that wants to build a skyscraper or a big bulk of condos. There is one house that refuses to move away from his/her rented land. So the buyer of the land either pays a larger amount of money or simply tries to scare the house-owner off.

In nicer situations, land-owners and neighbors get together and discuss with authorities so that they can make a public park out of it.

Anyway, needless to say, the house-owner has the lawful right to live in the house, and the land-owner has the lawful right to do whatever (s)he wants with the land, so when the two do not agree with each other, they're in trouble.
by Uco rate this post as useful

I may be in trouble.... 2007/12/7 00:55
Thank you Mamiko and Uco for your responses.

I guess I might be in trouble.

I have some property in Japan that belonged to my family for generations. I made arrangement to pay the property taxes each year through the bank account.

On one of the property there is a home on it built and owned by a retired couple. They have been paying same rent for the past 30+ years, less than 20,000 yen per year, and I have no plans to increase the rent.

The problem is that the portion of the existing house will be torn down in the near future to allow for the widening of the street. The couple will be reimbursed by the City Government for the house. I have already donated the property required for the project. Once the house is partially demolished, I prefer not to have it rebuilt. Ifm not worried about the couple; they said that they will move once the project begins.

My concerns:
1. Their children may want to rebuild the house or even build a new home on the property.

2. I have been told that I may need to pay the residents gmoving expensesh? What that about?

3. Since it has always been a verbal rental agreement, should I have one written? Who writes the agreements?

Who, in Japan, would be the BEST person(s) to talk to regarding my concerns?

Thank You
by Lacalifusa rate this post as useful

I believe the owner of the land... 2007/12/7 01:38
Lacalifusa,

I believe that the owner of the land does. That may be limited by any contracts that exist.

My girlfriendfs family in Gifu owned a home and business that they built partially on the neighborfs property. This apparently was a great arrangement for both families until the original owners son took over. He demanded more rent or that the family vacate the property. They did not have to do either because of a written agreement.

Once the written agreement expired, the family tore down half of the structure leaving and fixing the half on their land. The neighbor then built another structure on the adjacent land.

In another situation, my buddies wife is from Nagano. Her family rented a small parcel of land adjacent to their land. The access to the road was on that parcel. The owner of the land made some unreasonable demand forcing the family to purchase, at an extremely high price, another piece of land so that they could have access to the road. According to Michan the family had no recourse since the original parcel was owned by another person and they only had a verbal agreement.

Tenshi
by Tenshi rate this post as useful

lawyer 2007/12/7 09:57
Lacalifusa, I'm no expert but if you have reasons to believe that those problems will actually occur, you should be getting in touch with a reliable lawyer. If you're in Japan, you can start by consulting free of charge at one of the foreign language consulting services available at many of the City Halls.

As for my family, however, we never had a major problem. My grandfather used to grumble that he should have bought the land when he was young while it cost nothing, and parents rumoured how the landlord was understanding but the son was not, but in conclusion we tore down the house, it was sad, but what's done was done. I visit my home in my dreams.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Need more input...please 2007/12/7 10:49
My family has already had several properties stolen by people who had been living on the property. I was born in Japan but raised in the US and Ifve always felt that Nihon jins were above doing kitanai thingsc.boy was I wrong.

I was able to obtain copies of the property records and once I had them translated, I was surprised to find out how easy it was for those people to change the ownership of the property. Three different jitsuins (my sistersf and mine) were used to transfer the property, but none of them belonged to us (we did't even have a hanko). The shihoshoshi that recorded the transfer is no longer alive, and although the people at the city offices, including the police said it looks like a case of fraud, since the statue of limitation has lapsed so there isnft much I could do about the stolen properties. Sounds like the city should take some responsibility and liability for recording the transferscoh well, itfs water under the bridge for those stolen properties.

Now all I primarily want is to make sure that the properties that have not been stolen remain in our possession. Not having people living on it seems the safest way to insure that it wonft be stolen.

My dilemma is that I can not read nor write Japanese. I can speak and understand (1ST or 2nd grade levelclol) Japanese enough to get by during my travels through Japan, but other than that Ifm lost. I have hired translators and they are great for translating written Japanese to English, but verbally, I have a hard time understanding the translated speech. I should have paid more attention when I was attending Japanese school as a child.

I enjoy visiting Japan and always go to the town where the properties are located, mainly to visit my familyfs ohaka. At least I can walk down the street and donft have to hide my face whenever Ifm there.

ANY and ALL input is appreciated. Is there avocates or groups that can look into this matter?
Thanks
by Lacalifusa rate this post as useful

just a thought 2007/12/7 19:56
That's big crime! Hmm, if you have already consulted to every possibility you can think of and already have a lawyer and still cannot come up with a solution, if I were you, I think I would discuss it with the media. Why not write a letter to a major newspaper of your choice?
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thanks for the suggestion 2007/12/7 22:36
QUESTIONS:

I have been told that I may need to pay the residents gmoving expensesh? What is that about?

Since it has always been a verbal rental agreement, should I have one written?

Who writes the rental agreements?

How long (days) will it take to have one written? I usually stay in Japan for only 5 to 10 days per visit.


Uco,
I like your idea about contacting the media, they are a much better choice then the group (something-gumi) I was thinking of contacting, As I stated before, the stolen properties are more than likely unrecoverable, It just bothers me to think that they got away with it and the nonchalant (gwaruikedo shoganai desuneh) response by the City Record Office. Is there a particular media group that you recommend? The properties are located in Kumamoto-Ken. I have copies of the property record (official) available.
by Lacalifusa rate this post as useful

Attorney... 2007/12/8 01:20
Lia Strife

Locate an attorney in the area where the property is. Have him/her draw up contracts whenever someone leases the land.

Regarding the other properties, you could question the attorney on it, and if it is worth the effort proceedings could be brought against them.

Tenshi
by tenshi rate this post as useful

Thanks 2007/12/8 01:45
Thanks Tenshi,
Can you or someone clear up the difference between a "Bengoshi", a "Shihoshoshi" and a "Fudosan"
by Lacalifusa rate this post as useful

Lacalifusa 2007/12/27 19:21
I happened to dig out this question and realised for the first time that you had additional questions.

"I have been told that I may need to pay the residents gmoving expensesh? What is that about?"

When a resident needs to move away, they need some extra money for new housing and moving equipments, right? If they're being moved away against their contract or against their wish, someone may need to pay some money and say, "Hey, I'm gonna give you this much, so do as I say. Deal?" But I recall you writing that you had already donated the property to the municipal, implying that the property is no longer yours. In that case, I see no reason you, who are not related to the property any more, need to pay anything. But then I'm a total amateur.

"Since it has always been a verbal rental agreement, should I have one written?"

In the end, something has to be written if it's still your property. I suppose you can have an agent write it for you, but that may require some extra work and fee.

"I like your idea about contacting the media...Is there a particular media group that you recommend?"

Major nation-wide newspapers are Asahi Shinbun, Yomiuri Shinbun, Mainichi Shinbun.
http://www.asahi.com/english/
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/

In fact, on the Dec 25 Japanese evening version of Asahi there was an article on professional land cons of Tokyo which was the very reason I decided to dig your question out again. Looking back at this thread, your may be a slightly different issue, since you're dealing with people who actually lived there. But just to tell you that this paper is concerned.

"Bengoshi"
means "lawyer" (which is what you need now)

"Shihoshoshi"
means "judicial scrivener" (which is better to have when you write official papers concerning your property)

"Fudosan"
You have this already explained on another thread.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thanks Uco 2007/12/28 10:38
I was introduced to an English Speaking law firm in Shinagawa and after a numerous phone calls and some correspondence via post and large withdraws from my BTM account, the potential issues with the renters has been resolved. I will go to their Shinagawa office next month to finalize the renter issue and to look into the possibility of starting proceedings on the properties that were stolen. It's a lose/lose situation, even if I win, I probably won't recover the properties since a couple of the properties was used as collateral (shakin?) for 7 and 12 million yen loans. I was told that I could and should name the City Government (homukoku?) as one of the defendants, but I don't know if I'm ready to become a (qs)persona non grata(qe) in the town I consider my furusato. Guess I should be happy with 2 out of 6.

Although you are absolutely correct about not having to give them money (tachinoki ryo?) when they move, I will ask my uncle what the appropriate amount should be and provide them the money.

Thanks a bunch Uco for your time and inputs.

BTW, IMHO, all lawyers are a bunch of *%#@#$!^, Well, at least mine in Japan offered to take me out for drinks when I'm there......wonder how much that's gonna cost me?
by Lacalifusa rate this post as useful

... 2007/12/30 05:18
--------In Japan who has the greater weight (legal), the owner of the house or the owner of the property the house is on?----------

The owner of the property the house is on has legal power but you have the legal power to the house only if you own the house.

My granparents' second house which they lived since before the WWII was that way. They owned the house but not the land.
After both deceased, the land owner cleared the arbitration by buying the house from a inheritor which was one of my aunts.
They didn't get into it legally as far as arbitration, the land owners just offered to buy back the house. I think they even have standard rates legally documented and under enacted law etc so the land owner has to follow thru legally.
This seemed to be most cases where a lot of old homes were built in that regards and the land owner compensate for the building on the property when they take it back from the home owners.
My aunt took the money and bought a apartment, she said house was too old to live in, no point in holding on when she did not own the land.
by cc rate this post as useful

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