Japan’s largest housing website Suumo will soon provide services for LGBTI people looking to buy or rent property.
Suumo’s presence in Japan is massive and not only has a database of properties but provides support for home buyers with a number of physical service counters around the country.
Next month it will launch a search for LGBTI people across Japan and will include a register for landlords to register their acceptance of LGBTI tenants.
Japan’s LGBTI community often faces rejection and discrimination from landlords with many people keeping their sexuality or gender identity a secret.
Suumo’s parent company Recruit Sumai Company said the new service was created to help LGBTI people.
‘There are present conditions that LGBT people are struggling to find property, feeling restrictions on living together with their partner in rental houses, or refusal to allow them to move in at all. We would like to help them find friendly landlords and support their search for properties,’ the company said on its website.
Hard to buy or rent if you are LGBTI in Japan
While homosexuality is not illegal in Japan, there are no official laws protecting LGBTI people from discrimination when attempting to rent or buy property.
A number of Japanese wards recognise same-sex partnerships – including Tokyo’s popular Shibuya district – which are deemed to be equal to marriage.
The official partnership documents allow same-sex couples to prove their relationship and allows LGBTI people to rent property and hospital visitation rights.