Court negates renewal fees

The high court here Thursday ordered a landlord to return money to a tenant who paid a fee when renewing his apartment contract, overturning a lower court decision.

The ruling was the first by a high court and follows a landmark ruling in July by the Kyoto District Court which also invalidated the contract renewal fee.

The plaintiff in the latest case had sought the return of about 550,000 yen in contract renewal and other fees.

The Kyoto District Court in January 2008 ruled against the man, but the Osaka High Court overturned the decision and ordered the landlord to return 450,000 yen.