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What happens when your lease is up but you keep paying the rent? Is your landlord allowed to kick you out at any time? And are you still required to give notice when you move out?
The landlord can not kick out a tenant as long as the rent is being payed. You do need to let him know that you wish to extend your agreement and probably pay some money but you should be able to negotiate, you do need to let them know when you wish to move. If you do not say something to them it can create problems.
I mean that in the contract it says I have to give 30 days' notice (at least pay for 30 days' worth from the time I tell them) but since the contract is now void I'm wondering what my legal obligations are. I have a feeling the landlord is about to hike up the rent or even kick me out anyway since he's renting out other units for more money and making all sorts of improvements around the common areas.
Normally your present contract stipulations will carry on, as both you and your landlord have let it expired. It is your responsibility to tell them you want to renew or not, but he is responsible for letting you know that it was getting ready to expire. Oh yeah he is in his rights to jack up the rent a certain amount. Under Japanese law the longer a tenant is in a place the more rights that tenant gets. If they want to kick you out the have to have a darn good reason and you could get compensation. Get some legal advise from either a private lawyer or from the ward office (they normally have lawyers who give out advise pro nono, sometimes they speak English).