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Japan's new 'Airbnb law' a double-edged sword

47 Comments
By Marie Heuclin

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47 Comments
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Japan loves grey areas... pretty poor the hotel industry has the government in their back pocket :(

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Here's a thought, how will the government know you're renting out a room if you don't tell them?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Japan loves grey areas...

THAT'S IT. In a nutshell. Perfect answer gogogo. Japan loves grey areas. And let me add something else- Japan LOVES to complicate ANYTHING needlessly.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

How will the government know? Any time you advertise, I should think.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

So the police have enough officers to patrol the thousands of potential rental establishments in every city? And if they do show up at your particular door how will they prove that you over-rented? It would be simple to keep a different set of Records to show the police if they ever do show up at your place.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@ Michael Jackson

you know some Japanese people are going to call the police to report any “suspicious “ foreigners in their neighborhood or in the apartments next door, and the police will certainly INVESTIGATE!

20 ( +21 / -1 )

This really complicates things for everyone. Why couldn't they just leave it in its simple state as before? If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Just when we’re thinking of using Airbnb.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Here's a thought, how will the government know you're renting out a room if you don't tell them?

If you're renting out a place, there is a paper trail, through payments from Airbnb for the rental income.

Sure, you don't have to tell the government, but if/when you're audited, they're going to get you for tax evasion.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The new rules are as much use as a chocolate tea pot!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Sir Bentley - AirBNB services worldwide have been great and are basically the Uber or Grab equivalent of housing rentals. i strongly agree with you on this one. Air BNB basically removes the middleman (i.e. gov't or large companies) between the consumer and the guy at the other end. My guess is that the J-gov has a need to micro-manage everything or probably get a cut from them. Just an off topic here, my home country has been rubbing out ride sharing services raw because they don't get a cut from their profits.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

In the US everyone loves Airbnb, until you get one next door or down the street and the noise from house parties every weekend gets annoying. Eventually more pop up and next thing you know the locals are gentrified right out of their own home.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

"The tourist-magnet of Kyoto, for example, has said it will only permit rentals in residential areas between mid-January and mid-March, the low season for tourist arrivals."

Japan absolutely LOVES this. I met people yesterday who are staying in hotels around Lake Biwa because there is next to nothing available in the Kyoto/Osaka areas for a family. So, they have to pay extra to commute (when not using JR, since they have a pass), and waste huge amounts of time to boot. Japan is pushing for tourists so they can say, "Look how many we got this year!" and, "Japan must be loved! look!" but they actually don't want to accommodate them unless the people will pay tooth and nail into every facet of society. The problem that the government has with AirB&B is not safety, as they cite, but that they have a harder time collecting taxes since AirB&B hosts have not had to go by the usual route and pay into the hotel and lodgings scam.

They are going to panic leading up to the Olympics when they finally realize they actually had to do something, but did not. THey'll say "Who could have known we'd get so many people and have no places for them?" despite the rise in tourists annually and the scarcity of accommodation in the big cities and between.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Japan, getting it wrong once again.......come on YOU can do BETTER!!!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I pay a high rent to live in a safe neighborhood with nice schools and a quiet atmosphere. I would be 100% opposed to having any airbnb open nearby. If there are not enough hotels build more. I have heard enough horror stories about airbnb to be convinced it does not belong in my neighborhood.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Pure nonsense. At my home I do as it pleases me and those who stop by me can figure as 'guests'. Bototm line. Sure I may not be parttaking into Airbnb... but there are contless other options to advertise...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Reckless: "I have heard enough horror stories about airbnb to be convinced it does not belong in my neighborhood."

This is the usual attitude and reading habits of people who have zero intention of doing something, don't know anything about it, and so try to assure themselves by only reading and believe negative press. There's a reason this service exists and has boomed the world over with huge success, and little to no negative experiences being report, comparatively speaking; because it works. You're letting paranoia get the best of you, but I have no doubt you also beam with pride that Japan is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, but also complain about "all the Chinese and Koreans" in the city. Tourists are pretty much the only thing slowing down the nation's bankruptcy, but you just want them where you can't see and don't have to deal with them. It is dumbfounding that cities like Kyoto will only let this function in the off-season when there are ZERO places to be found in peak seasons. They are asking for their own funerals.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@smithinjapan: those sure are a lot of assumptions. I personally know a friend whose next door apartment is now used for airbnb. The so-called bad guests turn out to be Japanese college students who like to party all night. Not a lot of people want to get up at 2 am to confront an unknown group to keep it down.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

 Air BNB basically removes the middleman

Except the one called AirBnb.

My advice is to search for any place you see on Airbnb to find out if you can book it direct. We did that in Golden Week, found the same place on Facebook, and all of a sudden, there was no AirBnb commission and no cleaning fee.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wish I only needed to pay my Mortgage for 180 days a year.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is Japan the only place where you pay per person per room regardless of room size ?

Hotels are overpriced here in Japan, hence why AirBnB has seen a market place, which sadly now, will be less attractive to most wishing to scrounge together an extra bob or two.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is Japan the only place where you pay per person per room regardless of room size ?

Curious statement yes. In Japan the room charge is by person but two people don't stay stay in a single room with one single bed. In the west the charge is by room. A single stayer will pay for a single room while a couple will pay more for a stay in a double room. I think this room charge is sometimes swings and roundabouts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh, good grief! What a crock of poop! If you are gonna allow people to rent out rooms to foreign tourists just flipping do it! Don't waste millions of tax payer's money stuffing around with bogus ideas and ridiculous restrictions like, Kyoto residents can only host tourists in the off season. What the heck is that crap!?!?!? This is supposed to be about addressing the huge lack of accommodation for the Olympics and these twits restrict accommodation to the part of the year when the Olympics are not running? I usually have trouble understanding the logic behind a lot of Japanese legislation, but this one just defies any logic at all! This is an excellent chance for the minions to make a few yen on the side, but these idiots won't let it happen. Who gives a fat rat's what the neighbors think?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just had my AirBnb for Okinawa pulled out from under me due to this new law going into effect in June. They just have to unnecessarily complicate things here, don't they?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'd laugh if this blew up in the Governments face, we all know it's big business trying to screw over the little blokes

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is an excellent chance for the minions to make a few yen on the side, but these idiots won't let it happen. Who gives a fat rat's what the neighbors think? Japan are masters of keeping the rich in power and the economy held to hostage by stifling competition, at the same time labeling it as keeping harmony with society so as to not disrupt people lives. unfortunate its the sheeple that actually believe that its the government that are keeping the people safe with BS legislation like this. So the average Taro will continue to live in tiny homes and mansions struggling from payday to payday all because big business and government wants to keep charging them inflated prices for just about everything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is purely about steering the money into the hotelier department of Japan Inc. They couldn't give a toss about safety. This is yet another thing Japan got wrong in a big way. The markets are so tightly controlled here, it ugly. Not a free country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They aren't getting anything wrong. This is always about money. Big hotels and travel companies don't want money escaping their grasp. This is not the country to have a small business. The same could be said for Uber and Lyft. Do you believe that Japanese taxi companies are going to let regular people make money on the side? Helllooooo Green Plate shaken system.

Laws serve no other purpose than keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor.

Ever work at company that won't allow you to have a second job even if you are a bartender at night? No, you can't. Don't even try to make your life better. You get what the company gives you.

With that said, the Air BnB rules have been set to benefit big hotels that are eager to overcharge! They can't do that if the rest of world is looking to beat the costs by renting out a private AirBnB.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here's a thought, how will the government know you're renting out a room if you don't tell them?

Because AirBnB, Rakuten, KDDI, and the property management companies will be bound by the law. And, unless you advertise and book your property yourself, you will have to follow the reservation/management companies procedures and rules, which will be in compliance with that law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Airbnb rentals have boomed in recent years, driven by an increase in tourism and a surprising lack of hotel infrastructure.

I don't see any mention of one of main reasons Airbnb is so popular - greedy hotel owners charge per person per night making it ridiculously expensive for families or groups to stay.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you let people lodge in your property as a business in Japan, you need a licence. You have to comply with the sanitary conditions, safety standards such as a separate emergency exit, crime prevention procedure such screening of international terrorists and so on.

I do not know why but Americans are too optimistic about business using the internet as if nothing wrong would happen.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Daikisan : I think the Rugby World Cup will be the acid test , then the government will realise there is not enough accommodation for the Olympics ! I think it will be a nightmare . I'll stay for the rugby but go visit another country until the Olympics has finished . Yes , we need tourism but no-one has thought this through , I see even catering will run short . Good luck Tokyo !!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

macvToday  01:30 pm JST

greedy hotel owners charge per person per night

In reality, the rates themselves differ depending on the number of persons using a room.

https://www.jtb.co.jp/kokunai/pkg/tourdetail.aspx?tourcd=13HN45J0810053570290&dept=TYO&brand=tourdom&SearchType=standard&area=A07&TourConFlg=N#CalenderTop

Actual example

1 twin room for 3 guests: 4,900 per person, total 14,700 yen

1 twin room for 2 guests: 5,900 per person, total 11,800 yen

difference 2,900 yen

Of course, you need an extra bed, linen, towels, and so on, which are not free.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Before everyone gets all worked up to help a massive multinational corporation you should go and read what’s happening in Europe and why...

Airbnb surely is t the nice platform that’s out there to help single mums and grandpa to make a dime....

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/21/eu-blocking-cities-efforts-to-curb-airbnb-say-campaigners

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For example, a couple goes on holiday his name is David smith, and her name is Jane Jones, would it be possible to rent the room for so long in one persons name, and then rent in the other persons name different names on the paper work? and if the were working in Japan then swap over again?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@CH3CHO biz hotel in tokyo is approx 10-15,000 per person per night plus taxes - have never heard of a room for 5,000 except maybe capsule hotels

0 ( +1 / -1 )

macv 

@CH3CHO biz hotel in tokyo is approx 10-15,000 per person per night plus taxes - have never heard of a room for 5,000 except maybe capsule hotels

Kimi Ryokan foreigners very welcome. ¥6500, very nice to stay. Better than business hotel. Good restaurants in the area.

http://www.kimi-ryokan.jp

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let people do what they want with their property.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about this? Say the guests are visiting extended family. Can't ban family from visiting...they haven't got a zone for that yet. The "family" cab then give a visiting gift upon their arrival.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cab= can

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Airbnb trend is dying, as even quality space is not easy to find or maintain for owner, thats why Airbnb has started Hotel sales too, with so much crime and fights , and no security guarantee for host or guest, Airbnb model is so vulnerable. Don't destroy peaceful neighbourhoods in Japan ,even if you allow Airbnb ,instead would be good to have more Royokon chains, that are very appealing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Airbnb trend is dying

Do you mean that it is actually dying, or is it your wish to see it killed off?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Go Airbnb, break the monopoly of the greedy Japanese hotel industry, allow people to monetize their properties and give the tourists reasonably priced accommodation! Wait, hang on, you mean the apartments in my builiding will become Airbnb units? It's because the owners most likely to consider Airbnb are the ones who are already foreigner friendly you say? So, I'll be the one being kept up all night in my paper thin Japanese apartment? Do you mean my neighbours will start to resent me along with all the foreign tourists putting their gomi on the sidewalk any day of the week? You mean when I finally try to escape the madhouse Airbnb has created in my building I'll be faced with paying a 'premium' for a non Airbnb foreigner friendly apartment? Well, ok, em, sure go Airbnb!........I think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess the hotels are worried about losing business

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In my home city, with most tourists per capita within the EU, the local council will forbid the use of Airbnb by residents [often house owners who don't live there but bought them for that purpose] in certain neighbourhoods. Good news !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Airbnb is a multinational US corporation raking in profits and avoiding tax just like the rest. The concept of a sharing economy of little guys banding together to make a few quid for them selves is a just an Ad mans fatasy designed to put a warm friendly face on a giant business.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd rather stay with licensed place just like I'd rather eat at licensed restaurants. But for others, there will be a lot of those operating without licenses like many other businesses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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