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thomas

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It looks like the wild days of AirBNB and other vacation-rental services are over. The new law on short-term lodging to be enacted in June will limit the number of days home owners can rent out their properties to 180.

Compared to other cities that's not too bad. Here's what I googled up:
  • Amsterdam: a maximum of 30 days p.a.
  • London: 90 days p.a.
  • Paris: 120 days p.a.
  • New York: minimum of 30 consecutive days
  • Toronto: minimum of 28 days, maximum 90 days p.a.
  • Pasadena: 90 day limit and host must live on property
  • Iceland: 90 days p.a.
In Japan, new rules may leave short-term lodging industry out in the cold

Japan’s new law on short-term lodging services was meant to ease a shortage of hotel rooms, bring order to an unregulated market, and offer more options for foreign visitors ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead, the law is likely to stifle Airbnb Inc. when it is enacted in June, along with other businesses based on vacation-rental websites, and force many homeowners to stop offering their services, renters and experts say. The law on minpaku (private lodging services), the first national legal framework for short-term room rentals in Asia, limits provision of the services to 180 days a year — a cap some hosts say makes it difficult to turn a profit.

More important, municipal governments, which have final authority to regulate services in their areas, are imposing even more severe restrictions, citing security or noise concerns.
For example, Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, home to the tony Ginza shopping district, has banned weekday rentals on the grounds that allowing strangers into apartment buildings during the week could be unsafe. That’s a huge disappointment for Airbnb “superhost” Mika, who asked that her last name not be used because home-based rental is now officially allowed only in certain zones. She has enjoyed hosting international visitors in her spare two-bedroom apartment but will stop because her building’s management has decided to ban the service ahead of the law’s enactment. “I was able to meet many different people I would have not met otherwise,” said Mika, 53, who started renting out her apartment after she used a short-term lodging service overseas. “I may sell my condo.” [...]

In Japan, new rules may leave short-term lodging industry out in the cold | The Japan Times
 

Mike Cash

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What happened to all the talk about the changes facilitating businesses such as AirBnB? This seems like the exact opposite. Could it be that the existing lodging industry benefited from pre-existing organization and deeper pockets with which to influence lawmakers? In the apocryphal words of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the key to winning in battle is to "get there the firstest with the mostest".
 
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Mike Cash

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I wish I knew who said it:

"Youth and skill will never overcome age and treachery"
 
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thomas

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AirBNB Japan pruned 80% of their private listings to allow home owners to comply with the new law. Lots of communities meanwhile imposed strict regulations on private lodging:
  • In Kyoto, supervisors for rooms and facilities run by someone other than the owner must live within 800 meters of the buildings
  • Sapporo and Kanazawa forbid minpaku operations on most weekdays
  • similar regulations apply to Yokohama, Shinjuku, Nerima, Bunkyo and Setagaya (depending on whether property owners live there or not)
  • Kurashiki in Okayama banned private lodging in the historic city centre

Airbnb drops nearly 80 percent of its private home listings ahead of new peer-to-peer rental law
 

johnnyG

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My sis in downtown chicago says it's condo associations that typically ban short-term rentals. It gets voted into the rules, and violators then get sued.
 

HanSolo

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I was wondering why there was a sudden change in the number of AirBnB listings, and their prices. I checked a few months ago, and now it's a whole different ball game.

That's Japanese stagnation-fetish for you. First the SIM cards, now Uber, now AirBnB. Rigid conservatism bordering on psychosis or paranoia.

Youth and skill will never overcome age and treachery
Youth and anger can. Not going to get any "Arab spring" style events in Japan though. Too many old people with too much of an iron mental grip on the increasingly fewer youth they'll increasing enslave with their pension system and rising taxes.

Mathematically impossible that something doesn't rupture somehow in some epic way. Wonder what form it will take?
 
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thomas

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That's Japanese stagnation-fetish for you. First the SIM cards, now Uber, now AirBnB. Rigid conservatism bordering on psychosis or paranoia.
^ This, and killing off unwanted competition before the O£¥MPI¢$$.
 

HanSolo

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Seriously though, this has caused me some significant problems. I really can't afford the results of this.

I also know some people in Japan who are that rare breed: a young businessman. And they invested in some apartments just to have a go at doing an AirBnB-based business. I hope this doesn't ruin them.

No doubt that would satisfy the state though: they should be in a soul sucking salaryman job for life, where they belong. How dare they attempt personal independence and enterprise.

Has anyone noted that life seems to get continuously worse? Like it's steadily degrading and getting harder, bit by bit? And when's the last time a government did a good thing? Evil bastards.
 

mdchachi

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Seriously though, this has caused me some significant problems. I really can't afford the results of this.

I also know some people in Japan who are that rare breed: a young businessman. And they invested in some apartments just to have a go at doing an AirBnB-based business. I hope this doesn't ruin them.

No doubt that would satisfy the state though: they should be in a soul sucking salaryman job for life, where they belong. How dare they attempt personal independence and enterprise.

Has anyone noted that life seems to get continuously worse? Like it's steadily degrading and getting harder, bit by bit? And when's the last time a government did a good thing? Evil bastards.
It wasn't legal from the start so they were taking a risk. They should be able to sell their apartments and hopefully recover. We briefly toyed with the idea of buying a place that we could rent out and use occasionally. But didn't proceed because it was clear that it wasn't likely to be legal in the long run.
I don't blame the government. If I were a resident in Japan and purchased a condo and next thing I know my neighbor unit had a steady stream of non-Japanese-speaking lodgers coming in every other day I'm sure I'd be irritated too.
 

HanSolo

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I don't blame the government. If I were a resident in Japan and purchased a condo and next thing I know my neighbor unit had a steady stream of non-Japanese-speaking lodgers coming in every other day I'm sure I'd be irritated too.
"Just ban everything new, nationwide" is purely the fault of a stoneheaded, pathologically conservative ruling class.

There's much more nuanced ways you can absorb new technology and culture without just saying "nope. japan desu. does not compute".

At the very least they could have left it devolved to the prefectures and cities, who in turn could zone it, and the body corporates could in turn choose to allow or disallow it.

But no, bunch of arrogant stoneheaded closed-minded old men in Tokyo can just take an anti-progressive, luddite dump on the rest of the country. For the benefit of protecting their friends business interests, no doubt.

Forget about all those empty buildings, due to the receding population, that could be put to use. Forget about how it could absorb seasonal lodging load fluctuations. "no. does not compute. the rules are the rules because the rules are the rules. X".
 

thomas

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If I were a resident in Japan and purchased a condo and next thing I know my neighbor unit had a steady stream of non-Japanese-speaking lodgers coming in every other day I'm sure I'd be irritated too.
I have to agree here. I would like to know how other countries tackle these issues (noise, waste disposal, endless successions of lodgers) and would fully understand if lodging was restricted to detached houses. Meanwhile, Airbnb has already delisted most unlicensed listings. I have been checking out a few destinations in the resorts we plan to visit this summer, and there's still plenty of accommodation available. Things may look different in places like Tokyo or Kyoto.

Airbnb users face summer crunch as Japan seeks delisting of unlicensed lodgings

You may want to make your hotel reservations a little earlier this summer. That’s according to Sho Soma, a specialist in Japan’s minpaku (private lodgings services) market, who predicts that the recent suspension of tens of thousands of Airbnb listings may leave visitors with fewer options for lodgings over the busy summer tourist season. “July is usually around the time when hotels are full for reservations, but because almost 40,000 Airbnb listings cannot operate, there is a good chance that hotel rooms will be filled earlier in the summer,” said Soma, an employee at Recreator, which operates a website specializing in minpaku.

Since last week, many property owners and guests who booked rooms through Airbnb have been surprised to find that thousands of previously listed lodgings, which had not obtained licenses to operate, have been delisted from Airbnb’s website. “In the meantime, those who are booking Airbnb right now should rest assured that the current properties listed on the website remain in accordance with the law,” Soma added. Just how long the Airbnb rental squeeze will continue remains unknown. Owners in the process of applying for licenses also had their properties delisted from the website while they wait for final approval from the local authorities that issue permits.

The government officially set June 15 as the deadline for rental properties to obtain proper government licensing in order to continue renting to guests. But last Friday, regulators at the Japan Tourism Agency announced that private lodging service websites, such as Airbnb, would have to delist properties without licensing as soon as possible. “Many hosts on Airbnb already have a legal basis for hosting. Many are currently going through or finalizing the notification process, and we are on course to register tens of thousands of new listings in Japan in the months ahead,” said Jake Wilczynski, who heads public affairs for Airbnb’s Asian regional office.


Source: Airbnb users face summer crunch as Japan seeks delisting of unlicensed lodgings
 

Shibui

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Just a heads up.
My two sons are heading over in October and have two airbnb bookings. 1 in Tokyo and 1 in Osaka. They contacted both and Tokyo supplied them with approval docs so all good. Osaka is still going through the process and anticipate will be approved in the next month.
If the Osaka one doesn't get approved in the next two months they can have it cancelled and refunded by airbnb.
The main thing as has been said is for patrons to approach Airbnb to cancel not cancel themselves.
 

mdchachi

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The culture of sharing is not ingrained in society

But somehow it got a foothold when it comes to izakaya. Although I guess that's sharing within the group. Not sharing in general.
 

thomas

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It seems that things are getting serious: the first violations of the new minpaku law have been referred to court. Obviously, AirBNB has not purged all black sheep from their database yet.

First case of unlicensed private lodging in Japan sent to prosecutors

Police in Kyoto referred to prosecutors Friday four officials of a hotel management firm for allegedly running an unlicensed private accommodation service, making it the first case of its kind since a private lodging law came into force in June. The four are suspected of providing accommodation to a total of 15 tourists in Kyoto between June 14 and 23 without obtaining a permit from the local government, according to the police. The Kyoto city government had previously warned the company, Capital Incubator, over the unauthorized lodging operation, but the Kyoto-based firm did not follow the authority’s guidance. The four admitted to the allegation, telling police that it was too much work to renovate the property in order to comply with the law. The operator was recruiting guests via an online reservation site run by a major company.

Last month, the Japan Tourism Agency said that about 3,000 of 25,000 lodging facilities on online reservation sites were suspected of operating without permits. The agency is strengthening its monitoring and urging the operators of reservation sites to immediately delete the details of unauthorized businesses. [..]


Source: First case of unlicensed private lodging in Japan sent to prosecutors | The Japan Times
 
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