Airbnb accommodation in Japan

By | Category: Travel news

new restrictions on accommodation letting in Japan

It is becoming increasingly common to book Airbnb accommodation rather than an hotel but providers are coming under pressure to conform to the rules and regulations that apply to more established providers of accommodation.

In the short term that can prove problematic for travellers to Japan. Why?

Because under a new law – minpaku – that comes into force a week today, all accommodation providers have to register which gives them official permission to let their rooms. The law means that accommodation providers must have fire and safety checks before they can put their spare rooms on the market with Airbnb. On June 1, the Japan Tourism Agency sent a notice requesting that minpaku operators cancel reservations with facilities that were unregistered.

According to a story in The Japan Times, Airbnb had about 62,000 accommodation rules on its books before the law was announced. Airbnb won’t allow any provider to stay on their site until they can verify that the provider is legally registered so what has happened?

On June 1, the Japan Tourism Agency sent a notice requesting that minpaku operators cancel reservations with facilities that were unregistered. The result was that number of accommodation units on Airbnb dropped to 13,800 suggesting that 48,000 rooms are suddenly unavailable to rent for either one of two reasons. The first is that the providers forgot to register and the second is that people did not wish to register because they weren’t going to apply the safety checks or hadn’t done them yet. They may also have been put off by the fines for operating without permission meant a fine of up to a million yen or about £6,800.

Most travellers and holidaymakers would agree with the law. There are too many horror stories from usual holiday providers about safety standards not being sufficient. For my money, I would rather know that safety checks have been carried out before I stay in a lodging.

If you have booked via Airbnb for accommodation in Japan, check to see that the accommodation is still available.

The story in The Japan Times also points out that there can be local restrictions as to how many and on what days, rooms can be let so it is worth reading if you plan on staying in an Airbnb property in  Japan in the future.

 

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