Japan’s short-stay law to be delayed 6 months

Those hoping to rent out their home legally on a short-term basis in Japan may have to wait a little longer as the government has delayed the de-regulation of the home sharing market until June 2018. According to the Japan Tourism Agency, the reason for the delay is to allow more time for local governments to formulate their own rules regarding the maximum number of nights permissible each year.

The government passed a law allowing short-term letting of homes and apartments in June 2017, with the rules initially expected to go into effect from January 2018.

Under the new rules, hosts must register with local governments and can only rent out their homes for short-stay letting (for stays of less than 30 days at a time) for a maximum of 180 days per year. Local governments have the authority to shorten the 180 day limit even further. Once the annual limit has been reached, online accommodation sites will be obligated to remove the listing until the following calendar year.

Pre-registration for hosts may be allowed as soon as spring 2018, although the government has yet to make a formal decision.

On August 29, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) issued a revision to the Standard Management Bylaws for apartment buildings. This revision includes a specific paragraph to either allow or prohibit short-term letting in the building, with owners associations to choose which route to take. A vote of 75% is required amongst apartment owners in order to change the building bylaws, which means 75% will need to be in agreement to allow short-term letting in the building.

Those looking to run an AirBnb-type short term rental out of an apartment building will need the apartment owners association to have provided express permission allowing such rentals in the building bylaws. Short-term, overnight letting is not favored by many apartment owners, and finding an apartment suitable for this type of accommodation may prove to be very difficult.

Source: 47News, August 29, 2017.