Kyoto approves minpaku rule requiring host to be within 10 minute radius of property

On February 23, Kyoto City approved a local ordinance that will impose strict rules on hosts of unlicensed short-term ‘minpaku’ accommodation.

For properties located in exclusive residential zones, hosts can only provide accommodation for a maximum of 60 days per year and only during the off-season winter months from January 15 to March 15. Both traditional machiya townhouses and properties where the host also lives on the premises may be exempt if certain requirements are met.

Across all zones, a property manager must be stationed around the clock within a 10 minute radius of the property, allowing them to quickly attend to any issues that may arise. The city mayor may allow some exemptions or allowances in certain cases. For minpaku hosts who are living overseas, however, they will be required to have a full-time manager within 10 minutes (800 meters) of the property.  This is likely to make some properties unprofitable. It is important to note that this 10-minute radius rule also applies to hotel licenses for some ‘simple lodgings’ facilities. Those that already have a simple lodging license will have until March 2020 to appoint a nearby property manager. If they do not have one by the deadline, their license will be cancelled.

These rules will override the nationwide law that will be in effect from June 15 this year.

The Sankei Shimbun, February 24, 2018.
The Nikkei Shimbun, February 24, 2018.