Sumitomo bans AirBnb-type rentals in new condominium

According to the Nikkei Shimbun, property developer Sumitomo Realty & Development has taken an unusual step by adding a clause to the management bylaws of a new condominium that outright bans any short-term letting by individual apartment owners.

This is in response to a growing number of complaints from buyers after moving into a building and finding that a number of units, even the guest suites usually reserved for residents and their guests, were being illegally rented out by investors as overnight accommodation to tourists.

Having short-term rentals in a condominium can erode property values. Having a number of random strangers using a building’s facilities, leaving entrance doors unlocked, having parties in the lobby, and possibly not following etiquette rules such as keeping noise down and the proper disposal of garbage and recycling, is the most often-cited complaint from owner-occupiers. If a building is known as having a lot of short-term rentals, buyers may be turned off by the property and re-sale values can be negatively affected.

Earlier this year a 33-storey condominium in Tokyo’s bayside area called ‘Brillia Mare Ariake’ was one of the first residential buildings in Japan to outright ban any AirBnb-type overnight rentals in the building.

Management bylaws outline rules for the use of the building, including both the common areas (lobbies, car park, elevator hallways, balconies) and exclusive-use areas (inside the apartment). Apartment owners are expected to abide by these rules, although they may not always be legally enforceable.

Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, December 8, 2015.

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