Overnight accommodation laws relaxed in Fukuoka City, but for limited times only

To alleviate the strain on hotels in Fukuoka City, the mayor announced on December 8 that the hotel letting laws would be temporarily relaxed to allow private residences and apartments to be leased out to guests.

As a trial run, the license-free* letting period will be limited to just five days this month when Japanese pop bands Arashi and Exile are scheduled to hold concerts in the city.

On December 17 ~ 19 and 26 ~ 27, homeowners will be permitted to rent out rooms in their homes, while landlords, or tenants with the express permission of their landlords, will be permitted to lease out empty rooms to overnight guests.

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Lodging license required for Airbnb hosts in Fukuoka Prefecture

On July 10, Masashi Haranaka, a member of the Fukuoka prefectural assembly, confirmed that anyone who wants to rent out rooms on a nightly basis using online sites, including Airbnb, is required to obtain a license under the Inns and Hotels Act. This includes private individuals looking to offer out rooms in their own house to people in exchange for payment.

Under the Inns and Hotels Act, individuals and businesses looking to rent out rooms or entire homes to guests on a nightly basis must receive permission from the prefectural governor. This is the first time the prefecture has specifically indicated that this definition also applies to people renting out their own home to guests.

The prefecture has also indicated that they will conduct physical inspections to identify and prosecute people found to be operating illegally.

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Fukuoka’s Island City land not selling

In a similar fashion to Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district, Fukuoka City’s manmade island is also running at a huge loss.

According to the city, the deficit at the time of the project completion was 18 billion Yen (23.4 million USD). In 2009, the city had forecast land sales to result in a 12.5 billion Yen positive balance. However, poor economic conditions meant that land values fell from 13,000 to 10,000 Yen/sqm, plunging the project into the red.

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