Tokyo’s Ota Ward first in Japan to ban overnight accommodation in exclusive residential zones

Tokyo’s Ota Ward is the first district in Japan to ban all minpaku-style overnight or short-term accommodation in exclusively residential zones. On December 8, local councillors voted in favor of the ban with the rules to go into effect from June 15, 2018.

Ota was one of the first areas in Japan to actively promote and encourage short-term rentals. In January 2016 Ota ward allowed registered hosts of properties in approved ‘special zones’ to rent out accommodation for minimum stays of 6 nights without needing a hotel license. Normally a stay of less than 30 days would require a hotel license. Councillors have also voted in favor of reducing this stay to a minimum of 2 nights and 3 days.

The new ordinance will ban minpaku-style rentals in exclusive residential, industrial and exclusive industrial zones in the ward that do not form part of the special zone.

From June 2018, the national government’s new law on Airbnb-style rentals will go into effect allowing this kind of short-term accommodation in residential zones without the need for a hotel license. However, properties can only be rented out for a maximum of 180 nights per year and hosts must meet a long list of requirements. The local government in each district has the authority to implement additional restrictions to reduce the maximum number of nights or ban the practice entirely. Districts across Japan are in the process of creating local ordinances that may restrict short-term letting even further than the national guidelines.

Sources:
NHK, December 8, 2017.
The Sankei Shimbun, December 9, 2017.
The Nikkei Shimbun, December 8, 2017.

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