Increase to 555 Vacation Rentals in Kyoto CityExcessive Supply Leads to Weeding-Out after Act Enforced in 2018
The Private Lodging Business Act, known as "Minpaku-ho," which permits owners to lodge tourists in residences for a fee, marked its 1st anniversary on June 15. According to results compiled by Japan Tourism Agency as of June 7, there are 555 vacation rentals in Kyoto City, an increase of 25 times the amount when the act took effect. Absentee-owner type accommodations, such as apartment buildings, account for 80 percent of the total.
Nationwide, the number of private lodging operations' opening stands at 16,319, a seven-fold increase compared to the accepted cases at the time of the act's enforcement. In Kyoto City, there were 22 vacation rentals at the act's commencement. After that, the number of entry notifications submitted was in the range of 40 to 50 per month, increasing to 60 to 80 per month last autumn and this spring, in wait of the seasons for autumn leaves and cherry blossoms. The current number of private lodging operations opening has exceeded those of Nagoya City and Tokyo's Sumida Ward, which it had been behind last autumn.
Among the 555 vacation rentals in Kyoto City, there are 439 absentee-owner type accommodations, which is nearly four times the 116 resident-owner type accommodations. There were fewer absentee-owner type at the commencement of this act, but the situation has been reversed. In accordance with city regulations, the city has imposed a rule on absentee-owner type accommodations where the owners have an obligation to place custodians within 800 meters of their facilities. The owners meet these conditions by living in a room of the same building or having real estate agencies to appoint staff in charge at their business offices.
Regarding illegal vacation rentals, which seemed to number approximately 2,000 when the act was enforced, the city said, "A 40-person special vacation rental team strengthened the system for monitoring and guidance and reduced that number to 28 cases." By the end of this May, the team had investigated 2,518 suspected illegal vacation rentals detected through notification from local residents and other sources, leading to 2,096 stopping operation or withdrawing from the business. Among those, 394 cases were not lodging facilities.
On the other hand, the number of cheap lodging houses, which had increased sharply due to avoidance of the city's vacation rentals rules, hit 3,080 at the end of May. The number of new entries in the 2018 fiscal year was 846, exceeding 800 for the third consecutive year, but was lower than the previous year. The number of closures was 147, which is double the previous year. The excessive supply is certainly leading to the weeding out of vacation rentals.
The number of vacation rentals in Kyoto Prefecture, excluding the Kyoto City area, and in Shiga Prefecture were 41 and 57 respectively, or six times and four times greater than when the act was commenced. This represents a difference of approximately 10 times less available accommodations in comparison to Kyoto City.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)