Deregulation of hotel license in Japan
In the case you advertise your real estate at website of airbnb and receive fee, most of cases, your activity is included in Hotel Inn Business, lodge business.
If your guests shares rooms with other guest, it was lodge business.
(even if your guest stay in your lodge with his wife, he can not close the door with key. )
So, generally you needed to obtain Hotel Inn license or Lodge license (referred to “hotel license”) to operate it legally.
Private lodging Law
However, in 15th, June, 2018, new Minpaku law became effective.
If you can register your real estate based on new Minpaku law, you do not need to obtain hotel license.
However in the case of New minpaku law, you can accept guests up to 180 days per a year.
In 15th, June, 2018, hotel business law is also scheduled to altered.
Before this alternation, hotel (western style hotel) and Inn (Japanese style hotel) were differently treated.
In order to operate hotel business, the number of your rooms was ten or more.
In order to obtain Inn license, the number of room was five or more.
However after alternation, Hotel license and Inn license are consolidated.
(hereinafter referred to “Hotel Inn License”)
Then regulation concerning with the number of rooms was removed.
So, you can operate Hotel business at one unit.
Before this alternation of law, in order to obtain hotel license, the rooms should be western style. You need to prepare bed.
And each room should equip with key and each room should be separated by wall.
However after alternation, you can obtain Hotel Inn License at Japanese style room. You can use Futon. In the case of Japanese room, each room may not equip with key.
However after this alternation, you can obtain Hotel Inn License without key.
In the case of Japanese style room, there is not wall, but Fusuma = partition made by paper.
However after 15th, June, 2018,it is not problem any more.
And in order to obtain Hotel Inn License, room area should be ７square meters or more.
(in the case there is a bed, ９ square meters or more. In the case of lodge license, 3.3 square meters per one guest is necessary. So, if you accept only one guest, you can use a room of 3.3 square meters）
Depending on area of your real estate, you do not need to prepare Front desk as far as you can use ICT equipment (video camera etc. There is a company that provides such equipment. Your guest can enter your hotel by smartphone. So, you do not need to deliver key).
However you still need to be ready for solve emergency situation and confirm content of guest ledger.
And you need to prevent from entering a person who is not guest of your Hotel.(Someone other than your guest will try to stay in your hotel with your guest).
Regulation relating to the number of lavatory will be removed. As far as you need to prepare suitable number of lavatory.
On the other hand, maximum amount of fine for non licensed operator ( a person who operates hotel business without license) becomes up to one million yen.
Each municipal government, city office, ward office can stipulate each ordinance. So, depending on city, you still need to prepare necessary facilities, including front desk and station of employee.
Even after alternation of hotel business law, you can not obtain hotel inn business license at exclusive residential zone.
So, when you purchase a real estate, confirmation with authority is necessary.
(in the case of new Minpaku law, you can operate it at exclusive residential zone as far as city office does not stipulate ordinance)