Japan Tourism Agency will create a mechanism to make it easier for local governments to identify illegal private properties that overseas unregistered dealers are introducing. The dealer collects the information on the property on the intermediary website and enters the information on the facility where the local government complains about the residences so that they can verify that it is an illegal property. As early as 2019, we will start operation. We aim to eliminate illegal private lodging through the guidance of owners.

The local government is responsible for regulating and going around illegal private residences through administrative guidance and police crackdown request. However, it is often difficult to identify illegal properties posted on overseas unregistered sites.

Although it is common to investigate by receiving complaints of neighboring residents such as noise, there are times when they say “just friends staying” even though they are visitors. In such a case, it is necessary to confirm that unspecified large number of guests have been invited at the site.

On the other hand, if detailed locations are not publicly announced on the site, there is no choice but to proceed to interior photographs.  According to the interview survey conducted by Japan Tourism Agency, there were also many local governments who explained that “30 to 40% of illegal properties are identified.”

For this reason, the agency will catch overseas non-registered sites and build a system to gather location information of the listed property. If the local government enters the location of the property with information provided from the residents, it makes it easy to identify the property that is suspected of being illegal. That is because it makes it possible to narrow down the properties that are supposed to match.

From 2019, the dealer is assigned to begin examining the specifications of the system. During the 2019-2020 fiscal years, ensure that prefectures and municipal districts can utilize it after construction and adjustment. Estimated system cost was 209 million yen in the appropriation of request of FY 2019 budget.

Private Lodging Business Act (New Private Lodging Act) enforced in June mandated registered dealers to introduce private property on the internet. Approximately 50 companies in Japan and overseas are registered. The registered dealers are permitted to post only the property notified pursuant to the same law or the permission of the Hotel Business Law. They are also required to submit information on the property to be managed. Japan Tourism Agency instructs registered dealers to delete properties that cannot be legally confirmed.

The problem is the site of unregistered overseas companies. Japan Tourism Agency caught about 15 sites in China, Europe and the United States where properties in Japan are posted. A person in charge of the agency said, “Overseas dealers are not subject to the New Private Lodging Act.”  “Local governments need to instruct owners and managers of properties in Japan directly”, he explains.

Japan Tourism Agency investigates legality and also requests registrants to provide a list of intermediary properties. The agency is further investigating the situation as of September 30.