We were so excited when after much preparation, my friend and I finally got this room ready and listed it for rental on Airbnb. Despite it being a distance away from the train station, but very near bus stops and other useful amenities nearby, there were more people who came to stay with us than we had expected at first. Most likely due to the quietness and proximity to Tokyo, not to forget the free parking space.
Then, the Japanese government decided to take this service out of the gray area and make it black and white, to the dismay of many home owners listed on Airbnb. Reason being that, word has it the government is going to allow listings on Airbnb for rentals of up to 180 days a year only, which makes it pointless for many home owners to choose Airbnb as the first choice of property investment route because the amount of labor it takes might not be worth the limited potential revenue one can get out of it. That’s just half the year you can rent your apartment, and Airbnb has indicated their plan to automatically hide listings that exceed 180 days. Apart from that, several criteria have to be met for one to list their property on Airbnb.
This means, the best option would be to put it up for regular long-term rental as usual and only list it on Airbnb in between one tenant and the next. But there creates another predicament in that, homes in Japan are typically unfurnished and people usually have their own furniture they want to use. But to be listed on Airbnb, your space would have to be furnished, so this gives home owners two options:
- Move out the furniture somewhere else every time it’s not being listed on Airbnb
- Leave the furniture in and rent it out as a furnished space which will be more expensive
I’m not sure how well option 2 is going sit with locals who typically use their own everything, because paying higher rent for a furnished apartment is wasting money on “renting” the furniture and household appliances since that increased rental is recurring.
For now, the news states that the new law will be passed in January 2018 at the earliest, so we still have almost a year to go for this listing. And if you’re interested, do come stay with us!