Inns and Hotels Act
The Inns and Hotels Act is a law set forth for the purpose of contributing to improve public health and people's lives through promoting the provision of services that cope with enhancement and diversification of the user's demands in the hotel business field, while planning to develop sound hotel businesses by securing appropriate operation in the hotel business.
The Hotel Business is defined as "a business that lodges a person for a fee" and "lodging" is stipulated as "to use a facility by using bedding" in this law. In order to operate this hotel business, it is stipulated that obtaining permission in accordance with the Inns and Hotels Act is required.
In addition,the hotel business differs from the room renting business, including apartments, concerning the following points. (1) Responsibility on maintaining and managing the cleanliness of the facility, including the rooms for lodgers, is universally accepted to be on the operator, considering from point of facility management and operation form in general, and (2) the room of the facility that the lodger uses is not the principal place of residence for that person.
Even if housing are used for lodging, obtaining permission in accordance with the Inns and Hotels Act is required, since conducting a "Private Lodging Business" that provides lodging repeatedly for a fee basically falls under the hotel business. There are several types of permission in accordance with the Inns and Hotels Act, however, obtaining permission for operating simple lodging is common if conducting a private lodging business without registration.
(Hotel Business Classification)
1. Hotel Operation (*)
Operation, where a facility mainly consisting of western style structure and equipment is established, and accommodates it to a person for a fee.
2. Inn Operation (*)
Operation, where a facility mainly consisting of Japanese style structure and equipment is established, and accommodates it to a person for a fee.
3. Common Lodging House Operation
Operation, where a facility consisting of structure and equipment is established for several persons to share, and accommodates it to a person for a fee. (pension, youth hotel, etc.)
4. Boarding House Operation
Operation, where a facility is established, and accommodates it to a person for a fee on a monthly basis.
(*) Hotel operation and inn operation will be integrated as "inn and hotel operation" from June 15, 2018 as "operation, where a facility is established, and accommodates it to a person for a fee excluding simple lodging operation and boarding house operation".
The structure equipment of the facility to be used needs to meet the standard upon obtaining permission. In addition, application to the prefectural (including the city that establishes a health center and special zone) health center, where the facility (housing) expected to conduct the Private Lodging service is located, is required.
Permission standard for simple lodging (standard on minimum floor area) was relieved in April, 2016 and obtaining its permission has become easier than before.
Cases Not Applicable to the Inns and Hotels Act
There are some cases that do not apply to the Inns and Hotels Act, even if they are providing lodging services using housing. Some examples are as follows.
■In case of providing one's house in accordance with a local government's request when an event is held
(Government Notification in July 2015)
⇒ To solve the shortage of lodging facilities in an area, when lodging facilities run short for an event that is expected to attract many customers, event-private-lodging enables travelers to stay in facilities which are originally not lodging facilities. The event-private-lodging is expected to be effective from the viewpoint of local creation through tourism, as it leads to promoting interaction between the people of the area and travelers, as well as expanding tourism consumption in the area.
■Short-term residence to vacant house properties with the purpose of buying and selling or leasing to a person wishing to move
(Government Notification in March 2016)
The Inns and Hotels Act will not apply to a short-term residence to a vacant house property from the assumption that it will be bought, sold or leased to a person wishing to move, if all of the following measures are taken.
(1) The activity of using and utilizing the vacant property is placed in accordance with the Act on Special Measures on Promoting Countermeasures on Vacant Houses, etc. (Act No. 127 of 2014), and the subject of the facility is specified in a local public entity, such as when the local public entity that is to conduct such activity has registered the vacant property.
(2) A person who is to purchase or lease the subject of the facility can be confirmed by the local public entity that such person truly has the will to purchase or lease such facility for long term.
(3) It can be confirmed that the actual condition of the facility is secured from many and unspecified persons using it repeatedly and continuously, through taking the measures written in (1) and (2).
■In cases where a regional council and other entities commissioned from a local public entity does not receive value equivalent to the lodging fee from the lodger, but only receives value equivalent to counseling related to such hands-on experience
(Government Notification in March 2016)
In a case where a regional council or other entities commissioned from a local public entity does not receive value equivalent to lodging fee from the lodger, but only receives value equivalent to guidance related to hands-on experiences, expenses paid by a regional council or other entities to farmers and other persons that provide hands-on experience services for educational trips that are accompanied by hands-on experiences does not come under the Inns and Hotels Act, as such fees do not apply to lodging fees.
Please contact your nearest health center to ask whether any matter comes under the Inns and Hotels Act.
Arrows International Realty Corp.