Difference between revisions of "Minpaku AirBnB"

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They seem to have trouble comprehending that we have a shared entrance area and still have some issues understanding that we live in the same house, although this is one of the requirements for getting an airbnb licence. There was discussion about the thickness of the walls and whether those measurements needed to be added. No fewer than 3 highlighter pens were used on the blueprints and there was a lot of calculation. At one point L-san said it was all a bit silly and can they just tell us what number they want and we will write it, we are easily under the 50m regulations for the fire safety certificate which we already have. The staff laughed, but they didn't tell us what number they wanted, they weren't sure of it themselves. So that paper needs to be typed again and they were unable to photocopy my passport, despite the photocopier right there, so I will make a copy for them.
 
They seem to have trouble comprehending that we have a shared entrance area and still have some issues understanding that we live in the same house, although this is one of the requirements for getting an airbnb licence. There was discussion about the thickness of the walls and whether those measurements needed to be added. No fewer than 3 highlighter pens were used on the blueprints and there was a lot of calculation. At one point L-san said it was all a bit silly and can they just tell us what number they want and we will write it, we are easily under the 50m regulations for the fire safety certificate which we already have. The staff laughed, but they didn't tell us what number they wanted, they weren't sure of it themselves. So that paper needs to be typed again and they were unable to photocopy my passport, despite the photocopier right there, so I will make a copy for them.
  
Closing in on 5pm, well over our alloted appointment time, Lorraine said we would be back tomorrow at 8:30am sharp with the papers. The staff laughed and we laughed with them. And then they realised she was serious. One staff bravely said they are just arriving at 8:30am and perhaps 8:40 would be better. We'll take that thank you very much and we will be there tomorrow at 8:40am with, what just might be, the final papers. But I won't count on it...
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Closing in on 5pm, well over our allotted appointment time, Lorraine said we would be back tomorrow at 8:30am sharp with the papers. The staff laughed and we laughed with them. And then they realised she was serious. One staff bravely said they are just arriving at 8:30am and perhaps 8:40 would be better. We'll take that thank you very much and we will be there tomorrow at 8:40am with, what just might be, the final papers. But I won't count on it...

Revision as of 18:18, 17 May 2018

April 10, 2018

This morning I went to Shibuya ward office with our estate agent who helped us 2 years ago when we were building our house. She went over all the things needed to register for minpaku(airbnb). The staff were very young girls, not the ojisantachi(old men) I was expecting. They seemed to know their stuff although my agent pushed them a few times on some specific points.

My next step is to get some certificates to say I am who I say I am (?) and that I live in the house, and to register with a gomi(rubbish) company so that the guest gomi isn't being taken by shibuya ku gomi service. I said that the Shibuya website says we can put out up to 4 45litre bags at a time but they said minpaku rubbish must be picked up by a separate company. There is no getting around this as the flyer that I have to give to the neighbours has to have the outsourced gomi company and their phone number on it.

I also need to go to the fire department and arrange for an inspection as well as for emergency lighting to be installed.

There are a lot of other papers regarding the house and layout but the estate agent already has them. I don't know what will happen if the neighbours complain after I give them the "FYI we're going to do minpaku" paper. Will probably give some omiyage (small gifts) at the same time. Open to ideas and suggestions here. We have to tell neighbours within a 10 metre radius. At no point was zoning areas discussed.

My agent told them I teach cooking classes at home (which I do) but didn't mention that I also work outside the home. She told me not to tell them that.

We are planning on installing security cameras on the outside of the house but we are waiting to see if the neighbours complain and, if they do, this will be our peace offering.

I think it went well and it isn't impossible but the mendokusai (PITA) level is quite high.

April 13, 2018

update on the garbage, just pasting from the mail I got.....And to talk about garbage, I called Shibuya Garbage Office this morning. You are right ! The man in order said, fundamentally you have to make an agreement to Garbage collection agency, but when there is not much garbage, then you buy the seal for business garbage, then you can take out the garbage as usual. The limit of the amount of garbage are 3bags (45L/bag ) every time. The seal/sticker for business garbage costs just over 3000yen for a pack of 10 and can be purchased at the convenience stores.

April 20, 2018

A trip to the Shibuya fire department today, since our airbnb space is under 50 m^2 and is a standalone house and we live there we did not need the emergency exit signage. The fire staff said that the laws may change in the future and we may need the exit sign then (or when we change to the hotel licence) but, for now, we are ok and we got a hanko to prove it. We had tried to get an appointment on Wednesday but the staff at the fire department said they have been swamped with minpaku applications and the earliest we could get there was this afternoon.

Our agent is going to do the application online and we will go to the ward office after golden week to hand in the necessary papers. In the meantime I have a paper to hand to the neighbours which says we are planning to do minpaku and we'll try our best not to be meiwaku (a nuisance) about it and to call me or talk to me if they have any concerns. Was surprised that the number on the paper is my number and not some Shibuya minpaku complaints hotline.

Have picked up packs of Lindt chocolate to hand out with the papers, we also have to give a paper to the manager of the neighbourhood association, a really old guy with no teeth that I can't understand very well, hope he can eat chocolate, continuing on bravely with fingers crossed and hope for the future :)

May 11, 2018

The next step. L-san, who is helping me, made an appointment with Shibuya ward office to submit the documents, she had already done an online registration for us. The current appointments for minpaku at the ward are for only 30 minutes and it took us a week to get an appointment so I guess there are a lot of other people going through the same process. Safety in numbers? ☺ The old guy with no teeth had contacted L-san because he didn’t understand what minpaku was so we will go and meet him next week and explain it. He’s very traditional though so I may have to take husband who speaks limited Japanese to add gravitas. He wasn’t angry or upset when he called, just confused. Will take that as a win.

Stopped and got a quick printout of our family register for 300yen. The minpaku area at Shibuya is still small but packed with staff now, there were at least a dozen staff behind the counter. Two other people were already there for their appointment. No seats are offered, it is one of the first times I have experienced dealing with paperwork and signatures without being offered a seat. It feels like they didn’t anticipate this much action. The two staff who we dealt with today, one was an elderly gentleman who was fairly relaxed and interested in chatting a bit, the other was a young girl who seemed like she had had enough, she spoke briskly and left no room for error. There were two young girls standing by her taking notes, she was definitely under pressure.

Handed across the papers we did have, I think we had 6 out of 9, and this was checked off on a list by the elderly gentleman. I used my hanko (signature stamp) three times. There were 3 papers we didn’t have, 1 of which we actually did have but it was not up to the standard they required. The second was just a paper to say my husband has given me power of attorney. They brought out a compass to measure the radius around our home on our printed google map to make sure we had informed the correct amount of neighbours. There was some discussion about the empty home of a woman who recently passed but no discussion at all about the abandoned house behind us. They also checked our map showing a 150metre radius to check there were no schools in that area. They were quite serious about this.

One of the papers they needed seemed to be a Japanese only paper and there was no translation of what a foreigner would need for this. Eventually the strict girl went away and got a photocopy of something which had a lot of Japanese words on it and the word affidavit in English. She said we needed something to say I am not bankrupt and am not mentally handicapped. I was standing right there. ☺

So we left the papers we did have there, I’d like to believe the process has been started. Walking out of the ward office with fewer papers than we walked in with seems like progress. Parking lot discussion involved the fabled affidavit and L-san suggested I try my embassy, which was easy as that was on my way home anyway. So I took copies from her of what I was looking for and started on that mission.

Got to the New Zealand embassy and got through to the front desk, showed the staff there my papers and he was a bit confused but said he would call someone.. A guy came down and I showed him the papers, he asked immediately if I was doing airbnb, I said yes, and that I needed this paper for the registration. He said that that kind of paper doesn’t exist in New Zealand. I told him if I can hand them a physical and official piece of paper it might be enough. They just need something for their checklist. He then suggested just writing something myself, having it translated and checking if that is what they want. He said to tell the ward office that the embassy is waiting to sign it for me if they tell me it is what they want. Signing costs 7000yen so I need to be 100% sure that will be acceptable. He also thanked me for being the first to try this asked me to let him know if there is a paper they can prepare for any future Kiwis registering for minpaku.

So I came home, googled what affidavit means, and wrote one based on a template he gave me.

And that’s where I am now ☺

May 17, 2018 (T-29 days until the new airbnb laws kick in)

Yesterday I had the affidavit I wrote signed by the New Zealand embassy staff. At no point was my id checked there but I guess a good kiwi accent can get you pretty far. They insisted I read the affidavit and swear on the bible. I said I wasn't religious so swearing on the bible means next to nothing to me but they said that was fine and to just go with it. 7,500 yen for a stamp to say I was legit and they believed me and 20 minutes total in and out of the embassy including the 12 minutes it took for them to find the stamp.

So today L-san and I went to the ward office again, I had hopes that this may be the last trip but of course it wasn't. L-san had prepared a contract to say that my husband is renting the first floor of the building to me for free as the house is in his name. I had his hanko (signature stamp) so just stamped it on his behalf and we are good to go. I did tell him about it afterwards. She told the ward office that we are married and it is our house but they still needed this paper. The affidavit passed their scrutiny, we got the stressed out lady behind the desk who now has a noticeable rash on her face and was scratching it a lot. Interesting to watch her slow descent into this governmental madness. Our appointment was for 30 minutes from 16:00-16:30pm. At smack on 16:30pm she just picked up her bag and left. We stayed and talked with the remaining staff who were noticeably more relaxed once she left. There was a lot of discussion about the exact size of the airbnb, and a magnifying glass was used to check the blueprints.

They seem to have trouble comprehending that we have a shared entrance area and still have some issues understanding that we live in the same house, although this is one of the requirements for getting an airbnb licence. There was discussion about the thickness of the walls and whether those measurements needed to be added. No fewer than 3 highlighter pens were used on the blueprints and there was a lot of calculation. At one point L-san said it was all a bit silly and can they just tell us what number they want and we will write it, we are easily under the 50m regulations for the fire safety certificate which we already have. The staff laughed, but they didn't tell us what number they wanted, they weren't sure of it themselves. So that paper needs to be typed again and they were unable to photocopy my passport, despite the photocopier right there, so I will make a copy for them.

Closing in on 5pm, well over our allotted appointment time, Lorraine said we would be back tomorrow at 8:30am sharp with the papers. The staff laughed and we laughed with them. And then they realised she was serious. One staff bravely said they are just arriving at 8:30am and perhaps 8:40 would be better. We'll take that thank you very much and we will be there tomorrow at 8:40am with, what just might be, the final papers. But I won't count on it...