Difference between revisions of "Minpaku AirBnB"

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[[File:airbnb11.jpg|frameless|180px|Form 11]]
 
[[File:airbnb11.jpg|frameless|180px|Form 11]]
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The sign to put on the door to the house
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[[File:airbnb12.jpg|frameless|180px|Form 12]]

Revision as of 10:49, 24 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. (10 metres from entrance door). 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...

May 18, 2018 (T-28 days)

Early start at the ward office this morning and finally all the application papers have been submitted! The staff got a bit frilly about us not having an official print out of the online application but one of them took pity on us and printed it for us. Stressed out girl apologised for leaving so abruptly yesterday and was in a better mood this morning, actually thanking us at some points for providing clear documentation. Still some discussion about the size of the airbnb and getting numbers to match up which they did. One of our papers was missing a 0 at the beginning of a 10 digit registration number as the computer had not allowed enough space for L-san to include it. It had to be handwritten in. One paper didn't pass the erasable pen test, my bad, sorry, so I rewrote with a regular pen. All of the papers were checked off, it was very satisfying to see all the marus (circles) (Japanese check-mark) going onto the checklist paper. Finally all of the papers were put into a large envelope and a paper with a list on was taped on the front of the envelope. The staff immediately signed the top 2 items on the 6-7 item list. I guess we need to get all those items signed off as the registration process. On the desk behind the counter there were 2 similar envelopes with 4 items checked off on their lists so others have also made it this far.

So the next step, once the registration is complete, they will email L-san and we need to make another appointment at the ward office. At that time we will get the required door sign for our home to say we are registered and information about how to submit guest details to the ward office. I hope we will also get the registration number then, without it, airbnb is going to cut our account from their listings in 28 days... L-san guesses it may take 2-3 weeks for this process, we're cutting it fine indeed but I don't think we could have got here any faster.

And, if anyone wants to book a place to stay in Tokyo, in case our listing is cut.....

Hus in Yoyogi

Instagram pippins_inn_airbnb

May 22, 2018 (T-24 days)

This evening L-san, the husband and my good self had a meeting with the neighbourhood leader, who was a bit confused about what minpaku/airbnb was. It turns out he had done a bit of research and knew what to be concerned about. His first concern was rubbish and the sheer amount of excess rubbish that our potential 2 guests could produce. I was expecting him to be concerned about this and had stopped at the local convenience store and purchased a 10 pack of "excess rubbish" stickers which can be put on any extra bags exceeding the maximum allowed for pickup in Shibuya ku. Their website says 4 45 litre bags but, if you ask any of the staff, they say 3 45 litre bags. We usually only put out a maximum of 2 45 litre bags each time.

Personally I think they should be more concerned about all of the beer cans and wine bottles that we need to recycle on recycling day pickup. The law says that we should outsource our extra rubbish pick up to a separate company but, since the leader knows us and recognises our faces, he said it will be ok for us to just use the stickers. He was concerned that we might not have a big enough rubbish collection box and offered to give us another but we said we would be fine. Most of our guests are more concerned about the rubbish and recycling than we are and a lot of the questions I get when we check someone in are about this.

So rubbish was discussed at length and then we moved onto business, as it turns out the neighbourhood leader is a fairly shrewd businessman. Our monthly 200 yen neighbourhood bill will be increased to 1000yen. I thought this was actually just a 2400yen bill for the Happy New Year paper they put on our door every year but maybe it covers more than that. And, since we would now officially be a business, our "donation" to the annual festival should be a bit higher. Maybe we'll have airbnb written on one of the festival plaques this year. :) We're not too concerned about these new fees as we have come this far and it's too late to back out now. The leader said he will be in charge of telling the neighbours when (!!) we get approval as there is a certain neighbour that is urusai (a PITA). I guess we agree on that. He seemed to be on our team and was keen to hear from us as soon as we get permission to go ahead, I guess so he can start charging us.

May 23, 2018 GOAL reached, achievement unlocked!!

I received a message from L-san this morning to tell me the good news that Shibuya ku had already approved the application and we have the magical number we need to pass to airbnb. This is great as Airbnb has been messaging me daily asking for this, I think they are getting quite concerned about how few people are actually able to get the registration number. Swiftly inputted the number into the system and we are good to go. Tomorrow morning L-san and I will go to Shibuya ward office to pick up our official sign to put on the door. We will hold back on putting that up until we have told the neighbourhood leader, a few days from now, so he feels that we didn't apply for this until after having spoken with him.

May 24, 2018

This morning L-san and I met at the ward office at 9am and we walked out of the ward office at 9:08am with the official door sign with our registration number. The staff were friendly, and possibly relieved that they had finished dealing with us. The door paper was produced along with an additional paper to show precisely where on the door it was to be placed on June 15th. The fanfare and champagne corks popping was only in my head. The airbnb area at the ward office had 2 stacks of freshly printed flyers from the fire department showing cute characters and how to register your home with the fire department for airbnb. I guess they were tired of answering questions too and whipped up some cute new mascots (a cat, a tiger and a sheep) to portray airbnb registration. The door sign is not laminated and that is my official registration so I colour photocopied it and am warming up the laminator now to finish preparing it.

Forms Submitted

Form 1 the application papers, several pages.

Form 1

Form 2 is something

Form 2

Form 3 is the affidavit that I wrote to say I am not bankrupt or mentally handicapped, this was signed by the New Zealand embassy

Form 3

Form 4 is a translation of form 3

Form 4

Form 5 is something

Form 5

Form 6 shows that we own the land

Form 6

Form 7 is the blueprints for the airbnb

Form 7

Form 8 is a contract to say my husband (the house is in his name) is renting the first floor to me for free :)

Form 8

Form 9 is a checklist from the online registration

Form 9

Form 10 is very important, this is the layout that the fire department wants to see

Form 10

FYI to neighbours minpaku page, handed out to homes within 10m radius from home

Form 11

The sign to put on the door to the house

Form 12