City of Kyoto released a statement on use and provision of “Minpaku” or private residence offering accommodation for a fee.
Excerpt as follows:
To those who use “Minpaku”:
There is a growing number of “Minpaku” businesses throughout the city. “Minpaku” is a business of providing accommodation using vacant rooms in vacant houses or apartment buildings by through the agents’ wesbites on the Internet.
For those who provide a part of their houses, please be noted that it is necessary to have a permission pursuant to Article 3 of the Hotel Businesses Act if you are managing a business to let a person stay by receiving reasonable value that can be regarded as lodging fee.
The city of Kyoto thinks it essential that visitors to Kyoto use safe and secured accommodations that are granted permission from the authority, and this leads to real “Omotenashi” or hospitality.
For your safety and security, please check that the accommodation you are to stay is an authorized facility when making a reservation and you’d enjoy authentic Kyoto through your trip.
The following link shows a list of authorized accommodation facilities pursuant to Hotel Businesses Act. (As of the end of December 2015)
To those who plan to provide “Minpaku”:
Despite the discussion to ease the regulation (on the Hotel Businesses Act) by the Japanese government with regard to “Minpaku” business, the city of Kyoto does not allow “Minpaku” businesses unless the facility in question is authorized pursuant to the Hotel Businesses Act.
You have to gain permission pursuant to the Hotel Businesses Act to start the “Minpaku” business. In addition to the Hotel Businesses Act, we advise that you also check the related laws and regulations such as Fire Services Act and Building Standards Act.
Violation of the Hotel Businesses Act is subject to penalties.
Medical sanitation section,
Hygiene Promotion Office,
Health and Welfare Department
City of Kyoto