Responsible hosting in Korea
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You can read this article in Korean or English.
Table of contents
Health and cleanliness
Hosts in Korea will have the option to commit to Airbnb’s enhanced cleaning protocol. Additional information, including local guidelines and laws related to cleaning, will be available soon.
Global information about Airbnb’s enhanced cleaning protocol can be found in general info about hosting places to stay.
Tax is a complex topic. Your own tax obligations can vary based on your particular circumstances, so we recommend that you research your obligations or consult a tax professional to get more specific information.
In general, the money you earn as a host on Airbnb is considered taxable income, which may be subject to different taxes. Please check your tax and business registration information for hosting. This may include registration of foreign tourist city private company, registration of hanok experience registration, notification of farmer's village private company registration, accommodation taxes, short-term stay taxes, sales tax, value added tax, and income tax.
Tax forms for South Korea are due by 31 May each tax year. Check with the National Tax Service to find out if you need to declare the amount you earn from hosting, which you can find in your host earnings summary. It’s also a good idea to find out if you’re eligible for other credits like tax reliefs and allowances.
Check South Korea’s Income Tax Law and VAT Law for more information.
As you will be aware, your earnings as a host on Airbnb is generally considered taxable income and, depending on your circumstances, you may be required to report and pay taxes, such as income tax, value-added tax (VAT), etc., on your earnings to the relevant tax authorities.
As a result, tax authorities may sometimes require Airbnb to disclose information in relation to Airbnb host income, in order to assist them with their inquiries.
In certain situations, Airbnb may be legally prohibited from notifying you of its obligations to share your data with tax authorities. Please ensure that you have complied with applicable tax obligations at all times.
Free tax guide
We want to make it easy for you to understand your tax responsibilities as a host on Airbnb, so we’ve partnered with an independent third-party accounting firm to provide a free tax guide (available in Korean and English) that covers general tax information in South Korea.
Korean regulations and permissions
It’s important to make sure you’re allowed to host on your property. Some examples of restrictions include contracts, laws, and community rules. Check with a lawyer or local authority to learn more about regulations, restrictions, and obligations specific to your circumstances.
You can use the general info in this article as a starting point to learn about hosting regulations and permissions.
Depending on where you live, there are a number of different Korean regulations that might impact you as a host.
The Tourism Promotion Act and its associated acts, the Building Act and Residence Act, establish basic rules for urban accommodation establishments permitted for foreign tourists including single homes, multi-family homes, apartments, townhouses, and multiplex houses under. Check the Tourism Act’s Enforcement Decrees and Enforcement Rules for more information.
Hanok experiences are an exception of permitted private housing in urban areas, since private housing is only allowed in farming and fishing villages. 'Officetels', or studio apartments, classified as business facilities according to the Building Act, are not permitted in any areas. You may be subjected to control inspections and punishment by the authorities if you host at an officetel. Check the Ministry of the Land, Infrastructure, and Transport’s guidelines on officetels or see our article on Officetel removal in Korea to learn more.
The Tourism Promotion Act also sets rules for hanuk experiences, which are stays in traditional Korean houses. It stipulates that the main parts of a hanok and its additional facilities should be of a wooden structure with a traditional Korean tiled roof with an essence of the unique traditional aesthetics.
The Farming and Fishing Village Maintenance Act provides specific regulations about how single homes and multi-family homes can be used as accommodation within rural areas.
The Public Sanitation Management Act sets rules for sanitation practices throughout South Korea.
South Korea also has rules for minors as part of the Youth Protection Act. This act prohibits unrelated unmarried minors from sharing a room, among other things.
It’s at your own risk to determine whether your home is eligible for hosting. Check out the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)'s promotional video on fostering a safer accommodations culture and compliance.
In the Republic of Korea, municipal governments may ask for region-specific requirements and procedures for hosting.
If you live in Seoul, check the Seoul Stay Program to review city-specific information about guesthouses and private housing, including hanoks.
You can also check Airbnb Citizen for news on hosting laws and policies
Hosts aren’t allowed to engage in any activity that violates the laws and regulations of the Republic of Korea. Airbnb isn’t responsible if a host violates any laws. If you have any questions about how these laws and regulations apply, contact your local government agency, request interpretation of laws, or ask a lawyer for advice.
Contractual agreements and permits
Sometimes leases, contracts, building regulations, and community rules have restrictions against subletting or hosting. Review any contracts you’ve signed or contact your landlord, community council, or other authority.
You might be able to add an addendum to your lease or contract that can provide clarity about concerns, responsibilities, and liabilities for all parties.
If your property has a mortgage (or any form of loan), check with the lender to make sure that there aren’t restrictions against subletting or hosting.
Subsidized housing restrictions
Subsidized housing, such as public rental housing, is not allowed.
In the case of public rental housing subsidized by the government, it is illegal to sublease or use it for accommodation business. The Host, in such a case, can be punished according to related laws, including Special Act on Public Housing and Public Health Control Act. For more information, please check with your housing authority or housing association.
If you share your home with others, consider making a formal agreement with your housemates in order to outline expectations. Housemate agreements can include how often you plan to host, guest etiquette, whether you'll share revenue, and more.
We’ll take appropriate action if anyone notifies us of potential misuse. We have guidelines to help local authorities report housing misuse.
We care about the safety of hosts and their guests. You can improve your guests’ peace of mind by providing a few simple preparations like emergency instructions and noting any potential hazards.
Emergency contact information
Include a contact list with the following phone numbers:
- Local emergency numbers
- The number for the nearest hospital
- Your contact number
- A number for a backup contact (in case guests can’t reach you)
It’s also a good idea to make sure guests know the best way to contact you in case of an emergency. You can also communicate with guests using messages on Airbnb as a safe alternative.
Keep a first aid kit and tell your guests where it is. Check it regularly so you can restock supplies if they run out.
If you have gas appliances, follow any applicable gas safety regulations and make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Provide a fire extinguisher and remember to maintain it regularly.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route. Post a map of the route so it’s easy for guests to see.
Here are some ways you can help prevent potential hazards:
- Inspect your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall
- Remove the hazards you identify or mark them clearly
- Fix any exposed wires
- Make sure your stairs are safe and have railings
- Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests
Some guests travel with young family members and need to understand if your home is right for them. You can use the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account to indicate potential hazards or indicate that your home isn’t suitable for children and infants.
Working appliances, like furnaces and air conditioners, can greatly affect your guests’ comfort during their stay. There are lots of ways you can make sure your guests stay comfortable:
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated
- Provide instructions on how to safely use the heater and air conditioning
- Check that the thermostat is working correctly and make sure that guests know where to find it
- Service the appliances regularly
Establish safe occupancy limits. Your local government may have guidelines.
Part of being a responsible host is helping your guests understand best practices for interacting with your community. When you communicate local rules and customs with your guests, you’re helping to create a great experience for everyone.
If your building has common spaces or shared amenities, let guests know the rules for those places.
You can include your house rules on the Additional notes section of Listing details in your Airbnb account. Guests usually appreciate it when you share your expectations with them upfront.
It’s usually a good idea to let your neighbors know if you’re planning to host. This gives them the chance to let you know if they have any concerns or considerations.
Guests book through Airbnb for lots of reasons, including vacations and celebrations. Let your guests know how noise impacts neighbors early on for a smoother experience.
If you’re concerned about disturbances to your community, there are different ways you can help limit excessive noise:
- Implement a quiet hours policy
- Don’t allow pets
- Indicate that your listing isn’t suitable for children or infants
- Prohibit parties and additional unregistered guests
Communicate any parking rules for your building and neighborhood to your guests. Examples of possible parking rules:
- Only park in an assigned space
- Don’t park on the west side of the street on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to street cleaning
- Street parking is only available from 7pm-7am
First, check your lease or building rules to make sure there isn’t a restriction on pets. If you allow guests to bring pets, they’ll appreciate knowing good places to exercise their pet or where they should dispose of waste. Share a backup plan, like the number of a nearby pet kennel, in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbors.
Always respect your guests' privacy. Our rules on surveillance devices clearly state what we expect from our hosts, but some locations have additional laws and regulations that you’ll need to be aware of.
Work with your insurance agent or carrier to determine what kind of obligations, limits, and coverage are required for your specific circumstances.
Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance
Airbnb’s Host Guarantee and Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance provide you with basic coverage for listed damages and liabilities. However, these don’t take the place of homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or adequate liability coverage. You might need to meet other insurance requirements as well.
Liability and basic coverage
Review your homeowners or renters policy with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure your listing has adequate liability coverage and property protection.
Other hosting information
Check out our hosting FAQs to learn more about hosting on Airbnb.
Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website. Airbnb isn’t responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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