There was a post recently in the Ubud Community group about the government cracking down on foreigners renting out villas on the accommodation site, Airbnb. I wrote about the legality of foreigners renting out villas and rooms on Airbnb earlier this year, here.
So what specifically are the government checking for?
– If a foreigner is working at the business, do they have a working visa? Some people might argue that the staff who work at the villa are all Indonesian, but their Airbnb profile uses the foreigner’s picture and details. Foreigners may think that this does not constitute as “working”, but immigration can (and do) argue that they are working in a marketing capacity.
– If the business is letting out rooms, do they have the appropriate license (Pondok Wisata, Melati etc)
– Is the business registered for and paying tax on the income? (NPWP)
– They may also check if staff working at the business belong to the government’s health insurance (BPJS).
According to the report, immigration are going into villas and interviewing staff and even guests about who exactly is working in the business. There are plain clothes officers who work for immigration, so you can’t just expect government officials to show up in a uniform. Immigration typically gather evidence first and then call in the foreigner for questioning, where they present their evidence.
In the face of growing competition in the accommodation, hotels have long been pressuring the government to make all villas and accommodation providers have the appropriate licenses, so it seems as though they are now getting serious and taking action.