The Osaka Municipal Government started accepting applications Monday from the minpaku industry, which involves paid accommodations using private houses or apartments, in a bid to offset lodging shortages as foreign visitors flock to the city.

The lodgings are expected to become available in the city after a roughly two-week approval process.

Minpaku operators, once greenlighted, can offer accommodations without permission under the Inns and Hotels Law if they meet certain conditions. These include notifying neighbors that they are offering the services and explaining garbage disposal rules to guests.

Current rules set the minimum stay for minpaku guests at seven days and six nights, but the central government revised a related ordinance last week to shorten this to three days and two nights. Osaka is expected to adopt the new regulations as early as January.

Osaka Prefecture has allowed 34 municipalities to offer minpaku services under the national strategic special zone project, but just four operators in four cities have obtained permission so far.

The Osaka Municipal Government opened a hotline Monday for reporting illegal minpaku lodgings and will also launch a team in December to check the legality of minpaku services offered online.