Penang plans to regulate short-term rentals and homestays

GEORGE TOWN (May 6): Despite the recent announcement of a ban on short-term rental homes or homestays, the Penang government is still open to the option of regulating the activity.

Chairman of the National Tourism and Creative Economy Committee Yeoh Soon Hin said that for this, many parties such as Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture (Motac), Ministry of Housing and local governments and local councils should be involved.

He said short-term rental homes or homestays have created unfair competition for licensed hotels that adhere to Motac regulations, including paying taxes and hotel fees.

“We will be talking with all relevant departments and agencies to put in place new rules and regulations to regulate short-term rentals or homestays in the state,” he told reporters after the launch. of the “High Fun Penang Project”, an initiative to stimulate Penang. tourism industry here on Thursday.

Last month, Jagdeep Singh Deo, chairman of the state’s Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee, announced that the state had agreed not to allow “registrations in apartment buildings and high-rise buildings for short-term rental homes or homestays, based on numerous complaints from groups of residents in apartments, condominiums, and residential neighborhoods.

However, Yeoh explained that the ban will only be imposed on high-rise buildings with residential titles, which prohibits landlords from short-term rentals.

He said Penang intends to ban something like Airbnb, an online marketplace for accommodation, in which apartments or condominiums are rented out to tourists on a short-term basis.

Yeoh said the ban would not apply to kampung-style homestays as it is also licensed by Motac as a tourism product, adding that the state government has yet to decide when the ban will come into effect.

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