Penang now says it wants to regulate homestays

Penang now says it wants to regulate homestays

Despite recently announcing a ban on short-term rental homes or homestays, the Penang government now says it is open to the option of regulating the activity.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said for this, many parties such as the tourism ministry (Motac), the housing ministry and local councils would need to be involved.

He said short-term rental homes or homestays had created unfair competition for licensed hotels that abide by Motac’s regulations, including paying taxes and hotel fees.

“We will discuss with all the ministries and agencies involved to set up new rules and regulations for short-term rental homes or homestays in the state,” he told reporters at an event here today.

Last month, state housing, local government, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo announced that the state had agreed to disallow “check-ins” at landed and high-rise buildings for short-term rental homes or homestays, based on numerous complaints from residents’ groups at apartments, condominiums and residential neighbourhoods.

Yeoh explained today that the ban would apply solely to high-rise buildings with residential titles, which prohibits owners from renting out their premises on a short-term basis.

He said Penang intended to ban something like Airbnb, an online marketplace for lodging, in which apartment or condominium units are rented out on a short-term basis to tourists.

Yeoh said the ban would not apply to kampung-style homestays as it was also allowed by Motac as a tourism product, adding that the state government had yet to decide when the ban would take effect. FMT

Penang now says it wants to regulate homestays

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