Penang to come up with policy on homestays


Penang will need to look at the rules and regulations concerning homestay in private condominiums and high-rise apartments, says state executive councillor Yeoh Soon Hin.

Admitting that it is a long-standing issue, Yeoh said there is no problem for the units to be used for short-term homestays if they come with a commercial title.

The problems, he said, are those for residential purposes as many complaints have been received from the local dwellers over the nuisance caused by the holidaymakers.

“To regulate the homestay, many agencies need to be involved, like Motac (Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry), local councils, housing and not tourism per se.

“We need to take care of the local residents. It is still considered illegal from the point of law (for residential units to be used for homestay). Some countries have banned Airbnb while some have come up with rules to regulate the short-term stay.

“What we lack in this country now are rules and regulations,” Yeoh, who is in charge of the state’s Tourism and Creative Economy portfolio, said in reply to reporters’ questions after launching the 2022 High Fun Penang at The Top Penang in Komtar today.

Yeoh said those units, like some of the kampung-style homestays regulated by Motac, are allowed to operate.

He added that homestay operators using residential units created unfair competition for licensed hotels that have to pay tax and hotel fees.

State Housing, Local Government, Town and County Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh recently reiterated that if unit owners want to rent their units out to short-term guests or turn them into homestay units, 75% of the residents there must first agree to it.

He said that while the starting date for the ban of homestays in residential units has not been decided yet, the state government has agreed with the plan, based on the numerous complaints from residents’ groups at apartments, condominiums and residential neighbourhoods.

On a separate matter, Yeoh said many hotels in Penang recorded almost 100 per cent occupancy rate over the last few days due to the Labour Day and Hari Raya holidays.

“Some attractions also received good business, like back to pre-pandemic level. However, I still want to say that even though we received an overwhelming response during these long holidays, we are still not out of the woods yet.

“We still need to create more synergy and opportunities, especially to attract more international tourists to sustain our Penang state tourism,” Yeoh said.

Source: Buletin Mutiara

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  1. Jimm
    May 6th, 2022 at 09:11 | #1

    Haiyo, this exco’s statement is as good as no statement, very typical of a politician who talks a lot but accomplishes nothing.

  2. jack
    May 6th, 2022 at 14:03 | #2

    Jimm :
    Haiyo, this exco’s statement is as good as no statement, very typical of a politician who talks a lot but accomplishes nothing.

    Rocket way of handling issues:
    – acknowledge the issue
    – explain the issue again
    – ask for solutions
    – let the matter die down quietly
    – repeat when people bring same issue up again

  3. Ali ahmad akao
    May 7th, 2022 at 11:36 | #3

    It is better to allow homestay but with SOP rules and regulation to follow and those running homestay at residence shall be transparent to residences,mgmnt,and government, management may also charge a higher management fees and extra facilities usage fees to homestay owner,compare to residence. You may look into setting a maximum day to run homestay at residence say 180 days yearly and maximum guest say 2 for a 2room and 6 for 3 rooms per unit. Because if you ban, eventually there will be homestay too no matter how, might as well approve it with rules and law,let mgmnt collect more fund, let government collect more tax. Better than illegal and no data right now.

  4. Alan
    May 7th, 2022 at 14:48 | #4

    It means they will want to ban AirBnb. But, unless, if, there is some “attractive” way of benefitting them in any way. Then maybe they will consider not to ban AirBnb. Malaysia pandai U-Turn one lah. Trust me, short-term rental will live long in Penang Island. When you buy a property, just worship to respective gods not to get a neighbor who is actively renting short-term for good ROIs.

    • Thesapuman7676
      May 7th, 2022 at 19:37 | #5

      Your prayer dont work in Penang, the apartments here are over supply, investor are the majority that supported these condos.Also chinese wont be your long term tenant, especially in Penang. So you know what you WILL get if you only want long term tenant.Since majority are investor that supported these over supply condos, they will try to get higher rental, the way is thru hosting as homestay, or tenant with a big families,or hostel for student, forein worker, for some companies/factories. Right now I had bad neighbour upstair and nextdoor, they rent it to long term tenant,to get higher rental,they rent it to at minimum 6 person or above student,they make noise every night and mid night, over the weekend, they had different families member visited them ,rotating,take turns,and use our facilities,my upstair rented slightly lower rate to a couple, said professional, however both like to do gardening and DIY. They water their plants but the water drips into my balcony too,with the soil. The knocking noise from the husband DIy project ruined my weekend.I feedback to owner, they said Penang facing a lot of competition for long term tenant,many new condos coming up, tenant always look for new condos with better facilities ,and our condos soon outdate (infact just 4years old).They dont want to advice their tenant because they hope they continue to rent 2nd year 3rd year. What I want to tell you is you dunno your neighbour and long tenant does not mean good.It is by luck especially almost 10k unit completion yearly..in Penang alone…if all tenant go rent new one,what will happen to those aged condos? Lower the rental to get long term tenant will indirectly affected the condos value,due to value based on rental yield as 1 criteria. Left the condos empty will directly affected the maintenance of the unit,house that left emptyvare promot to many issue. If the owner/investor bankrupt they will throw the properties into market and affected the price of the condos too.
      If you ban homestay, they will run as illegal homestay. So the solution is to officialy regulate it,allow it with certain policy,since hotel in Penang doesnt fully support the demand and requirement especially for family/group trips that is more suit to locals need that bring business to local hawker and musuems/malls here.

  5. MajorArches
    May 7th, 2022 at 19:15 | #6

    Kasi ban lagi senang, just talk ban, think talk but not a certain date given also.

  6. Alamak
    May 8th, 2022 at 00:47 | #7

    Ini tak boleh itu tak boleh kasi semua makan rumput macam lembu sudah cukup.Duduk kat rumah jgn gi cuti cuti Penang.Kita orang bukan kaya raya travel satu family gi PG duduk homestay je lah apa nak buat! Duk kat hotel 1 family Penang Gov kasi subsidi?

  7. BlinkblinkPink
    May 8th, 2022 at 00:53 | #8

    Do you have enought low budget newly build hotel around rm250 pernight with swimming pool in Penang to support us that travel in family? We paid rm250 per night to stay 8 in a 3bedroom apartment and we get to use the pool, if hotel with same facility ,size,and price then we could consider. Else this is an open market, there should be fair competition allowed instead of monopolize and jeopardize the option from consumer point of view. You should regulate it instead of banning it created unfair option for frequent traveller like my family.

  8. ChowConYou
    May 8th, 2022 at 08:58 | #9

    As a matter of fact, even without any specifiic “ban” by the state gov, AirBnB can be legally banned in condos by just a voting in an EGM. Once the resolution of banning is passed, offenders can be fined up to RM200 per day. The proposal by the state gov to ban AirBnB would just make AirBnB banning a default without having to go thru an EGM I guess.

    The potential issue of units being left vacant and affecting home values if AirBnB is totally banned would just be very short term as there are actually plenty of buyers in the market waiting for fire sale properties, and the effect to overall property market is always negligible, especially so in this environment of cost escalation in both labour cost as well as material cost.

    A straight forward ban from day one on AirBnB would also make it clear to home buyers to not make property purchases for the use of AirBnB, therefore reducing unwanted property investments and speculation from day one.

  9. Oh nice
    May 8th, 2022 at 13:33 | #10

    I support outright ban on homestays. Don’t expect homestays host would care about their neighbour’s well being. No amount of rules can keep them in check.

    Residential property is meant for residence not business. Those want to do homestays should go for commercial titled property in the first place, leave the residential property to the genuine home buyer.

  10. No data you say you siok sendiri
    May 8th, 2022 at 15:28 | #11

    You need to check with all those whom visited Penang and rented the homestay before,will they come again if accommodation at hotel is the only option here with higher price compare to homestay,and possible a need to stay in a separated room for a 3kids husband and wife family.

  11. boolangsai
    May 8th, 2022 at 19:32 | #12

    I believe if you “check with all those whom visited Penang and rented the homestay before”, probably more than 50% of them would say they’d not come to PG if hotel is the only option due to budget constraints. However, a recent survey by an independent agency at tourist areas in PG (Batu Ferengghi & Georgetown) showed that 90% of those visited PG used hotels, and only 10% used homestays.

    Nevertheless, our state gov has already kick-started an initiative for big investors to invest in purpose-built home-stay condos in PG tourist hot spots to cater to this market. These homestay condos will consist of 2 & 3 bedroom condo units which have similar layout as normal residential condos, with the whole project owned by a single entity (single owner), instead of the current homestay structure which is fragmented, owned and run by different owners and operators, resulting in sometimes poorly maintained units. These new purpose built homestay condos can offer 2-star to 5-star units in one single building, catering to families with different levels of budget, and cutting out AirBnb commision, passing on the savings to travellers.

  12. vicky
    May 9th, 2022 at 14:45 | #13

    Serious? Dedicated homestay condo only for homestays? Sound good, a very good idea! That will make penang truely special, no doubt a tourist friendly place. Syabas Penang!

  13. HaoSiaoGov
    May 9th, 2022 at 15:05 | #14

    Yalah ban lah Penang had semicon industry enought what do what tourist do what cuti cuti malaysia makan angin all smi close down lah hawker center tourist spot close down la travelling budget 100% spent on hotel accomodation enouhgt lah so many genuine buyer owner want to buy properties here in Penang lah those genuine buyer but not for own stay all nmdont buy lah not genuine owner Penang not welcome you pls go other state lah!!!!!!

  14. Hahahihihuhu
    May 9th, 2022 at 15:09 | #15

    So many commercial title in Penang also no homestay allowed after investor supported and bought the unit 2 years later JMB said cannot do homestay even it is commercial title,happened to pemang times square,summerton ,Artes Bkt Gambir etc etc…what is the correct policy to follow?based on title or base on jmb?

  15. Sskoh
    May 9th, 2022 at 16:31 | #16

    Wow will defenitrly visit penang more if have fully legal homestay endorse by state, everytime we go penang now stay airbnb like illegal bangla like that, scared management and neighbour come and catch us.

  16. Mccommick6565
    May 10th, 2022 at 11:06 | #17

    If only allow genuine owner to buy for own stay,Penang gov pls do not swap Penang land with developer and build so many condos blocking the entire skyline and sea view to lure in investor!! It is over supply now!!! Even if it us not overly supplied, the price is not affordable for local genuine owner!!

  17. HaoSiaoRocket
    May 10th, 2022 at 13:20 | #18

    By banning homestays, property demand from investors will reduce. When there is no demand, naturally developers won’t be building that many projects. So in a way, by banning homestays, the chances of developer “build so many condos blocking the entire skyline and sea view to lure in investor” will be significantly reduced, which will make you happy, right?

  18. Joannayew
    May 10th, 2022 at 14:12 | #19

    Pls make it legal to run homestay for my home so i could use the earning to cover my travel accomodation when i am away for a long holiday trip with my family. Hard earn money now need to find ways to save cost,since i am away from home,i should have the right to rent it to others say 2,3 weeks,while i am travelling to other places. Have someone taking care of my home and plabts and pets is better than none.You know placing pet at pet hotel cost a bomb.

  19. Thomasevadeal
    May 10th, 2022 at 16:49 | #20

    I dont know why the stupid council and Pg Gov make it such a big issue while mega projects high dense condos kept throwing to the market at least 2k to 10k unit in a small piece of land are you able to keep track whose in and out the condos if you have the confident why dont you also keep track of the homestay guest so that everyone has visibilities on what is going on, you dont even sure the residence are owner or tenant or alien good or bad police or thief in such a high dense 24 to 48 unit per floor mega projects.Kept coming up with unnecessary regulation and stupid ideas, please create more job opportunities and bring more foreign investor in that will be more contribution to the society.

  20. SivaLingamBro
    May 11th, 2022 at 19:11 | #21

    My rental kept dropping , from 1500 to 1300 ,mco 1000, so low rental somt even cover maintenance and quit rent and repairing cost. Better rent t homestay guest 8,9 days to get 1800. Less damage to my property, less usage to our facilities also.

  21. layimm
    May 11th, 2022 at 21:55 | #22

    Get your management to install face recognition system. This will limit the number of people having access to the building. Tenants cannot swap access card. Soon most tenant will look for other condos and this FR system is a nuisance for them. Haha..

    .Dont pity the investors yaa… only those buy for ownstay will enjoy.

  22. yulian
    May 11th, 2022 at 23:15 | #23

    It sounds like everything you say is about yourself, you just couldn’t care less about your neighbours, couldn’t care less about the potential disturbance and inconvenience to your neighbours. So why should people care about YOU and your pet, and your money???

    Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.

  23. dina
    May 12th, 2022 at 09:12 | #24

    For a property for which rental goes from 1500 to 1300 to mco 1000, you won’t get Airbnb bookings too during mco. And for such properties, you definitely won’t get RM200 per night even now, unless you mislead guests with photos of your unit that don’t represent reality.

    But BEWARE, Airbnb will be having a new policy called “AirCover for Guests”, which extends the window for guests to file complaints to 72 hours and adds guarantees that customers will be refunded when things go wrong—be it inaccurately described listings, pests, or broken heaters.

    They’re coming to get you!

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