Malaysia To Impose Strict Nationwide Regulations On Airbnb And Other Similar Services

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It appears that Penang’s strict regulations on short-term rental services such as Airbnb might soon apply across Malaysia, Bloomberg reports. In fact, the publication says the country may eventually become the first in Southeast Asia to impose such restrictions.

In case you missed it, the Penang government in May this year has determined that all private properties, with the exception of commercial locations such as serviced apartments, are banned from being used for AirBnb rentals or other similar services. Meanwhile, Malaysia has been looking into regulating short-term rentals for several years now in order to address complaints against tenants, often tourists, that are disturbing the peace in residential areas. Discussions regarding the matter renewed thanks to Penang’s recent ban on the service.

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Image: cottonbro (via Pexels)

Bloomberg adds that Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, revealed that Malaysia is one of the countries to soon complete discussions over the restricting of short-stay rentals in Southeast Asia. Despite this, the platform is calling for balanced regulations instead of outright bans – noting the service’s potential to provide to local economies. “It is critical that STRA (short-term rental accommodation) is regulated in a balanced and effective way that enables, instead of restricting, Malaysia’s long-term tourism growth,” Goh said during a briefing in Kuala Lumpur held today.

Details regarding the upcoming policy that will be presented is still not yet known, but it is expected to be more or less the same as that set by the Penang government. Bloomberg says Malaysia will likely enforce the nationwide regulations towards short-term rental services by March next year.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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