In its efforts to regulate short-term rental accommodation (STRA), Penang in Malaysia has banned all forms of short-term rental at residential units on the island effective May 26, with the exception of mainland Penang.
Penang Island City Council’s mayor, Rajendran Anthony, said the ban covered all private residential properties, online news portal FMT reported on Thursday.
However, the ruling excludes six types of commercial categories – serviced apartments, small office home offices, small office flexible offices, small office virtual offices, office suites and duplex offices.
Those intending to offer STRA in these commercial categories must get the approval from at least 75 per cent of the residents at an annual general meeting, in addition to obtaining the approval of their respective joint management bodies, or management corporations.
STRAs will have to pay an annual fee ranging from 250 ringgit (US$54) to 500 ringgit per unit to joint management bodies or management corporations, and must be registered with the Penang City Council and the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
Each STRA unit is only allowed to be rented out for a maximum of 180 days a year with a limit of three times a week.
Sri Ganesh Michiel, national president, Malaysia Budget & Business Hotel Association, said he was fully supportive of the efforts of the Penang State Government to introduce a regulation to regulate STRA and that the move would directly help to restore the hospitality and tourism industry in Penang, as well as increase the government’s taxable income.
He said: “The Penang State Government has become the first state Government to take a firm initiative in ensuring that the STRA business is regulated and this action has given a positive impression to the operators of the hospitality industry.”
He also urged all state governments to take the same initiative in regulating STRA in their respective states.