AirBnB will be legalised in Singapore soon? Malaysia’s progress?

AirBnB is not really regulated even if most governments are not actually banning it except perhaps Singapore? The reason I say so? Just 2 weeks ago (April 3), two Singaporean Airbnb hosts who pleaded guilty in court to unauthorised short-term letting were fined a total of S$60,000. This is the first of such cases under the country’s rules on short-term property letting introduced last year. Here’s that full article in Actually, AirBnB is a good service provider. We need a place to stay, owners need extra income. This connection enables both parties to benefit and all of us pay AirBnB a service fee for helping to ensure the connection remains robust and good. However, this service would also affect some other fully regulated accommodation providers like hotels.

Singapore is again ahead of the curve and their Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) have proposed that perhaps if 80 percent of the owners (by value) agree to AirBnB, then it’s okay to proceed. Here’s that news. Within URA’s proposed consultation documents would be how short-term stays can be applied to developments with common property, such as condominiums, as well as other aspects including  fire safety requirements, the role of management committees and how to regulate the platform operators.  (YES, definitely will include all the other aspects which is usually applicable to hotels etc)   This endorsement will be valid for 2 years and every renewal will have an updated vote count. If it falls below 80 percent, then the earlier endorsement will not be renewed. Many other rules would apply such as 90 days maximum rental cap and a maximum occupancy of six people per unit and the URA is also saying that it wants to REGULATE the commercial platform operators such as AirBnB and Homeaway by requiring them to only list residential premises that have been registered for short-term use. URA will also require these platform operators to KEEP TRACK of the number of nights and reject the rental bookings if the annual 90-day quota is exceeded. URA will also require these operators to collect taxes from the hosts too.  A lot more details in the article here. Do read yeah. 

For all the home owners currently listed in AirBnB here in Malaysia, I think some forms of regulations are already coming. One latest article about AirBnB here in Malaysia says this. “Airbnb Inc has agreed to work with Malaysia on tax collection, with initial efforts to focus on a tourism levy as the government prepares to cast a wider net on the digital economy. Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, told Bloomberg Tax, “We have been engaging the Malaysian authorities in meaningful and productive conversations. We want to help our hosts follow the rules, and we are actively keeping them informed of all regulatory updates.” Here’s that full article.  I am all for AirBnB or even Malaysia’s very own Happy taking that holiday and saving more.

written on 16 April 2018

Next suggested article: Homestay better than long term rental?

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  • Mary on April 17, 2018

    Many condo owners who live in their condos objected to Airbnb. They will report to JMB who will pass a rule of no airbnb operaotors within their condo block. If I am living next door to a condo owner who is an Airbnb operator I will not like it. It’s a nuisance to my peace n privacy.

    • on April 17, 2018

      thank you for your comments Mary. FYI, if the condo is where my family stays, I would also not want AirBnB. However, if I am buying and knowingly know that the condo is mostly investor buyers, then I am okay with AirBnB because it would give higher returns than long term lease.

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