It’s not as easy as Airbnb. Especially when it’s a ‘resi’

In Penang, my good friend who’s a real estate negotiator always point to me that ‘this condo cannot do Airbnb’ or that condo cannot do ‘Airbnb.’ Well, I think it’s not just in Penang. Getting into Airbnb may not be that straightforward yeah. Especially those who bought into high-rise units, promised by the lucrative venture of Airbnb and then learnt that Airbnb is not allowed. Here’s one which has really happened. Full article in   Last year, on 16th October 2017, the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) confirmed that it is illegal for Sabah residents to lease their properties through Airbnb. This was what the former Assistant Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, “Airbnb is a business, but if an apartment is built as residential property, it cannot be used for commercial purposes.”  This move is also linked to protecting the interests of hotels, especially international hotel chains. According to the Minister, international hotels play significant roles in the development of tourism in the state.

Facts of the case. As stipulated in the House Rules of Jesselton Residences under Clause 2.1 Use of Housing Units and Common Areas, homeowners are not allowed to use their units as a hostel, office, SOHO, workers’ quarters, Airbnb, motel, hotel, homestay or any means of the housing to a group of people. The high-rise in the case is The Loft Residences. On 3 August 2018, Shelley Yap Advocates and Solicitors issued a notice to cease and discontinue all commercial activities related to short-term lodging/rental to the owners of the Loft Residences. Owners are to cease such operations within 90 days from the date of the notice. Failure to comply with the notice shall result in a fine of RM2,500 per day and keycard(s) to the units shall be deactivated by Syarikat Kapasi Sdn Bhd, the Developer of the Loft Residences. The Loft Residences does not fulfil the fire safety requirements set by the Fire Department for short-term lodging by way of license.  Do refer to the article in PropertyHunter for reference. 

At this moment, I think this regulation differs from state to state. Thus, if we are to refer to Airbnb website and we search for units within the Klang Valley or even in JB, we are still able to see lots of units which were built for residential being advertised for short-term stay. Personally, I have no objections to such short-term rentals because this has been done for a very long time. I do however hope to have the Federal government and the state governments to have one harmonised set of rules and regulations because uncertainties are never good for the market. If we want to encourage ‘second income,’ this can be a second income. However, if the government really decides to disallow it, perhaps a stricter measure is needed. This is what Airbnb is saying recently and it’s pretty good for the economy. Click to read  Meanwhile the hoteliers are hoping that Airbnb is regulated so that the playing ground becomes a fair one. Click to read.  Happy following and renting…

written on 10 Aug 2018

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