Penang forms committee to look into short-term homestay guidelines

Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo (centre) speaks to a resident at the Gurney Park Condominium in George Town November 17, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo (centre) speaks to a resident at the Gurney Park Condominium in George Town November 17, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 17 — Penang has formed a committee to formulate guidelines for short-term accommodation in residential buildings in the state, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The Local Government, Housing and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman said the committee is headed by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

“We hope to finalise the guidelines by the end of this year and implement them to ensure a harmonious environment for residents,” he said during a press conference this morning.

He also welcomed proposals and suggestions from ratepayers to the state in relation to the guidelines.

“We welcome any input on this from the public,” he said.

He said there are no laws to govern short-term accommodation in residential buildings and it should be under federal legislation.

He said the guidelines that Penang is coming up with can only be enforced using state by-laws in the absence of federal legislation.

“I am attending a national local government council meeting tomorrow and one of the agenda items is a discussion on the Strata Management Act so I will bring up the issue of short-term accommodation,” he said.

He added that he will be proposing to Putrajaya an amendment to the Strata Management Act to regulate short-term accommodation in high-rise residential buildings.

He said currently, unit owners in high-rise projects need the consent of all residents before they can proceed with its conversion into short-term accommodation.

“They can vote in an extraordinary general meeting by the management corporation on whether to allow or disallow short-term accommodation in their projects,” he said.

He added that some owners may have purchased those units as investments to be turned into short-term accommodation so they may vote to allow this.

He said state authorities will not intervene if the management corporation of a high-rise building allows short-term accommodation in their projects.

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