Doors shut on home share venture


GEORGE TOWN: A home share operator who tried to sue the joint management body (JMB) of his condominium for not letting him operate had his claim thrown out by the Strata Management Tribunal.

Tan Sung Hai had tried to claim damages from the JMB of Birch Regency Condominium in Jalan Datuk Keramat for loss of business through the tribunal.

He was, however, spared a counterclaim by the JMB when tribunal president Kamarulzaman Abdul Rahman ruled that the body did not have supporting docu-ments.

The JMB wanted Tan to pay a compensation of RM50,000 or any amount deemed fit for depriving residents and families from a secured home environment, resulting in mental stress and anguish.

The body also wanted Tan to compensate for utility, repair and maintenance bills of RM1,000, security cost of RM2,000, additional management office expenditure of RM2,000 and cost of banners put up in the condominium to warn against home-sharing activities estimated at RM300.

“I already decided in favour of you. I now advise you to file a separate case against the claimant,” Kamazulzaman told the JMB’s representatives.

Outside the courtroom, JMB committee member E. B. Lim said the committee will decide later whether to pursue the matter.

This is believed to be the first instance in Penang where a home-sharing operator tried to seek his legal right to run his business.

In 2016, Penang Island Municipal Council ruled that home-sharing was illegal here because residential properties were not properly fitted to cater for hospitality or commercial activities.

The city council then began a crackdown and fined many residential owners for operating illegal businesses.

Penang has a large number of home-sharing operators, owing to high tourist arrivals.


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