Licensed homestays allowed, says Penang govt

A signboard at the guard house of an apartment in Penang barring homestays at the units. — KT GOH/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The difference between a short-term stay and a homestay is that the latter is licensed and allowed by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said that there were problems with homes offering short-term stays even before the pandemic.

"We came up with a guideline before the pandemic and now it is necessary to implement it as things are easing.

"As everything is resuming, it is expected that people will be disturbed by short-term stays usually at apartments," he said during a press conference held after launching the Pawsible book at Gurney Plaza Mall here on Monday (May 16).

Jagdeep Singh said this issue was not new and was around for years but the pandemic had dampened it.

"Now with all the sectors reopening, it will resume and we expect there to be complaints.

"We have over time received more than 1,000 complaints," he said.

Jagdeep Singh said homestays are allowed to operate as they have a licence issued by the ministry.

Last month, Jagdeep Singh announced that the state had agreed to not allow "check-ins" at landed and high-rise buildings for short-term rental homes or unlicenced homestays, based on numerous complaints from residents' groups at apartments, condominiums and residential neighbourhoods.

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