MELAKA: Short-term rentals, especially at stratified properties, in the state will now require a licence, says Datuk Zaidi Attan.
The Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman said the move to regulate operations of such activities followed concerns on the issue that were raised during the state legislative assembly on Thursday (Dec 15).
"We will take punitive action against owners of properties who continue to defy the need to register their short-term rentals by applying existing laws," he said after attending the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ) appreciation evening at a leading hotel here on Thursday.
The event was also attended by MPHTJ president Datuk Shadan Othman where various individuals and organisations as well as social media influencers were appreciated for helping with programmes organised by the council.
Zaidi said the move is also aimed to safeguard the safety of those renting such properties in the state.
He said the state government was also concerned that the unregulated short-term rentals had created unfair competition for licensed hotels that abide by the Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry's regulations, including by paying taxes and hotel fees.
Earlier, state Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis hoped that the issue of short-term rentals would be looked into seriously and brought up to the Federal Government to act on such activities.
He told the state assembly that short-term rentals are also operated by business groups that own a few units at high-rise residential properties in the state.
Muhammad Jailani said the state has proposed to regulate short-term rentals for a long time and would only be able to achieve results if the Federal Government takes serious measures to formulate new rules on such activities to protect hotels and residents.
He said the short-term rentals also lead to safety, health and cleanliness issues at properties here.
"The operators are only interested in reaping profits without paying taxes," he said in his reply to an additional question by Low Chee Leong (DAP-Kota Laksmana) during the assembly.
Meanwhile, Zaidi said technical reports from a forensic expert on the cause of ceiling collapse at a section of Melaka Handicraft bazaar at Bandar Hilir here show that the structure was not designed to withstand weighted sales items that were hung on the ceiling board.
He said the bazaars are located in the basement of an open space with a field at a shopping mall where the original design was not meant to place pressure on the ceiling board by hanging sales items.
He said the incident where the ceiling collapsed on Dec 12 was due to a pipe leakage that had damaged the foundation of the ceiling.
Zaidi said the collapsed section only affected 20 out of 136 units at the site and repair work is ongoing.
"Hence, we don't need to relocate the traders due to the incident," he added.