Finalise short-term rental guidelines soonest, urge hotels group

KUALA LUMPUR: The guidelines for short-term rental accommodation (STRA) must be finalised as soon as possible to provide a level playing field to all tourist accommodation premises, says the Malaysian Association of Hotels Kuala Lumpur (MAH KL).

The association said this was due to the nature of STRA, which allows owners to avoid various taxes such as SST or Tourism Tax for the hospitality accommodation industry.

MAH KL said this contributes to a large revenue gap for the government in addition to the underlying safety and security risks posed by this practice.

A news portal reported on Nov 5 that hundreds of guests had been left stranded after they were unable to check in into their apartment units for short-term rentals at a condominium in Ipoh.

MAH KL defended the condominium's joint management body's decision to ban short-term rental accommodation in their role to regulate residential condominium by-laws as provided under Section 32(3) of the Strata Management Act.

"Joint management bodies are rightly executing their roles in the absence of the long-awaited national STRA guidelines still being drafted by the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

"MAH KL fully supports such actions and hopes that more and more of residential condominium management bodies in Kuala Lumpur will regulate STRA in their by-laws," said MAH KL chairman Lim Boon Eow in a press release on Monday (Nov 6).

He added that unit owners found breaching this can be fined by the management under the Act.

Lim added that he hoped the STRA guidelines would be finalised and enforced ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

Previously on Feb 22, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming told Dewan Rakyat that a national short-term rental accommodation guide was in the works that would be adopted by all local authorities.

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