Airbnb in talks with local authorities over rental rules


Airbnb said it generated RM200.4mil for the Malaysian economy last year, based on 1.5 million guest arrivals. — Bloomberg

Airbnb said it generated RM200.4mil for the Malaysian economy last year, based on 1.5 million guest arrivals. — Bloomberg

Short-term home rental platform Airbnb is in talks with Malaysian authorities to possibly devise regulatory framework for its services.

“We’ve had meaningful and productive conversations with the Malaysian authorities, who are excited by the prospect of home sharing and the benefits the Airbnb platform is already bringing to local tourism," it said, in a statement.

Airbnb said it generated RM200.4mil for the Malaysian economy last year, based on 1.5 million guest arrivals.

The statement was in response to a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) order that owners or operators of residential properties that were using platforms like Airbnb would have to register or face penalties.

“Airbnb has worked with over 275 governments around the world to develop clear and sensible frameworks that support home sharing in their cities, while addressing local community needs," said the company. 

Last week, DBKL said it was proactively registering and studying the feasibility of short-term leases in the city to ensure that properties owners can rent out their units legally.

It said short-term rentals through websites such as AirBnB, HomeAway, and iBilik may cause disturbance to other units and contribute to safety and cleanliness problems.

The registration programme would place such property owners under DBKL supervision and allow the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to conduct studies on them.

“Failure to register will be considered as an offence, and action will be taken by DBKL,” it said.

The registration programme would run throughout the year, with registration open to individuals, agents, or companies involved in short-term stays without limitations on citizenship.