Penang to regulate homestay activities come Jan 1 next year

GEORGE TOWN: A guideline to regulate homestay activities in both stratified and landed properties will be implemented in Penang in January next year.

State Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the guideline was in the final stages of being drawn out before being presented to the state executive council (exco).

"The guideline for stratified properties is more than 90 per cent ready. However, we also want to incorporate guidelines for landed properties so that both of them can be ready together.

"Before the guideline is presented to the state exco, we need to get feedback from stakeholders, which we are doing now. It will take between two and three months for the exercise to complete.

"If all goes well, we hope to implement the guideline by Jan 1, 2023. If it can be done earlier, it will even be better," he told newsmen here today.

There are a total of 2,511 stratified properties in the state, involving 326,464 units.

Homestay activities are not allowed in low cost, low-medium cost and affordable housing schemes.

Elaborating, Jagdeep said the guideline came about following constant complaints on homestay activities.

He said among the common complaints were the disruptive behaviour of those who rented the homestay.

He added, on the island alone, 228 complaints were received on homestay activities in 2019, 258 complaints in 2020 and 186 complaints last year.

As of June this year, a total of 14 complaints were received.

"Penang is a tourist attraction and many visitors opt for homestays during their visit to the state.

"We don't want to affect the economy of the homestay industry, more so as we have just rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"However, we also need to protect our people, hence the need to implement the guideline," he added.

In the absence of a proper guideline now, Penang is using various provision of the laws to act against these complaints.

Meanwhile, Jagdeep said in a survey conducted by the Penang Island City Council on some 300 stratified properties, about 99 per cent of them were not in favour of their properties being used for homestay activities.

Posted on: 2nd August 2022

Source: New Straits Times