News & Updates

Airbnb considered legal

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:00

The Government has endorsed home-sharing service Airbnb, saying it is legal as long as there is no foul play.

The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry said this in response to claims from the hotel industry that such services were illegal as homeowners were renting out properties to tourists for business.

“Due to the nature of travellers drawn to cheap prices and the personal agreement made between the host and the traveller, Airbnb is considered legal.

“This is as long as no foul play or fraud is involved or intended, such as in cases of Internet scams,” the ministry’s policy and inspectorate division told Sunday Star.

While there have been complaints from hotels on the emergence of home-sharing platforms, such issues have been discussed by various government agencies including the ministry, Tourism and Culture Ministry, the Malaysia Productivity Corp­oration and police.

For now, both ministries have no plans to draft any new law on the matter. There are also currently no plans to issue any licences, like those granted to hotels, for Airbnb hosts.

“The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry has no authority to block Airbnb or to allow it to operate “The transaction and agreement made between the host and the traveller is done online,” said the ministry.

On disturbances caused by Airbnb guests to other residents in the property, the ministry said such matters should be settled between the Airbnb host and the neighbours involved.

“However, if foul play is suspected, neighbours should lodge a report with the relevant authorities including the police, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consu­merism Ministry, Malaysian Comm­unications and Multimedia Comm­ission and Department of Islamic Affairs,” it said.

It was reported that the local hotel industry claimed home-sharing services like Airbnb were eating into their business with some estimating about 5% to 15% of their business being diverted.

Hoteliers also alleged that consumers were not fully protected under such arrangements.


The Penang state government will soon make its decision regarding a proposal to revise the current density guidelines to 128 units per acre in order to provide more affordable housing in the state.

Penang State Exco for Housing and Town & Country Planning Jagdeep Singh Deo said the proposal to raise the density from the current 87 units per acre is in the final stages of discussions and an announcement will be made soon.

“During a series of meetings with relevant stakeholders, it was suggested that the [87 units per acre] guideline be revised as they are facing difficulties selling large units that are deemed unaffordable (pursuant to the density guidelines),” Jagdeep said at the Penang International Property (PIP) mid-term review conference in Penang last Friday (Aug 5).

PETALING JAYA: In the wake of increasing pressure on banks to relax lending rules, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) is asking first time home buyers to consider applying for Government schemes such as “Skim Rumah Pertamaku” (SRP) for assistance in their property purchase.

An ABM statement said 11 commercial banks and 11 Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia were participating in the SRP scheme. The full list is on SRP’s website (

According to the website, 100% financing is available for houses capped at RM500,000.