The Airbnb trend is booming. The Malaysian property rental market could hardly cover for the monthly loan instalments therefore encouraging more and more property owners to look for other alternative options which is homestay or short-term rental.

Home stays have been increasing in popularity among travellers to Malaysia. These travellers look for alternative accommodation other than hotels or serviced apartments to save costs and enjoy the “local” living space experience.

Currently, according to The Edge Malaysia, there are at least 18,000 Airbnb listings in Malaysia.

But is there any other Homestay or short stay rental platform like Airbnb?

Well actually, Yes. Beside Airbnb, there other online platform that promotes short term stays such as HomeAway, Wimdu and ibilik.

Some host operates these short stays or homestays like a business. They redesign the home units to look amazing, provided good facilities, and ensured that the space is well maintained and with good reviews, the host will repeatedly get new visitors to stay.

Travellers, families and groups especially, always look for decent and affordable accommodation. Not only that it is kind to their wallet, they can also learn about being apart of the local’s surrounding daily life and activities. According The Star Online Aug 2016, 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.

For now, both ministries have no plans to draft any new law on the matter. There are also currently no plans to issue any licenses, 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.

Starting from Jan 2018, DBKL said it was proactively registering and studying the feasibility of short-term leases in various parts of Kuala Lumpur to ensure that owners and operators can rent their properties out legally.

“Short-term rental is widely marketed through websites such as AirBnB, HomeAway, as well as iBilik, and it may cause disturbance to other units and contribute to safety and cleanliness problems.

“The registration programme is done so that the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) can conduct studies on the operators who rent out their properties for short-term stays legally and be placed under the supervision of DBKL.

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

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

With these initiatives, it will be good news for operators and interested investors to look forward in the profits of short term stays. Will this be a new wave to raise the hotel standards in Malaysia? Or will this be a new competitive market against hotels? just like Uber vs Traditional cab.

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