As Malaysia plans to restrict short-term stays, Airbnb proposes ‘three strikes law’ to tackle nuisance

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Airbnb, the short-term residential accommodation (STRA) platform, has reportedly urged the government to implement a “three strikes law” to regulate the industry, which would help keep out hosts that were unable to control noisy guests.

English daily The Star quoted Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for South East Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan as saying that the law is currently used in California and New South Wales (NSW).

“We apply a ‘Three Strikes Law’. Here, if a host has reports of an act of noise or nuisance against them three times, they will be put on an exclusion register and not be allowed to host anymore,” she reportedly said.

In the Australian state of NSW, Goh reportedly said STRA guests and hosts are further required to adhere to the state’s code of conduct, and a government agency keeps a list of all those banned from participating in the industry for violating the code.

She reportedly added that in Victoria, another state in Australia, there is a compensation model for strata property residents, where fines are levied against errant guests or hosts, with the payment going to the neighbours who were negatively impacted.

Goh also reportedly said that Airbnb will be introducing new guidelines for use in strata buildings that are meant to complement other initiatives already implemented in Malaysia.

She was also quoted as saying that Airbnb was making attempts to engage with the federal government in regards to regulation of the industry, and that the short-term rental industry could co-exist with the hotel sector.

Earlier today, The Star reported that the Malaysian Association of Hotels has called for the regulation of the STRA industry to ensure fair competition and address inequalities in the tax and compliance requirements between the two sectors.

In May, Penang banned all STRA activities in private residential properties in the city-state, and today The Star reported that the Port Dickson Municipal Council is also considering restrictions on the industry.

Similarly, South China Morning Post (SCMP) also reported that Putrajaya is planning to introduce nationwide regulations on Airbnb, aiming to become the first country in Southeast Asia to do so.

This comes amid concerns regarding safety, taxes, and unfair competition with the hotel industry.

The new rules would require Airbnb hosts to register with the government and obtain licenses to operate STRA, in addition to complying with safety and quality standards, including providing emergency contact information and maintaining proper insurance coverage.

Source: Malay Mail