PENANG (March 24): Joint management bodies (JMB) and management committees (MC) of strata schemes can enact a bylaw to prevent short-term accommodations under Section 70(2) of the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA), Penang state local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo (pictured) reminded all stakeholders, The Star reported yesterday.

“We hope people are aware of this. We have had complaints from owners of residential buildings about homestays in their areas.

“We understand that some unit owners may want to earn additional income through short-term stays or homestay businesses but this is not acceptable. If unit owners want to rent their units out to short-term guests or turn them into homestay units, 75% of the residents there must first agree to it.

“An annual general meeting (AGM) must be chaired by the JMC or MC and three quarter of residents in that particular building must be agreeable to the idea. Otherwise unit owners are not allowed to turn their units into homestay units,” Jagdeep told the media after a spot check at a condominium along Karpal Singh Drive here yesterday.

Jagdeep added that JMBs or MCs can issue a compound to the owner if he or she insists on continuing the homestay even after residents do not allow it.

“Under the Strata Management Act, 2013, the JMB and MC can enact their own bylaw to compound the owner RM200 for each time the unit was rented out for a short-term stay.

“If the JMB and MC has issued compounds to the unit owner and the compounds are not paid or if there are further disputes, the issue can be referred to a tribunal,” Jagdeep said.

“If the majority are not agreeable to the idea, unit owners must not continue with the short-term stay business.

“But if the majority is agreeable, go ahead. At the end of the day, we just do not want any social issues.

“This is because short-term stay businesses may endanger the local community, as they would not know who entered the premises.”

Jagdeep also revealed that landed properties such as terraced homes and bungalows also faced “similar problems and we will look into them soon”.

“We are studying other property types as well but we are sure landed home owners would not allow homestays as well.”

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