What’s The Status For Homestay Regulations In Malaysia 2019?

[Updated as of August 2019]

Short-term rental businesses in Malaysia will have to be registered with MOTAC. The ministry has released Accommodation Premises Registration Form.

Accommodation Premises that are required to be registered with MOTAC are as follows:

a) Online registered accommodation premises

b) Accommodation premises that are not yet registered either online or with the ministry

For more information, visit MOTAC website.

[Updated as of 21 February 2019, after the announcement from MOTAC https://bernama.com/en/general/news.php?id=1694676

Softinn have spoken to MOTAC and clarified that there are currently no available registration forms for vacation rental business. MOTAC is in a midst of drafting the registration forms and will keep us posted. Once the form is ready, Softinn will reach out to all of our merchants.

Note: As spoken with MOTAC, they wanted short-term rental business to register BUT they have yet to decide on what is the qualification of “short-term rental business”, hence, there are no proper flow to register yet for vacation rental business (to which many refer to as homestay business). Having said that, MOTAC expects all business owners to report the income as rental income (on personal account/company account) as if you collect monthly rental.]

Ever since DBKL announced the implementation of homestay regulations and that homestay owners should come forward to register for 2018, homestays owners are left with unanswered questions one after another. We have listed out the gist since DBKL implemented regulations to register short-term stay property for your better understanding as a homesharing owner.

1. Operating with a total of 5 rooms being rent out for short-stays:

2. Operating in Kuala Lumpur

On 19 January 2018,  it was announced by DBKL that it requires unregistered homestay owners to register for DBKL license by the end of 2018.

  • This is to estimate the size of homestay industry and to establish regulations for homestay owners and operators.
  • Regulation is planned to start on 2019.
  • There was no regulation on homestay owners and operators as of January 2018
  • Registration is free and can be done online at elesen.dbkl.gov.my.

Actions to take:

  • Register with DBKL if still not registered for elesen.
  • Wait for updates from DBKL for the regulations planned for 2019.

3. Operating in Penang:  Unclear regulations

As of July 2016, homestay operators are subject to MBPP/ Penang Island Municipal Council authority and regulation.

  • ‘’All residential apartments, condominiums, flats and gated residential houses are not allowed to carry out lodging houses business.
  • MBPP can issue summonses and fine up to RM250 if homestay operators are found to operate a business without a licence under the 1991 MPPP by-law for Trade, Business and Industries.
  • Unlicenced homestay operators who don’t stop their operation can be taken to court and fined up to RM2,000 or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.
  • Residential apartments, condominiums, flats and gated residential houses are not allowed to operate homestays. Serviced apartments, however, are allowed to.


  1. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/07/22/mbpp-steps-up-crackdown-on-illegal-homestay-operators/
  2. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/28/mbpp-goes-after-unlicensed-homestay-operators/

However, on August 2016, it was quoted that,

  • ‘’The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry has no authority to block Airbnb (the home-sharing services) or to allow it to operate’’.
  • For any suspicion of foul play, report can be made on relevant authorities.


  1. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/08/28/airbnb-considered-legal/

Action to do:

  • Enquire and clarify with MBPP on registration or licence required to operate homestay or short-term rental service in Penang.

4. Operating using your apartment/condominium unit
OR renting out rooms within your unit you live in:

Majlis Perbandaran Muar (MPM) urged all homestay operators to get a license Lesen Rumah Penginapan starting from 1st of November 2017.

  • Lesen Rumah Penginapan is part of Undang-Undang Kecil Perlesenan, Tred, Perniagaan, Perindustrian dan Profesen (MDMS) 1981.
  • Additional rules imposed: Bungalow, Semi-D, Terrace houses and traditional houses are allowed to operate as homestay.


  1. https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/wilayah/2017/10/336131/pengusaha-inap-desa-rumah-penginapan-perlu-ada-lesen

Actions to do:

  • Check for the apartment or condominium regulations.
  • Proceed to operate homestay if such operation is allowed by strata management.
  • If it is not allowed but operators proceed to operate homestay, and are filed with complaints, operators are subject of a fine up to RM200 by the management.


There is no specific prohibition on short-term rental of strata units based on the Third Schedule of Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015 (P.U. (A) 107).

However, according to Section 70(2) of the Strata Management Act 2014 (Act 757), the strata management or a management corporation can make new regulations by a special resolution.

With this, for homestay operators renting out apartment or condominium units or rooms within their units, they have to check the regulations of the apartment/condominium building first.


  1. https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/10/420275/check-strata-laws-renting-or-letting

5. Operating illegally:

Be aware that complains on unlicensed operators can be lodged to

  • Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry
  • Local authorities (includes DBKL and MBPP)
  • Joint Member Body of your strata building and Strata Tribunal

Unlicensed or illegal operators will be subjected to actions under the Tourism Industry Act 1992.

Public are encouraged to report immediately to local authorities on illegal premises in their area.

Other regulations for all homestay operators:

  • Uniform Building By-laws 1984 for upgrading homestay properties to adhere the needs of the Fire Department under Uniform Building By-laws 1984.
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1976 & Undang-undang Kecil 1991  for the use of residential housing units other than residential purposes.
  • Strata Management Act 2013for regulations from the strata management bodies.


  1. https://hartabumi.com/risiko-jalani-perniagaan-homestay-di-kediaman-sendiri/

Check out related topic pertaining to homestay regulations here. Let’s read and discuss together!

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