PETALING JAYA: Sabah is looking to regulate the operators of short-let accommodation like those on Airbnb, including possibly banning short-term rentals of condominium units or homes in private housing areas.
Sabah deputy chief minister Dr Joachim Gunsalam said the state government is looking at ways to ensure Airbnb’s operations can be regulated well under the law.
“We are looking at the ordinances and seeing where we can regulate it. It could possibly include making it illegal for Airbnb (hosts to) operate in a condominium or private housing area, (and requiring them) to be a business entity,” he said, according to The Borneo Post.
He expressed grave concern over allegations that a hidden camera was found in the wall socket of an Airbnb rented by a couple from China.
“To me, it is all about the regulation of Airbnb. There are some minimum standards (they should adhere to),” he was quoted as saying.
Joachim urged Airbnb operators to conduct their businesses professionally and encouraged visitors to Sabah to book accommodation that were licenced.
On Saturday, a couple from China lodged a police report saying they discovered a tiny camera hidden in a socket in their homestay room.
Airbnb has since removed the account of the homestay operator pending investigations into the claim.
Yesterday, the tourism, arts and culture ministry said it was still conducting studies on enhanced guidelines for the tourism industry, which would also regulate short-term rental platforms like Airbnb.
It said special zones for short-let accommodation such as those on Airbnb were being considered as part of the government’s move to regulate the business.