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How to list your property on Airbnb in Malaysia in 8 easy steps

start airbnb in malaysia

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Exploring the potential of Airbnb in Malaysia offers property owners a unique opportunity to tap into the growing market of short-term rentals. This article guides you through the process of listing your property on Airbnb in Malaysia, including Airbnb income tax, Airbnb license requirements, and rules for Airbnb in Malaysia for foreigners.

How to register on Airbnb in Malaysia?

Listing your property on Airbnb in Malaysia involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Understand Airbnb’s rules and regulations in Malaysia: Before listing, familiarize yourself with Airbnb’s guidelines and local regulations. Although no laws prevent Airbnb in Malaysia, hosts must register with the government and pay a tourist tax of RM 10 ($2.10) per room per night.
  2. Set up an Airbnb account and create a listing: Create a profile on Airbnb in Malaysia, upload photos of your property, and write a detailed description. Highlight unique features and set a competitive rate.
  3. Prepare your property for guests: Ensure your property is clean, well-maintained, and stocked with necessary amenities. Add personal touches like welcome notes or local guidebooks.
  4. Manage bookings and communicate with guests: Respond promptly to inquiries, manage reservations, and provide clear instructions for accessing your property.
  5. Maintain your property: Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for positive guest experiences and reviews.
  6. Offer exceptional hospitality: Differentiate your listing with personal recommendations, complimentary items, or unique experiences.
  7. Request reviews and build a positive reputation: Encourage guests to leave reviews and respond to them constructively.

How to start Airbnb in Malaysia?

To start an Airbnb in Malaysia, first understand Airbnb’s rules and local laws, including the need to register with the government and pay a tourist tax of RM 10 ($2.10) per room per night. Then, set up an Airbnb account by clicking here. You can then create a listing with photos and a detailed description of your property.

Ensure your property is clean, well-maintained, and ready for guests, and be proactive in managing bookings and communicating with guests. Regular property maintenance and providing excellent hospitality are essential for positive reviews and success on the platform.

Who can register their property on Airbnb in Malaysia?

Anyone who owns property in Malaysia can register their property on Airbnb in Malaysia if they comply with local regulations and Airbnb’s guidelines. This includes registering with the government and adhering to the tourist tax. Both property owners and those with permission to use a property can list on Airbnb, provided they are committed to maintaining high standards of hospitality and creating a welcoming experience for guests.

Is Airbnb legal in Malaysia?

Airbnb is legal in Malaysia, but it operates within a specific set of rules and regulations. While no explicit laws prohibit Airbnb, the government is actively working on a regulatory framework to better manage and facilitate short-term rentals. Hosts on Airbnb in Malaysia are required to comply with the Tourism Tax Act 2017, which includes registration and tax obligations. Additionally, hosts should adhere to building and safety codes and obtain necessary licenses and permits.

Rules for Airbnb in Penang

The local government of Penang has introduced strict Airbnb rules, including:

  • Approval from Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC): For properties in residential zones, hosts must obtain approval from the JMB or MC through the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This also applies to service apartments in commercial zones.
  • Registration with local authorities: Owners or operators of stratified premises/units are required to register with local authorities, ensuring accountability and regulatory compliance.
  • Maximum annual rental period: The total rental period for any property is capped at 180 days per year, balancing short-term rental activities with residential stability.
  • Limitation on operational days: Each rental transaction is limited to three days. Extensions beyond this period require additional approval from the relevant JMB or MC.
  • Control on number of tenants: The number of tenants per unit is regulated based on the size of the property, ensuring comfort and safety.
  • Annual statements and STA operation reports: Premise owners/operators must produce annual statements and short-term accommodation (STA) operation reports for the JMB or MC. These reports are then submitted to the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) along with the Yearly Meeting Report.

Rules for Airbnb in Kuala Lumpur

No specific Airbnb rules and regulations are set by the local government in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, which are located in Klang Valley. However, DBKL does encourage property owners to register their property online.

Rules for Airbnb in Sabah

The stage government in Sabah has implemented strict rules for Airbnb hosts, including:

  • Commercial land zones: Only property on land that is zoned for commercial or commercial mixed-use are allowed short-term rentals, such as through Airbnb.
  • Lodging house license: Property owners must obtain a lodging house license to run an Airbnb in Sabah.
  • Fire safety requirements: The property must comply with fire safety requirements.

Airbnb income tax in Malaysia

Airbnb hosts in Malaysia must navigate various tax obligations. The primary taxes include:

  1. Income Tax: Money earned from hosting an Airbnb in Malaysia is considered taxable income. Individual hosts must declare this income in their annual personal income tax return. The tax rate is progressive, up to 30%, based on annual net income.
  2. Corporate Tax: If the host operates as a corporate entity, they must declare Airbnb income in their annual corporate income tax return. The prevailing corporate tax rate is up to 24% on annual net profits.
  3. Service Tax: Hosts earning RM 500,000 ($105,000) or more per year from Airbnb are required to register for service tax.
  4. Tourist Tax: As of January 1, 2023, Airbnb hosts are no longer required to collect and remit tourist tax on bookings.

Is Airbnb profitable in Malaysia?

Airbnb in Malaysia presents a lucrative opportunity, especially with the country’s growing tourism industry. The platform’s flexibility allows for short-term and long-term rental strategies, catering to diverse traveler needs. Urban areas like Kuala Lumpur and Penang show robust performance due to high tourist footfall. The key to profitability lies in strategic location selection, quality service, and effective pricing strategies. With the right approach, Airbnb hosting can be a smart investment in Malaysia’s thriving rental market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to start Airbnb in Malaysia?

To start an Airbnb in Malaysia, understand local Airbnb rules, set up an account, prepare your property, manage bookings effectively, maintain your property, offer exceptional hospitality, and build a positive reputation through guest reviews.

How to become the best Airbnb in Malaysia?

Becoming the best Airbnb in Malaysia involves offering outstanding hospitality, maintaining high standards of cleanliness, providing unique local experiences, and consistently engaging with guests to garner positive reviews and recommendations.

Is Airbnb illegal in Malaysia?

No, Airbnb is not illegal in Malaysia. However, hosts must comply with local regulations, including registering with the government, paying relevant taxes, and adhering to safety and building codes.

How is the Airbnb market in Malaysia performing?

The Airbnb market in Malaysia is performing well, particularly in tourist-heavy areas like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The market benefits from the country’s rich cultural heritage and tourist attractions, making it a popular choice for travelers.

What is the best place to start Airbnb in Malaysia?

The best places to start Airbnb in Malaysia are major cities and tourist destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu, where there is a high demand for short-term rentals due to tourism and business travel.

Do I need Airbnb insurance in Malaysia?

Yes, it’s advisable to have Airbnb insurance in Malaysia. While Airbnb provides some coverage, hosts should consider additional homeowners’ or renters’ insurance for comprehensive protection against property damage and liability.

How to be an Airbnb in Malaysia?

To be an Airbnb host in Malaysia, create an Airbnb account, set up your property listing with precise descriptions and photos, and comply with local regulations. Ensure your property is safe and clean, set competitive prices, and provide excellent hospitality to garner positive reviews.

Can foreigners start an Airbnb business in Malaysia?

Yes, foreigners can start an Airbnb business in Malaysia, but they must adhere to the same local regulations and tax obligations as Malaysian citizens. Foreign hosts need to understand property ownership laws and any visa-related restrictions.

Written by Matt Timmermans

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List your property in Malaysia on Airbnb
Airbnb is a globally popular booking platform that allows property owners to list their properties for rent. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn a passive income. List your property on Airbnb today!
List your property in Malaysia on Airbnb

Airbnb is a globally popular booking platform that allows property owners to list their properties for rent. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn a passive income. List your property on Airbnb today!