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More than 31,900 listings in Malaysia on Airbnb

PETALING JAYA: There are over 31,900 listings in Malaysia on Airbnb, with the annual median host income averaging RM4,725.

Hosts in Kuala Lumpur shared their homes with more than 507,000 guests in 2017, which is a 135% increase from the previous year, according to Airbnb.

Isaac Yong, 30, an Airbnb host, places a lease on his apartment in Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur, on the platform.

“I earn RM1,000 to RM3,000 extra compared to the conventional long-term renting,” said the self-employed Yong.

He admitted that the home-sharing industry is becoming more competitive as more and more hosts are allowing guests to stay for shorter periods at lower prices.

“I get fewer bookings now than two or three years ago,” he said.

Another host, known only as Clement, who rents out a room in Bukit Bintang in the city, said he made the same from the platform as from long-term tenancy.

“However, with short-term rentals, you save a lot on repair cost,” he said.

He noted that high cleaning fees are needed after a long tenancy, which can’t be cover­ed by the tenants’ deposits.

Eric Tan, too, has experienced a drop in occupancy in recent times.

“Three years ago, I could earn RM4,000 for a property in Jalan Ampang without full occupancy.

“Now, even with full occupancy, I can only make about RM3,000, excluding utility and In­­ternet bills,” said the 35-year-old IT manager.

Still, he agreed that short-term leasing is the preferred choice.

Tony Lee, a doctor, said he welcomes the short-term option than having to deal with “irresponsible long-term tenants”.

“Apart from expensive legal recourse, there is hardly any way to evict a bad tenant, so Airbnb is the alternative,” said the 55-year-old who rents out a property in Ipoh.

Courtesy The Star