In this article
  • Just today, DBKL announced that they require all Airbnb operators in its jurisdiction to register with the municipality. 
  • Failure to comply could result in legal action. 
  • When we tried, we couldn’t figure out how to actually register the premise.
  • Calls to any DBKL numbers only led to confused operators who didn’t have the information required. 

In yet another move to regulate the controversial Airbnb platform, DBKL now wants all short-term renters in its control to register that property with the municipality.

Since e-hailing is already regulated by SPAD, it makes perfect sense that the same should apply to Airbnb as well. There have been cases of Airbnb guests disturbing the neighbours, as well as the obvious security risks.

DBKL said in a statement that the programme will help SSM study those who rent out their property for short-term stays—and operators can actually run their little operation with DBKL’s regulation.

The problem? We can’t figure out how to do it.

We are uni-educated adults with a decent amount of tech savvy (relatively). Even then, we can’t for the life of us figure out how to go about it.

At first, the process seemed obvious. A glance at the linked website—https://elesen.dbkl.gov.my—brings us to a seemingly obvious place to click.

We didn’t need to point to it with an arrow, yes?

However, we later discovered that this simply allows you to register an account on the site, which we did. When we logged in, it’s clear that we haven’t registered the space as a short-term rental location.

For one thing, does registration mean a license or just this?

When we tried to figure out where to register, we figured the ‘PERMOHONAN’ tab was our best bet.

The best guess is ‘PREMIS’?

But the next page immediately asks for a license, which Airbnb owners clearly don’t have.

Well we lack one really important detail.

So we went hunting for answers.

We tried calling the DBKL help center, whose operator informed us that they did not receive any information on this matter. For all of the DBKL numbers we called, all of them either gave the same answer—or simply didn’t pick up the call.

Bureaucracy rages on.

They also kept asking if we were applying for a license, to which we weren’t even sure of. Shouldn’t this just be a registration?

We’ve dropped an email to DBKL and will update this space if they answer.

If we can’t figure it out, can most Airbnb owners?

It is possible that DBKL simply hasn’t updated its website to accommodate Airbnb owners. After all, the news about it states that the website will be operational within this month—not necessarily today.

With the threat of legal action hanging over the heads of Airbnb owners though, I’d be pretty concerned about not being able to figure out how to use it.

Or if a savvier person could enlighten us, please do so. We’re confused.

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)