Residents of a condominium in Penang have sought the help of an assemblyman to stop the renting out of rooms and units there for short-term stays by holidaymakers and medical tourists.
The Gurney Park Condominium residents have turned to Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey for a solution to their long-standing problem.
The condominium’s joint management body (JMB) chairman Soon Hock Huat said for more than 10 years, holidaymakers and medical tourists had been placing bookings with agents for rooms and apartments there for short-term stays.
He said about 100 units of the 588 units in the condominium’s two blocks were believed to be used for such purposes.
“The units are owned by different people and managed by different operators who rent out the units. The tourists who come and stay in those units would not bother about keeping the place clean.
“There has also been occasional fire and theft cases,” Soon told a press conference on Saturday.
He claimed that transport services were also provided for these tourists.
Resident Erick Khoo, 57, said he noticed that those who came to stay at the rented apartments were sickly looking people whom he believed were medical tourists.
“We have also come across vomit and faeces in the lifts. The situation has become unbearable that we have to do something,” he said.
Yap said she would speak to hospitals to provide accommodation for their patients at suitable places and proper serviced apartments and not in residential areas.
She also said the JMB and residents had, last month, won a court case they filed against an owner who had rented out his units as serviced apartments.
She said the court had ruled that the owner, his family members, employees, agents and companies or organisations associated with him were not allowed to rent out 11 specified units and also other units in the condominium as serviced apartments.
Prior to filing the case, Yap said the JMB had held a meeting to set a house rule which stated that owners were not allowed to rent out their units for less than six months.
She said the JMBs of other condominiums and apartments facing similar problems could hold annual general meetings to have such house rules.
A check on the Internet revealed that Gurney Park Condominium is listed as a hotel on several hotel booking websites. - By The Star