The pre-war properties in Penang’s heritage enclave could be overheating with foreign corporations “snapping them up by the rows” and causing rentals to sky-rocket.
It was reported that these properties could be leased out at more than 500 per cent above the previous rental mark after some sprucing up and the Penang government is looking at introducing a rent control enactment meant to prevent the inflation of heritage property rentals.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the move would stop gentrification that was driving the locals away from pre-war houses in the core and buffer zone of the island’s heritage site.
He said the enactment would be similar to the Rent Control Act 1966, which was repealed in 1997.
The Act had previously set a maximum rental rate, and did not allow house owners to increase it.
“The enactment will be different from the repealed Rent Control Act as house owners can impose rental rates according to the market price, but it should not be an exorbitant increase,” he said.