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The amended Law on "Prohibition of Providing Illegal Accommodation" effective on 1 April Greater force unfolds to combat illegal accommodation

MACAU, April 1 - The Macao Special Administrative Region Government first enforced the Law on "Prohibition of Providing Illegal Accommodation" in 2010 to crack down on illegal accommodation in residential buildings. Riding on changes in the social environment, illegal hostels became more shrouded and posed hidden threat to community safety, arousing concern in different circles of the society. To strengthen legal mechanisms against such illicit operations, the Government formulated the Law No. 3/2022 as Amendments to the Law No. 3/2010 on "Prohibition of Providing Illegal Accommodation". Effective from today (1 April), the amended law is grounded on thorough consideration of opinions from different sectors of the city. 

Redefinition of illegal accommodation

The Law No. 3/2022 as Amendments to the Law No. 3/2010 on "Prohibition of Providing Illegal Accommodation" stipulates that non-residents of Macao (except holders of special authorization to stay) who are granted permission to stay for no longer than 90 days upon entering Macao are allowed only to stay in legally-operated hotel establishments in principle, including hotels, apartment hotels and economical accommodation establishments. Any individual or entity accommodating aforementioned non-residents in premises or individual apartments that are not classified to function as hotel establishments, such as residential and commercial properties as well as industrial buildings, without a hotel business license is regarded as an illegal accommodation provider. 

Exceptional circumstances

The new law stipulates that an act is not regarded as provision of illegal accommodation if it is performed under any of the following circumstances: 1) religious organizations, non-profit legal persons or organizations and higher education institutions offering accommodation because of religious, charitable, sport, cultural or academic activities. For instance, higher education institutions receiving guests at their dormitories; 2) lodging providers acquainted with lodgers before their stay through their kinship, work, academic or other private relationships, because of which lodgers are also accommodated for free, e.g. offering hospitality for relatives. 

More rigorous regulation 

The new law imposes stricter regulation upon accommodation booking businesses and real estate intermediaries and agents. 

The amended law mandates specific cooperation obligations of accommodation booking businesses such as online platforms for hotel reservation, for example, to provide pertinent documents and remove informative online posts about accommodation at the premises or flats. Other amendments include a new penalty upon real estate intermediaries and agents for facilitating another party’s establishment of a legal act that constitutes provision of illegal accommodation, for instance, establishment of real estate lease contracts. The person convicted of the above offence is liable to a fine from 20,000 up to 100,000 patacas. 

Encourage active supervision and report of property owners

According to the newly revised law in force, if property owners report activities of illegal accommodation to Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) before investigations are initiated into the irregularity, and are not involved in the act of providing illegal accommodation, MGTO may not impose sanctions such as to seal the property and cut water and electricity supply, or may shorten the effective period of these sanctions.

MGTO and DSAJ roll out multi-channel promotion and themed seminar together 

Before the new law came into effect, MGTO and Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) unfolded a multi-channel promotional campaign through local radio and TV advertisements, brochures, distribution and posting of posters at ports of entry and premises reported as a hotbed of illegal accommodation. The two offices also released promotional videos on WeChat, Facebook, Instagram, Douyin and YouTube to keep raising awareness among visitors and property owners. In sync with enforcement of the new law, MGTO, DSAJ and Housing Bureau will jointly organize a themed seminar to elaborate the key clauses and familiarize the citizenry, accommodation booking businesses, real estate agencies and community organizations with the new law. 

Welcome to report alleged cases and view promotional videos 

Upon encounter with any suspected cases, residents can file reports via MGTO’s 24-hour Tourism Hotline: (853) 2833 3000. Please visit the themed website: https://www.dsaj.gov.mo/other/ppia/ to learn more about the newly-amended Law on "Prohibition of Providing Illegal Accommodation". 

The fight against illegal accommodation entails an array of long-term efforts. MGTO hopes to maintain close communication with different sectors of the society and join hands to crack down on illegal accommodation, safeguarding Macao’s brand as a safe and quality destination.