National Development Minister Lawrence Wong stated in Parliament on Monday, 6th Feb’ 2017 that the Government is thinking about making a new category of homes where short term leases are accepted.
“New residential sites can be sold with such an approved use, allowing flexibility for short-term rentals. For existing residential buildings, they would then require planning permission for change of use, and this would be subject to a set of guidelines which URA is looking into,” said Wong.
In January 2015, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had established a community opinions exercise on whether private residential properties in Singapore should be permitted for short term rental leasing.
Despite nearly two years of consultation, Airbnb found current guidelines still discouraging to home owners in Singapore.
“We have repeatedly offered our support to relevant agencies to develop a framework that promotes responsible home-sharing. Nearly two years since the URA’s public consultation, it’s disappointing that the discussion has not moved forward,” Airbnb said.
Current regulation set by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) disallowed home-owners from subletting their homes for rentals with less than six months lease. Those found in violation of the rules will be fined up to S$200,000 (US$141,400) or be jailed for up to a year.
The regulation will also grant URA officers to question suspected violators as well as the rights to demand relevant information or documents pertaining to the violation, take on-site video evidence, and conduct forced entry into the homes.
Airbnb also said that this bill set by Singapore Authority laying out penalties for unlawful short-term rentals is not compatible with Singapore’s vision “to stay ahead in an age of disruption and innovation”.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Airbnb mentioned “More than 50 per cent of hosts in Singapore are sharing their primary residence – the home in which they live. For a lot of Singaporeans, the opportunity to list their home on Airbnb – for an average of S$5,000 per year – makes a real difference paying off the mortgage, electricity bills and other daily expenses.”