S’pore pro­poses al­low­ing some Airbnb-type rentals

It is also con­sid­er­ing li­cens­ing web­site op­er­a­tors

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Digital Trend -

SIN­GA­PORE: Sin­ga­pore has pro­posed al­low­ing pri­vate home own­ers to let out their prop­erty for short-term rentals but with an an­nual cap of 90 days a year – part of a con­sul­ta­tion process wel­comed by rental ser­vice Airbnb.

Pri­vate homes in Sin­ga­pore are cur­rently sub­ject to a min­i­mum rental pe­riod of three con­sec­u­tive months, and such strict rules make the city-state one of the tougher mar­kets in which Airbnb op­er­ates.

Two Airbnb hosts were fined S$60,000 (US$45,800) each by a lo­cal court this month for unau­tho­rised short-term let­ting.

Sin­ga­pore’s pro­posal to limit rentals days is broadly in line with mea­sures in­tro­duced by other cities such as Paris, Lon­don and Am­s­ter­dam.

The city state has be­gun seek­ing pub­lic feed­back on the pro­posal and other meas- ures to reg­u­late the sec­tor.

Airbnb, which pre­vi­ously called Sin­ga­pore’s reg­u­la­tory frame­work “un­ten­able” af­ter news of the il­le­gal rentals broke late last year, said yes­ter­day it wel­comed the con­sul­ta­tion.

“We’re com­mit­ted to rea­son­able so­lu­tions that will al­low re­spon­si­ble home shar­ing to thrive in Sin­ga­pore and wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide feed­back through the con­sul­ta­tion process,” said Mich Goh, head of pub­lic pol­icy for Airbnb Sin­ga­pore.

While Sin­ga­pore has been an early adopter of the shar­ing econ­omy, it is also keen to min­imise any po­ten­tial neg­a­tive im­pact of al­low­ing short-term rentals, as most of the wealthy but land-scarce city-state’s 5.6 mil­lion peo­ple live in pub­lic and pri­vate apart­ments.

The pro­posed rules re­quire that a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity of own­ers in a con­do­minium com­plex agree to the pres­ence of short-term rentals in their de­vel­op­ment.

The gov­ern­ment is also seek­ing feed­back on is­sues such as what homes should qual­ify and the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of short-term ac­com­mo­da­tion com­pa­nies, the Ur­ban Re­de­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (URA) said on.

The URA said it will also con­sider the li­cens­ing of op­er­a­tors that ad­ver­tise or mar­ket short-term rental units.

Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of such com­pa­nies could in­clude pay­ing rel­e­vant taxes on rev­enue gen­er­ated from busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties in Sin­ga­pore and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the col­lec­tion of taxes from hosts. The agency said it would con­sider fac­tors such as the type of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment and the char­ac­ter of the area when as­sess­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for short­term rentals. The pub­lic can pro­vide feed­back un­til May 31. — Reuters

Dig­i­tal econ­omy: A woman talk­ing on the phone at the Airbnb of­fice head­quar­ters in San Fran­cisco. Pri­vate homes in Sin­ga­pore are cur­rently sub­ject to a min­i­mum rental pe­riod of three con­sec­u­tive months, and such strict rules make the city-state one of...

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