Scope for short-term private home rentals in Singapore: Lawrence Wong

There is some scope to allow short-term accommodations in Singapore that are subject to the proper safeguards and controls, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in parliament on Tuesday.

He was responding to a question by member of parliament Henry Kwek (Nee Soon GRC), who asked if Mr Wong’s ministry would consider working with operators like Airbnb to find a way to regulate private homes being rented out.

This would have to be done by balancing the interests of homeowners and neighbours, given that is an important part of the travel experience, especially for the millenials, said Mr Kwek.

In his reply, Mr Wong said his ministry is working out the regulatory parameters and intends to consult the public on the proposed measures before finalising them.

The Ministry of National Development and the Urban Redevelopment Authority have already held meetings and discussions with different stakeholders on the issue of short-term accommodation.

“There are different views among homeowners who are keen to put out their units for short-term accommodation, and those who are concerned about privacy and safety in their homes,” said Mr Wong.

“There are also competing interests between hotel operators and short-term stay platform operators like Airbnb.”

The laws state that short-term rentals of less than three months are illegal, unless the owners get permission under the Planning Act’s new rules that came into effect in May 2017.

Last December, two people were charged for breaking the rules.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 7 February 2018