Airbnb rentals still illegal in Singapore, after operators said no to a Government limit of 90 rental days a year per house

URA’s proposed rules include licensing operators, limiting each home to a maximum of 90 rental days per year, and only allowing home rentals in an estate if 80 per cent of the residents consent to it.
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Planning to list a room or home on Airbnb to earn some extra moolah? Prepare to be disappointed.

Following four years of consultations with the public, neighborhood committees, and management teams of condominiums, hotels and serviced apartments, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced on Tuesday (May 8) that short-term home rentals will continue to be illegal here.

Currently, the minimum stay for those renting a private home is at least three months.

The stat board decided not to go ahead with a proposal allowing short-term rentals of private homes after home-sharing platform operators criticised its proposed rules as “overly restrictive”.

The rules include licensing operators, limiting each home to a maximum of 90 rental days per year, and only allowing home rentals in an estate if 80 per cent of the residents consent to it.

Home-sharing platform operators objected in particular to last two rules.

The stat board said that “given the impasse”, it would not proceed with the proposed regulations, but was “open to reviewing the position in future” if platform operators agreed to fully commit to the proposed rules.

“It is understandable that the platform operators would be driven by their commercial imperatives,” the URA said. “But it is not tenable for [us] to allow a more relaxed regulatory framework that does not address the concerns raised by Singaporeans.”

Citing a commissioned national survey of thousands of private homeowners, the URA said the majority of survey respondents were concerned that short-term renters could compromise residents’ security and privacy, damage common facilities, and make a nuisance of themselves.

Only seven per cent of those surveyed said they were keen to rent out their homes.

In addition, condominium management teams raised concerns about having to “mitigate the impact” of short-term renters using common facilities such as the gym and swimming pool.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, called the URA’s decision “disappointing” and said that other governments had put in place “sustainable” rules and regulations that reflected modern travel trends.

“By sticking with the status quo, Singapore remains the exception,” she added.

Goh said that the company would continue working with the Government to allow short-term home rental operations in the future.

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