Thought of renting out your condominium or HDB apartment on AirBnB to tourists for short periods of time? I’m afraid it’s going to be illegal now. Back in 2016, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has witness an increase of over 60 percent in complaints on the breaches of rules in private residences – That was what Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong reported in the Parliament on 6th February 2017.
With the amendment in place, home owners committing such offences (i.e renting out their property for a term less than 6 months) will face a fine up to $200,000 and even jail for up to a year – following the earlier guidelines set by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
Understandably, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is also looking into the possibly of creating a class for home owners of private residential properties who wish to engage in short-term rentals – said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong. He also mentioned that these properties need to be given specific approvals for these purposes which are similar to service apartments or hotels.
At the moment, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) states that private home owners who wish to rent out their properties and spaces for less than six months cannot do so lawfully unless they obtain permission from the national planning authority, while also limiting the number of unrelated tenants in private apartments to six.
The cap does not apply to families, as the amendment expressly excludes persons who are related, along with their domestic helpers and care-givers. For units currently housing seven or eight persons, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong says URA will allow the tenancy agreements to “run their natural course” for now, and will not clamp down on them before they expire.
Through the proposed amendments, Wong believes planning levers will be enhanced while provisions in the Bill will strengthen Singapore’s current regulatory regime, such as engaging qualified persons (QPs) throughout the key stages of a property’s development process.