The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Wednesday (May 8) which it won’t proceed with suggested regulations for the usage of personal residential properties for short-term accommodation (STA).
This usually means the stay duration will continue to apply. The decision was made by the agency after consultations with stakeholders since 2015, such as members of the general public, management companies and managing agents of condominiums and committees.
But, many home-sharing platform operators discovered the rules to become overly restrictive and wanted a”lighter touch approach”, URA said.
Said they were not able to support the regulatory framework, and specifically, they didn’t support the suggested threshold for owners’ approval, and the limit nights for short-term lodging, the agency added.
Their concern was expressed by management companies regarding the greater responsibilities placed on them also to potentially mitigate the effects of the lands and to regulate the circulation of transient occupants, the URA said.
It will continue to monitor the situation, as well as broader developments over the STA picture. URA stays open to assessing the place later on, when and if platform operators demonstrate that they are ready to adhere to this regulatory framework,” the authority said in its press launch.
In public consultations ran in April to May this past year, the URA regional committee agents, and spoke to different stakeholders such as online platform surgeries such as Airbnb, hotels and service flat operators, and solicited by the general public over 800 responses.
Presently, under the Planning Act, personal houses can’t be rented for less than three weeks , unless owners receive permission otherwise.
The public consultations last year were held in response to public opinions from 2015, with URA indicating a few changes to the three-month tenancy law.
The changes proposed include an 80 percent consent from homeowners at strata-titled development to record the property for short-term accommodation with management companies to manage the voting process.
Then, independent owners would have to enroll their intention to lease out their possessions for short-term lodging, and comply with the cap to let their land out .
In addition, homeowners would have to comply with safety measures, for example fire safety.
Following URA’s decision, home-booking firm Airbnb expressed disappointment that the conversation hasn’t moved ahead.
“We have repeatedly provided our aid to local authorities to help build new guidelines and expressed our deep commitment to work together with our community to make sure these regulations short-term and work leasing action is conducted responsibly and responsibly.
“While today’s announcement is unsatisfactory, we remain committed to working with the government towards a pathway ahead for our network of hosts in Singapore along with the countless millions of guests that utilize Airbnb whenever they travel,” Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public coverage for Southeast Asia explained.
HomeAway, another system operator, said that it would keep working with the Government to set a regulatory framework that was reasonable.
“The URA’s choice to keep the status quo in Singapore is really a sign that it simplifies the complexity of the problem and requires more time to examine it.
“HomeAway stands prepared to associate together with the Singapore Government (to) make a STR frame that is renewable and commercially viable, one that does not penalise bona fide operators such as ourselves and current high barriers to entry that dangers driving the market underground,” said HomeAway Asia’s senior manager of government and company occasions Ang Choo Pin.