Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has issued a statement that clarifies the country’s stand on services like Airbnb. According to the circular, the URA’s guidelines do not allow for subletting of residential homes for less than six months at a time. Effectively preventing Airbnb from operating on the island.
According to the statement, “allowing residences to be used for short stays leads to high turnovers of occupants, and gives rise to nuisance and safety concerns. Most of us do prefer some familiarity with the people who live around our homes.”
The ruling from the URA is the result of a nationwide survey launched back in 2015. In other words, it is the Singaporean home owners who do not want strangers coming and going from their neighbourhoods.
Airbnb in turn has expressed its disappointment with the announcement, but has said that it will work with the Singaporean government to find a business model that works. There is a bright spot for the company as Singapore’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong has said that the government is looking to create a new class of homes to cater to Airbnb.
Until that happens, Singaporeans caught breaking the law can be fined up to S$200,000 (about RM 630,000) or face one year in prison.