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URA seeks views on 90-day rental cap, 80% approval for strata-titled homes for Airbnb-style rentals

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The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is consulting the public on its proposed framework for regulating short-term rentals of private residential properties, which could affect home sharing platforms such as Airbnb.

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is consulting the public on its proposed framework for regulating short-term rentals of private residential properties, which could affect home sharing platforms such as Airbnb.

Currently, private residential properties are not allowed to be rented out for less than three consecutive months.

In 2015, the URA held a public consultation exercise to gather views on such short-term rentals. After reviewing the feedback received, the URA worked with relevant agencies to develop a framework to regulate the use of private residential properties for short-term accommodation.

The proposed framework includes qualifying criteria for homes to be used as short-term accommodation, requirements and conditions for homeowners, and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders such as Management Corporations (MCSTs) and short-term accommodation platforms in ensuring that such rentals are conducted in accordance with the proposed rules.

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For instance, it is proposed that each property have an annual rental cap of 90 days for short-term use, and an occupancy limit of six persons.

Each individual property owner will also have to register with the URA before listing the property for short stays, and approved hosts will have to provide the URA with a record of guest details for each stay.

Before all this, property owners will have to agree for their properties to be used for short-term accommodation. For non-strata-titled properties, the owner or owners can decide and apply to be registered.

For strata-titled properties such as apartments and condominiums, the MCST will have to get the support of at least 80 per cent of the share value in favour of using the property for short-term accommodation.

"This is to ensure that a significant majority of owners... agree to the presence of short-term rental activities in their development," said the URA in the consultation document. This endorsement will be valid for a two-year period and will have to be renewed with an updated vote count each time.

Responding to the news, Airbnb's head of public policy for South-east Asia Mich Goh said that the platform was "committed to reasonable solutions that will allow responsible home sharing to thrive in Singapore" and welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback.

"We will also work with our community of hosts and guests - including the 1.4 million Singaporean users who benefit from fair and progressive rules around the world - to help ensure their voices are heard," she added.

The public can view the consultation document and share their views at https://ura.sg/sta or on the portal of government feedback body Reach. The closing date for submission is May 31, 2018.

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