Two hosts fined for illegal letting in Singapore

According to the new Singapore’s rules, individuals can rent private homes for at most 3 consecutive months. A court in Singapore fined 2 Airbnb hosts on Tuesday for illegal short-term letting under Singapore’s rules on short-term property rentals initiated last year. The two hosts were fined £32,540 (S$60,000) each.

The hosts were convicted of renting out 4 flats in a building complex for less than 6 months without seeking permission from the URA.

The hosts are facing a fine of about S$200,000 for each offence under the Singapore law. However, the Prosecutors demanded S$20,000 fines for every charge, which sums up to S$80,000 for all the charges. However, the Defence lawyers appealed for fines of S$5,000 for each charge.

On Tuesday, the defendants were fined S$15,000 each by judge Judge Kenneth Choo. He stated that the fines will serve as a warning signal to prevent others from going into such acts to make a quick profit.

In Singapore, The Private homes are open to a rental period of 3 successive months, while public housing – home to approximately 80% of Singapore’s inhabitants, is subject to a rental period of six months.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority stated that they would carry out a consultation publicly to get feedback on the proposed regulatory scheme for temporal letting.

According to the URA, short-term letting of private homes is multi-faceted, complex, and has several implications. In a letter, the URA stated that a lot of time is needed to complete the consultation process and modify the legislation.

Limited land and a high-population-density mean 5.6 million Singaporeans live in apartments. The head of public policy for Southeast Asia, Mich Goh, Airbnb’s said that they hope to obtain more clarity for our community after the forthcoming public consultation.

Airbnb, which was established in San Francisco, matches individuals who want to rent part or all of their homes to guests temporarily. It stated previously that they will implement some amendments on temporary rentals in the state in order to mollify government concerns.

The two host’s lawyer, Wong Soo Chih stated that the defendants paid their fines immediately. She also stated that the fines were reasonable and fair, however, she questioned if it was early considering the upcoming consultation.