Singapore has moved to ban short-term home rentals in the city, directly impacting popular ‘alternative accommodation’ companies like Airbnb and HomeAway Asia.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) introduced new ‘guidelines’ into the Planning (Amendment) Bill that was passed in Parliament on February 6, 2017, two years after starting public consultations on short-term rentals.
Laws surrounding subletting homes remain largely unchanged, stipulating that homeowners do not have the right to lease their properties as accommodation for periods under six months (unless permission has been obtained by the URA).
However, the new legislation grants a rather intimidating level of authority to URA officers to ensure that rules are properly observed. URA officers will be permitted to call any potential ‘violators’ for questioning, demand any information or documents deemed relevant to the case, take on-site video evidence and even conduct forced entry into suspected homes.
Those found guilty face fines of up to S$200,000 or a maximum jail term of one year.
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