Sluggish rental market forces homeowners to list on Airbnb

Romesh Navaratnarajah23 May 2016

Singapore apartment resize

The practice of short-term rentals is illegal in Singapore.

The difficulty in finding long-term tenants amidst the sluggish residential rental market has forced some owners of private condos in Singapore to offer short-term rentals via Airbnb, reported The Sunday Times.

“The rental market now is horrible. I started doing this to defray my mortgage and maintenance costs on the apartment,” said a 56-year-old entrepreneur, who began leasing out his condominium unit through the home-sharing website at the end of last year.

Since then, he has accommodated around 20 groups of visitors at his condo on the city’s outskirts for about $150 per night, which is twice as cheap as a four-star hotel in the vicinity.

“Visitors to Singapore may not have the budget for luxury hotels and may not like hostels,” he noted.

“They like staying in a condo because it’s almost like a hotel suite. They can even cook and do their laundry,” added the businessman who asked to remain anonymous, as the practice of renting out a private home here for less than six months is illegal.

Meanwhile, the founder of a tech start-up who rents out two rooms in his Buona Vista condo, revealed that he occasionally hosts Singaporeans on weekends.

“They want to buy a place here and get a feel of the neighbourhood,” said the 33-year-old Airbnb ‘superhost’, signifying that he has received many positive reviews from his guests.

But most of his visitors are research students and foreign professionals who need to stay in Singapore for several months.

However, not all of his experiences with guests are positive.

“Some treat me like a hotel boy and want me to do everything for them,” shared the start-up founder. Some visitors even stole two towels from his flat, others do not clean up after using the kitchen, while a few forgot to turn off the air-con when they went out.

“It’s very time consuming. We have to be there to open the door for guests, clean up the house, and get calls in the middle of the night from those who lock themselves out of the room,” he added.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

May 23, 2016
Just reported one such case in our condo to URA -security issues with random people going in and out, nobody accountable for damages to common property, and heard in some condos apartments are even used as prostitution dens.....

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