Illegal short-term rentals on the rise, neighbours encouraged to report suspicious activity

Romesh Navaratnarajah2 Aug 2017

Singapore Cityscape

View of high-end private apartments in the Orchard Road area.

UPDATED: More private property owners in Singapore are renting out their units for illegal short-term stays via apps such as Airbnb.

According to the Ministry of National Development (MND), the number of reported cases rose from 377 in 2015 to 608 last year. In 2017, there have already been 415 cases reported as of July.

Responding to a parliamentary query from Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Melvin Yong on Tuesday (1 August), the ministry said that residents who suspect their neighbours of conducting short-term rentals can provide feedback to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Those found violating the rules are served with an enforcement notice to cease any unauthorised use. “In most cases, offenders have complied and ceased the unauthorised use,” said the MND.

However, the authorities will take court action against recalcitrant offenders, as well as those operating multiple short-term rental units in a single development.

SEE ALSO: Get the Guru View: Shorter lease tenures, but not short enough

The minimum period for short-term rentals of private homes was reduced from six to three months at the end of June. Short-term stays of less than three consecutive months are still disallowed.

The URA is currently reviewing possible guidelines to facilitate short-term rentals, and intends to conduct a public consultation to seek feedback on the issue. More details will be provided at a later date.

Commenting, an Airbnb spokesperson said: “The upcoming public consultation is an opportunity for Singapore to develop a clear framework for responsible and sustainable home sharing that is consistent with Singapore’s values.

“We look forward to being a part of that consultation and working with the government to find a clear way forward for home sharing.”


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


You may also like these articles

Property agents who broker short-term leases may lose licence

Some agents are facilitating short-term rentals due to the sluggish housing market. (Photo: Someformofhuman/Wikimedia Commons) Property agents who violate the rules against short-term leases of res

Continue Reading11 Apr 2016

Tenants can now lease private homes for at least 3 months

 The minimum rental period for private residential properties has been reduced to three months from six months previously, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced last Friday (30 June).

Continue Reading3 Jul 2017

Roomorama to cease operations amid stiff competition, tighter regulations

Short-term stays of less than three months, which are facilitated via home-sharing platforms, are currently prohibited. Once boasting an inventory of hundreds of thousands of properties across the w

Continue Reading26 Jul 2017