The government has received 1,808 reports of unauthorised short-term accommodations (STA) in private residential units and 390 reports in housing board flats from 2015 to 2017, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Wednesday (11 July).
He made the statement in responding to questions by Members of Parliament (MPs) on the result of the public consultation on short-term home rentals, like Airbnb, and the impact of these short-term leases on hospitality industry.
Wong revealed that the public consultation exercise on the proposed regulatory framework for STA was conducted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) from 16 April to 31 May 2018.
Among the proposals put forward was for the management corporation to obtain the support of at least 80 percent of the share value in a development before STA can be allowed in any residential unit.
Response to the proposal was mixed, with some saying that the 80 percent threshold would be unfair to the minority who do not support STA, while others believe it was too high and difficult to obtain, said Wong.
The URA is also considering the impact of STA on the hospitality sector, he added, while noting that the proposed regulatory framework includes controls that are similar to those imposed on the hospitality industry.
STA hosts, for instance, are required to record the guests’ personal details and comply with fire safety regulations.
“We have also proposed licensing platform operators, so that they can also help to ensure that STA activities do not cause problems for other residents,” said Wong. “The intent is to provide a more level playing field between the STA sector and the hospitality industry.”
He explained that URA is now carefully studying the feedback to the proposals to determine the best way forward.
Nonetheless, he underscored that the three consecutive months minimum stay duration for private homes still applies.
“URA will take enforcement action against those who breach this rule.”
Senior Content Producer, Christopher Chitty, edited this story.