The Singapore Parliament passed a new law which makes short term rental illegal in Singapore. The amended Planning Act makes it illegal for property owners to rent out rent out entire apartments and rooms on a short-term basis unless they have permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to do so.
The amended Planning Act now specifically regulates the use of a dwelling house (or residential property) to provide short term accommodation. Essentially the new law says that it is illegal to use a dwelling house (or residential property) to provide short term accommodation (with or without other services) in return for the payment of rent other form of consideration. The accommodation is considered short term if it is less than a period of 6 consecutive months. The new law also give URA officers new enforcement powers to investigate breaches of the Planning Act.
The Minister for National Development explained in Parliament that “private residential properties should not be used for other purposes without planning approval, as there is a need to safeguard the living environment of residents in the neighbourhood. Where private residential properties are rented or subletted, URA has existing guidelines in place to ensure that these properties are not used to accommodate excessive numbers of occupants, and to make it clear that such properties are intended for long-term or permanent residence of at least 6 months”.
The new law means that short-term rentals, which cater mainly to tourists, like Airbnb-style rentals, are now illegal in Singapore unless permission is first obtained from URA.
The Government is currently considering two proposals: a new category of homes for short-term rentals; and lowering the minimum rental period of residences from the current six months. Until the new rules are finalised, the URA is not expected to approve short term rentals for less than six months.
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