Short term rental illegal in Singapore under New Law

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.

Short term rental illegal

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.

for further reference:

URA Guildelines  – Renting out private residential properties


Manager of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

What are REITs?

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are collective investment schemes. A trust is set up to invest in a portfolio of income generating real estate assets such as shopping malls, offices, hotels or serviced apartments. Investors hold units in the trust. The assets are held by a trustee for the benefit of unit holders. The REIT is managed by a REIT manager.


Who can be Manager of listed REITs?

The manager of a listed property fund should be a corporation with a physical office in Singapore, and have minimum shareholders’ funds of S$1 million.

The manager, as well as its chief executive officer, directors and professional employees should meet the fit and proper criteria as set out in the Guidelines on Fit and Proper Criteria issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In addition, the manager should: a) have at least five years of experience in managing property funds; b) appoint, with the approval of the trustee, an adviser who has at least five years of experience in investing in or advising on real estate; or c) employ persons who have at least five years of experience in investing in or advising on real estate.


Removal of Manager

A REIT manager may be removed by way of a resolution passed by a simple majority of participants present and voting at a general meeting.

The manager and related parties can vote in respect of the resolution to remove the manager.

The manager may choose to enter into a management agreement with the REIT at the time of listing of the REIT. If there is a management agreement, the agreement may
contain compensation provisions for early termination of the management agreement. The compensation provisions must comply with the requirements of the Code of Collective Investments Schemes issued by the MAS.


Reference : Appendix 6 of Code on Collective Investment Schemes

Proxy at Meeting of Management Corporation

A proxy is a person authorised to act on behalf of another. In the context of a meeting of a Management Corporation (MC), a proxy is a person who is designated by an owner of a property to represent that owner at the meeting.

Generally, the proxy can do anything which the owner can do at the meeting himself – such as asking questions and voting.

Anyone can be appointed a proxy. The appointment of proxy must be made in writing. The form appointing the proxy must be deposited at the registered address of the MC at least
48 hours before the time fixed for the meeting.

Reference – 1st Schedule of the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA)

see also Guide to Strata Living In Singapore