Address need for short-term shelter

The case where two men were charged over providing illegal short-term stays to tenants is a warning to other hosts who are either ignorant or did not expect the seriousness or consequences of such activities (Duo charged over illegal home rental under new regulations; Dec 6).

There may be law-abiding and peace-loving families or individuals who are genuinely in need of short-term shelter.

They may prefer to rent, as hotels and serviced apartments are costly. Cheap hotels are also concentrated near the red-light or downtown districts and are not family-friendly.

However, allowing a frequent change of tenants could cause anxiety among residents and also extra work for security personnel.

I suggest that we introduce a "short-term stay tax system" to owners who want to rent out their properties for such purposes.

They will also have to submit the particulars of their short-term tenants to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs and the condominium's management.

Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2017, with the headline 'Address need for short-term shelter'. Print Edition | Subscribe