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Airbnb must show it can follow rules

Airbnb has been quoted as saying that it remains committed to working with the Government on short-term home sharing and rental (Proposed home-sharing rules to be released for feedback by Q1, and Airbnb listings up 11% since S'pore ban took effect last May; both published on Feb 4).

It has also been reported that there is no grey area around the law at the moment.

Hence, for Airbnb to stay true to its word, it should stop publishing all Singapore short-term rental advertisements on its platform.

By continuing to allow such ads on its platform, isn't Airbnb facilitating illegal short-term stays and profiting from it?

If the rules are not followed now, how can we be convinced that the rules will be followed in future?

Current enforcement measures do not seem to be enough of a deterrent.

To be able to have a working model in future to allow short-term rentals, all stakeholders should first demonstrate that they can abide by the rules, and the authorities must show that rules can be enforced effectively.

Woo Boon Cheow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Airbnb must show it can follow rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe