We refer to the recent letters and reports on the use of private homes for short-term accommodation (Airbnb must play by S'pore's residential market rules, by Mr Toh Cheng Seong, March 10; NZ family's Airbnb woes highlight lack of clarity on listings, March 16; Airbnb rules, Singapore-style, March 18; and Govt should penalise enablers like Airbnb, by Mr Christopher Liu Chih Wei, March 20).
Land in Singapore is zoned for specific uses, be it residential, commercial or industrial.
That is why the Urban Redevelopment Authority has always disallowed the use of private residential homes for short-term accommodation on a commercial basis.
Last February, Parliament agreed to make these restrictions explicit in the Planning Act.
Nevertheless, the Government has stated that it is prepared to consider allowing short-term accommodation in private homes, subject to a regulatory framework and appropriate safeguards to ensure that such activities do not negatively affect our residential estates.
We will be conducting a public consultation soon to seek feedback on the proposed regulatory framework.
As most of our private homes are strata-titled developments, it is important that individual strata-titled owners be given the chance to express their views on this matter, as any change in the laws can have significant impact on their living environment.
The issue of short-term accommodation in private homes is complex and multi-faceted, and has wide-ranging implications.
It will take some time to work through the consultation process and to amend legislation, if necessary, for the new rules to take effect.
We welcome the statements of several home-sharing platform operators that they would like to work with the Government on this matter, and look forward to their input during the consultation process.
Meanwhile, they should remind their users to comply with the existing laws in Singapore, which means that the rental of residential private properties is subject to a minimum stay of three months.
Goh Chin Chin (Ms)
Development Control Group
Urban Redevelopment Authority