Rules on short-term stays must protect home owners

What is conveniently called the new economy or sharing economy is no different from any other business model and, like all commercial operations, it needs to optimise its profits and return on investment (URA to seek more detailed views on Airbnb-style stays; July 24).

When it comes to property and the place where one resides, the approach has to be cautious. The right of every owner to enjoy a safe and peaceful environment has to be preserved.

Any new idea or change does not necessarily mean progress. There should not be any pressure to embrace it simply because it is new or has been implemented by others.

The inconveniences and security issues caused by transient residents - such as tourists - to the established residents of an estate must be the first consideration when drawing new regulations.

Sharing a unit in a condo is not similar to sharing a private landed house, as there is also the sharing of common spaces in condos. This cannot be done without the approval of all stakeholders.

It is surely a good initiative from the Urban Redevelopment Authority to seek more information from the public, but it should be done without the involvement of business operators, who seek to gain from short-term accommodations.

The main goal of any regulation should be to protect the home owners who want to live in a stable and safe environment that comes with a sense of community.

It is not to accommodate the minority who want to monetise their property.

Herve Michel

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'Rules on short-term stays must protect home owners'. Print Edition | Subscribe