Stick with old rental rules

I am shocked that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has delegated its approval of short-term stays to individual management committees based on an 80 per cent share value approval for condominiums (URA suggests 80% consent rule for condos to offer Airbnb-style home-sharing; April 16). It is part of URA's proposed safeguards for short-term home stays.

It seems arbitrary that higher traffic areas like commercial and business areas would get the go-ahead for short-home stays but not landed areas.

Similarly, Housing Board estates are excluded from this exercise.

The counter-argument is that higher traffic areas could actually be more difficult to administer when it comes to ever-relocating, transient travellers and it might just be easier to identify activities in quiet landed estates.

It also assumes that condominiums have the resources to manage this compared with HDB and landed estates.

The reality is that some condominiums have as many as 800 units with high human traffic.

There would be a high rate of error in administrating transient visitors in such large estates.

URA also needs to explain its change of heart and why it is interested in short-term stayers, favouring commercial - investor money-making activities - against family-oriented residential estates.

I urge URA to withdraw this proposal and revert to the existing three-month minimum rule, which has served the family-residential interests of Singaporeans and longer-term tenants.

Short-term visitors have many hotels and motels already available throughout the island. They are most welcome to stay in those premises. Just keep them away from our condos.

Yap Hoe Kiat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2018, with the headline 'Stick with old rental rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe