URA right to let residents decide on home-sharing

Mr Toh Cheng Seong raised concern that the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) proposed rule requiring 80 per cent of residents to consent to short-term stays neglects the 20 per cent who oppose it (Condos should get 100% consent on home-sharing; April 18).

He suggested that 100 per cent consent be sought instead.

It is difficult to get complete agreement in any group, let alone one with a large number of stakeholders.

If we were to require unanimity for every matter, then nothing would ever get approved. A single person would have veto power, which would be unfair to the overwhelming majority.

The URA has taken the correct approach by allowing the condominium committees to decide for themselves whether to allow home-sharing.

It is a nuanced approach that is in line with the Government's progressive vision of having a competitive economy, yet allows local voices to be heard.

This is better than a one-size-fits-all approach. Each condo may have different preferences and unique circumstances specific to that property.

The URA's proposal might not be perfect, but it nonetheless affords homeowners greater autonomy in shaping rules that affect them.

More importantly, this also highlights the importance of private governance rather than a reliance on government regulations.

Yew Chii Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2018, with the headline 'URA right to let residents decide on home-sharing'. Print Edition | Subscribe