URA will investigate short-term rental cases

We thank Mr Bennette Teoh Liy Ben for his letter ("Home sharing: Take action against offenders"; Dec 10).

For suspected cases of unauthorised short-term rentals in private residential premises, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether a planning offence has been committed.

In the process, we will also need to identify the person(s) responsible, which may include agents, tenants and landlords.

We informed Mr Teoh in the first week of this month that our officers had already commenced investigations at his condominium, and were collecting the necessary evidence with a view to take enforcement action.

Contrary to what was stated in Mr Teoh's letter, we do not require residents to provide "clear and irrefutable" evidence before initiating investigations or taking enforcement action.

Nonetheless, managing agents and Management Corporation Strata Titles of condominiums can facilitate our investigations and enforcement by providing information related to the case, such as details from their security screening of visitors (for example, registration details of short-term occupants and related unit addresses).

We have since taken enforcement action against an owner who was found to have rented out his unit for unauthorised short-term accommodation, and are working closely with the managing agent to monitor the situation and conduct checks on other units.

We have updated Mr Teoh on this matter.

Timothy Lee
Director, Development Control (Enforcement)
Urban Redevelopment Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2016, with the headline 'URA will investigate short-term rental cases'. Subscribe