More and more condominium owners are starting to see the benefits of sharing their homes and developers have started to respond, allowing residents to share their property. Home sharing for a short period of time is a great opportunity for owners and travelers alike. People in Singapore have been waiting a long time for home sharing to be approved by URA. Home sharing is intended for a short period of time for residential properties but only with the consent of the owner. Also, any property, opting into this plan, must be registered.
With their proposed documents, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will analyze how home sharing can work for condos and other common properties. Other aspects could include the need for fire safety regulations, what part management committees will play and how they will govern platform operators.
Regarding condos, the URA said that the owners must hold the majority of the shared property value. Once endorsed, the home share will remain active for 2 years and then a renewal process will kick in again. That said, if at any time less than 80% of owners agree to home sharing, there will be no further renewals.
Condos that have good security and active management are looked upon more favorably for home share opportunities. This is even more so if the property is in a commercial center or business area.
The URA also has taken into consideration what impact temporary stays will have on the surrounding communities. Many properties are situated in very quiet, low traffic areas will probably not be approved for temporary. In these, cases, a notice will be placed on the condominium warning against residents subletting their homes for a short-term stay.
As mentioned earlier, URA will analyze how short-term residences can be applied to common properties such as condominiums. Other aspects could include fire safety requirements, what part management committees will play and how to control Airbnb, HomeAway, and other platform operators.
Illegal Airbnb temporary rentals could also cause issues regarding the Airbnb. The URA is seriously considering a yearly ceiling of 90 days with 6 or fewer people occupying a unit.
Other rules being considered include that hosts must give URA updated records regarding how long guests stay in a unit for security measures. They must also provide proof of the installation of emergency equipment including fire extinguishers and alarms.
The URA has also allowed for management committees to add other measures to halt various disadvantages such as noise and other disturbances that will affect nearby residences. This could be addressed with a law that would lower the number of days allowed for a unit to be occupied. This law would also require these group of landlords to pay extra maintenance charges the facilities.
The agency also requite commercial platform operators, like Airbnb by listing only residential properties that will be leasing for short term stay. Earlier two former property agents were fined $60,000, each, for illegally renting out 4 units on Farrer Road.
They also expect those involved are keeping up with how many days and nights a unit has been rented out. The number of denied rental bookings have taken place if the yearly 90-day maximum has been exceeded. Those involved must also take part in collecting the required taxes.
Until the overall plan has been completed, the URA has said property owners must abide by all current laws and that means minimum stays in a private residential property is 3 months.
The rules and plans have come at a time when limited rentals have become highly charged with a great deal of tension. Those in favor feel that home-stays are a wonderful alternative for a much better experience for travelers and providing property owners an option for making extra money. Those against these rentals are worried about security and various disturbances from occupants coming and going day and night.
URA’s proposals will put a burden on home sharing platforms that will only allow for registered rentals to be listed. There has been no comment by these platform operators, including Airbnb.
The head of public policy for Airbnb (for Southeastern Asia) stated that the public consultation is a crucial move for a number of people who want to share their homes. Adding to that, this is a great opportunity for travelers to experience a very unique vacation or business trip while visiting Singapore.
The Minister of National Development believes that after extensive studies, short-term stay could be made possible for Singapore condos but would be subject to certain regulations and safeguards.
The vice-president for the Asia-Pacific areas of HomeAway believes there is plenty of room in Singapore for rental properties to become available as long are there are clearly laid down guidelines.
All involved believe airing caution is extremely important in an environment that is very compact and wall-to-wall skyscrapers, like Singapore. Without careful consideration, there could be disruptive actions or even destruction of residential neighborhoods. The concept of providing rentals must be addressed very carefully in order to make sure all rules and regulations will be abided and operating platforms will play by the rules as well.
Upcoming new launch in Singapore