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Status Quo On Rules For Short-Term Accommodation

Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has announced that it will not be going ahead with proposed changes to the rules for short-term stays in private homes and that the minimum stay period of three months will continue to apply.

URA came to the decision after extensive consultations with diverse groups of stakeholders, starting from as early as 2015. A draft regulatory framework was proposed in April 2018 to allow owners at strata-titled developments to accommodate short-term stays if they get 80 per cent consent from owners. The framework also required owners to register their properties with URA and to abide by an annual cap of 90 days per unit for short term stays, among other requirements. 

The URA commissioned a national survey among 1,000 private homeowners in the second half of 2018 and found that the majority of them supported the proposed rules. However, only 7 per cent surveyed had the intention to let out their properties even if the rules were changed.

In addition, several home-sharing platform operators expressed that they would prefer a lighter touch approach as they found the proposed rules too restrictive. 

Among the concerns of negative externalities that were raised through the survey on short-term accommodation (STA) include:

  • 68% indicated that STA would raise security concerns in their estate
  • 67% indicated that STA would result in a loss of privacy for residents
  • 64% indicated that short-term occupants might misbehave and cause disturbances like noise nuisances
  • 56% indicated that short-term occupants might damage common facilities
  • 55% indicated that STA could pose a greater risk of fire in the estate

Given this impasse, the URA said it will not proceed with the proposed regulations at this stage. It will continue to monitor the situation as well as broader developments on the short-term accommodation scene.

In the meantime, short-term accommodation of less than three consecutive months remains illegal in Singapore.