Singapore proposes allowing some Airbnb type rentals but with cap

FILE PHOTO: A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore proposed on Monday allowing private home owners to let out their property for short-term rentals but with an annual cap of 90 days a year - part of a consultation process welcomed by rental service Airbnb.

Private homes in Singapore are currently subject to a minimum rental period of three consecutive months, and such strict rules make the city-state one of the tougher markets in which Airbnb operates.

Two Airbnb hosts were fined S$60,000 ($45,800) each by a local court this month for unauthorized short-term letting.

Singapore's proposal to limit rentals days is broadly in line with measures introduced by other cities such as Paris, London and Amsterdam. The city state has begun seeking public feedback on the proposal and other measures to regulate the sector.

Airbnb, which previously called Singapore's regulatory framework "untenable" after news of the illegal rentals broke late last year, said on Monday it welcomed the consultation.

"We're committed to reasonable solutions that will allow responsible home sharing to thrive in Singapore and welcome the opportunity to provide feedback through the consultation process," said Mich Goh, head of public policy for Airbnb Singapore.

While Singapore has been an early adopter of the sharing economy, it is also keen to minimize any potential negative impact of allowing short-term rentals, as most of the wealthy but land-scarce city-state's 5.6 million people live in public and private apartments.

The proposed rules require that a significant majority of owners in a condominium complex agree to the presence of short-term rentals in their development.

The government is also seeking feedback on issues such as what homes should qualify and the responsibilities of short-term accommodation companies, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Monday.

The URA said it will also consider the licensing of operators that advertise or market short-term rental units.

Responsibilities of such companies could include paying relevant taxes on revenue generated from business activities in Singapore and facilitating the collection of taxes from hosts.

The agency said it would consider factors such as the type of residential development and the character of the area when assessing applications for short-term rentals.

The public can provide feedback until May 31.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Edwina Gibbs)

You may also interested in

Google's Duo app joins crowded field of video...

Aug 16, 2016

Google releases video calling app Duo in challenge to other popular services run by Apple,...

Southern California fire burns at least a dozen...

Aug 17, 2016

A wildfire broke out Tuesday and spread at a staggering pace in every direction through...

Ford to invest $75M in autonomous vehicle sensor...

Aug 16, 2016

Ford and Chinese search engine company Baidu will invest $75 million each in Velodyne, a company...

2 injured, fire contained on docked Tahoe paddle...

Aug 17, 2016

Fire ripped through the second deck of a docked tourist cruise boat under repair at Lake Tahoe on...

Close call: Feds see 2018 shortage in Lake Mead...

Aug 17, 2016

Amid punishing drought, federal water managers are projecting _ by a very narrow margin_ that Lake...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com