AIRBNB HOSTS COULD BE FINED UP TO $148,000 FOR ILLEGALLY RENTING APARTMENTSDate: 2017-12-06
Singapore hasn't eased up on Airbnb, taking action against two hosts.
On Tuesday, two homeowners were charged with illegally renting out four apartment units through Airbnb, and could face fines of up to $148,000 (US).
Under Singapore law, it is illegal to let out private apartments for less than three months, making most short-term lets on Airbnb illegal. This is the first time in Singapore anyone has actually been charged for renting out their homes in Airbnb.
Terence Tan and Yao Song Liang allegedly worked together to rent out four apartment units at a private condominium, and face four charges each under Singapore's Planning Act.
They're expected to plead guilty to them in January and could be fined up to $148,000 (US).
However, both Tan and Yao had allegedly committed the offences before the three-month requirement, and will, therefore, be charged under the earlier six-month rule, according to a report by The Straits Times.
According to the URA, the three-month lease requirement works to "ensure that residents are not adversely affected by the frequent turnover of transient occupiers on short-term stays."
According to a spokesperson at Airbnb, the organisation remains "strongly committed [to] working alongside the government to find a way forward for home sharing."
It added that the "current framework for home sharing in Singapore doesn't reflect how Singaporeans travel or use their homes today...[and] stands in contrast with Singapore's commitment to innovation."
But Singapore isn't the only place to come down on Airbnb. Earlier this year, Vancouver passed strict regulations allowing hosts on sites like Airbnb to rent out rooms only in properties where they lived.
In New York, short-term rentals are banned unless a host is present. Two New York City property managers were fined earlier in February after allegedly listing their apartments for short-term let on Airbnb.