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URA announced today that the minimum stay duration of 3 weeks will probably continue to apply for any lodging in private residential properties.
But many home-sharing platform operators stated that the proposed rules were overly restrictive and desired a lighter touch approach.
On the contrary, it will continue to monitor the circumstance, in addition to broader progress on the STA scene. URA remains open to reviewing the place in future, when and if stage operators demonstrate that they are prepared to adhere to the regulatory frame. In the meantime, the usage of private residential properties for short term lodging of less than three successive weeks remains prohibited.
Extensive consultations on STA and proposed regulatory framework
To better comprehend the intricate problem of STA, URA has been consulting with key stakeholders broadly since 2015.
In April 2018, URA and relevant agencies formulated a regulatory framework to ease STA in private residential properties, while protecting the security, privacy and safety of homes, as well as also the residential character of local communities.
URA also commissioned a national survey in the next half 2018, composed of face-to-face interviews with over a million private homeowners. Most the respondents believed that STA would result in a range of negative externalities:
68% indicated that STA would raise security concerns within their estate
67% indicated that STA would Lead to a loss of privacy for all residents
64% indicated that short-term occupants may misbehave and cause disturbances like sound nuisances
56% indicated that temporary citizens might damage common facilities
55% suggested that STA can pose a greater risk of fire at the estate
In accord with the above concerns, a significant majority of respondents affirmed the rules set out in the planned regulatory framework. By Way of Example,
69% supported the proposed 80% consent threshold for STA to be allowed at a strata-titled development
69% supported the 90-day cap on short term remains per unit within a year
80% indicated that home-sharing platform operators should be licenced and regulated by the government
While there was recognition of the possible upsides in supplementing income via short term permits, just 7% of respondents expressed their intention to let their houses or investment properties if STA were to be permitted in the foreseeable future.
Key stakeholders not supportive of suggested rules
While the majority of Singaporeans affirmed the proposed rules, there were several key stakeholders who expressed reservations.
The MCSTs expressed concerns with the larger responsibilities put on them and their ability to administer the controls inside their estates. This is particularly so in developments at which subsidiary proprietors may need additional measures to be in place to further mitigate the effect of transient occupants who reside in their center and share the common facilities, such as the gym or swimming pool.
Several platform operators who were participated said they could not support the proposed regulatory framework. Specifically, they did not support the suggested threshold for owners’ consent, and the cap on permissible nights for short-term lodging. It’s understandable that the platform operators would be driven by their own commercial imperatives. Nonetheless, it isn’t tenable for URA to permit a more relaxed regulatory frame that doesn’t deal with the issues raised by Singaporeans.
Depending on the totality of responses from all stakeholders into the proposed framework, URA has made a decision to maintain the status quo currently. URA will continue to apply the current requirement for a minimum stay length of three weeks in private residential properties.
We stay open to the possibility of implementing a framework that could adapt STA later on, if and when all stakeholders are prepared to completely commit to regulations that want to make sure that such activities do not adversely affect our living environment.