Two Airbnb hosts in Singapore are facing fines that could total up to $148,000. The hosts were renting four apartment units, but it was illegal because Singapore has strict laws about rentals. Apparently, apartments in the city cannot rent apartments for less than three months, so most rentals on Airbnb are illegal.
However, this was the first time Singapore fined renters on the site. Terence Tan and Yao Song Liang rented apartments together, but were charged under Singapore’s Planning Act.
Earlier this month, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority changed the law requiring rentals of private houses from six months to three. However, sing Tan and Liang’s rentals were active before the three-month change, they are being charged under the six-month law. The URA claims that the three-month lease is meant to “ensure that residents are not adversely affected by the frequent turnover of transient occupiers on short term stays.”
A spokesperson from Airbnb says that the URA is “strongly committed [to] working alongside the government to find a way forward for home sharing.” It added, “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.”