Airbnb short-term rentals could be allowed in Singapore under new URA use category

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has proposed a new use category for short-term stays. Under this new use category, landlords of private residential properties could be allowed to offer Airbnb short-term rentals.

URA released its proposed regulatory framework for public consultation on Monday (16 April 2018). The framework spells out the qualifying criteria for approved residential properties to be used for short-term stays. This includes specifying new conditions and requirements for homeowners. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, such as management corporations (MCSTs) and short-term accommodation platforms (for example, Airbnb).

Applicable only to private residential properties

URA said that the new use category will apply only to private residential properties. It will not apply to Housing and Development Board (HDB) residential properties.

Developments governed by MCST

Strata-titled properties such as condominiums and apartments are governed by management corporations (MCSTs). These properties will need at least 80 per cent share value approval before applying for use as short-term accommodation. This is to ensure that a large enough proportion of owners agree to the new use.

The MCST endorsement will be valid for 2 years, and needs to be renewed with an updated vote count each time.

Developments not governed by MCST

Some developments are not governed by MCST. Owners of such properties can put in an application to the URA to be registered for this new use category, provided requirements are met.

Additional safeguard measures

URA has also spelt out additional measures to guard against the “erosion of residential amenity and character of our housing estates”. These include:

 An annual rental cap of 90 days for short-term rentals

 An occupancy cap of 6 persons per unit at any one time

 Compulsory registration by individual property owners with URA prior to listing the property for short-term stay

Legislative changes to BMSMA will be needed

URA said that legislative changes will be needed to the Building Maintenance & Strata Management Act (BMSMA). These changes are to require that all approved hosts provide URA a record of guest details for each stay. Also, their properties must comply with fire safety requirements, such as being equipped with home fire alarm devices and fire extinguishers.


P.S. For info on the minimum stay duration (rental of private residential properties) in Singapore, read: URA Revises Minimum Stay Duration to 3 Months