Date
23 October 2018
Airbnb has indicated that it is willing to tweak rules related to short-term rentals in Singapore to address concerns of the local government. Photo: Bloomberg
Airbnb has indicated that it is willing to tweak rules related to short-term rentals in Singapore to address concerns of the local government. Photo: Bloomberg

Airbnb ready to make concessions in Singapore

Airbnb, the online marketplace that enables people to list or rent homestay accommodation and vacation facilities, said it is ready to make some concessions on short-term rentals in Singapore as it seeks to appease concerns of the government.

“We feel optimistic that as the government looks around and sees the 400 plus partnerships that have been done, that if we can figure this out in Cuba, we should be able to figure it out here in Singapore,” Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s head of global policy, told Reuters on Monday.

Private homes in Singapore are subject to a minimum rental period of three consecutive months, while for public housing, home to about 80 percent of Singapore’s residents, it is six months.

Airbnb said it has told the Singapore government that, if asked, the company will not list public housing on the platform.

“We have so many examples from around the world, where there are different pieces that you could put into a framework that could work here, understanding that there are unique pieces here,” Lehane said.

He said the company will also consider putting a cap on the number of days hosts in Singapore can rent their property.

A registration system for hosts, which the company has put in place in other markets, would also help the government address any issues that may crop up, Lehane said.

Strict rules in Singapore make the city state one of the toughest markets in which Airbnb operates. Two men were charged late last year for unauthorized short-term letting of apartments, Reuters noted.

The government has indicated that it will seek public feedback around March or April on how to regulate short-term letting of property.

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CG/RC

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