Mixed reactions to URA’s proposal to allow short-term condominium rentals, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s proposal to allow short-term rental of condominium apartments on platforms like Airbnb has received mixed reactions.

The URA proposed Monday, April 16, to allow condominium owners to rent their property for short stays if owners with at least 80% of the development’s stock value agree to such rentals.

Currently, such rentals are illegal, but there are still many local Airbnb listings online. Mabel Yeo, 32, a resident of the Tampines condominium, said she has never experienced a negative impact despite several such rentals in her field, and that the impact is perhaps greater in most popular residences.

Airbnb’s Southeast Asia Public Policy Officer Mich Goh said the proposal is a “significant milestone for the large number of locals who want to share their homes and travelers who want to have an experience. unique and authentic when they visit, “but later added that the company needs to look at the proposals more thoroughly.

Several people interviewed by the Straits Times supported the proposal.

Ms. Kelly Yeo, 45, a homemaker in a King Albert Park condominium, cited benefits such as “creating an additional source of income, giving retirees a renewed sense of purpose and allowing the accumulation of funds without having to move to a smaller unit “.

Ms SC Yeo, 49, was equally positive, but suggested that landlords let their neighbors know about incoming tenants and apply ‘common sense rules’ to tenants to minimize inconvenience and problems.

Others were less satisfied with the idea. SY Tan, a Stevens Road resident, a doctor in her 50s, said, “We are paying a high price for the privacy, security, and facilities needed to live in a condo. If my condo becomes an Airbnb, the value could come down, and there could be an increase in wear and tear. I wouldn’t be sure who my neighbor would be everyday. “

Business manager Tong Foo Cheong, 55, pointed out that the logistics of the vote were an inconvenience. “Trying to get approval will involve all residents, including the majority who are reluctant, apathetic or uninformed. This will make management of the estate more complicated and may deter residents from volunteering to serve on the management board. “

Meanwhile, several residents of land properties – excluded from short-term rental permits offered by the URA – had equally disparate views.

“It should remain the owner’s right to do whatever he wants,” said Mr Nicholas Koh, 50, who lives in a detached house in Serangoon Gardens and believes that short-term rentals “don’t really hurt the community or its neighbors “.

Madam Ang, who did not want to give her full name, has lived in her house in Jalan Kayu for over 70 years and rents part of it for the long term. She was strongly opposed to the short-term decision, saying that a constant flow of intermittent guests would disrupt the region’s “kampung spirit”.

“If you only care about money and insist on such host families, your neighbors will just think of you as someone who loves money,” she added.

Traditional tourist stays could also be penalized by competition from a legalized Airbnb.

“There is no longer the feeling that Airbnb is there to respond to travelers who are tightening their purse strings,” said Patrick Fiat, Managing Director and Director of Experience at Royal Plaza on Scotts. “It is a platform capable of meeting all budgets and types of travelers, similar to the segmentations of hotel activity.

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