There is hope yet…. for Airbnb wannabes in Singapore

Buried amount the many coverage of a heavy Parliament sitting on Monday (6 Feb) was a passing mention by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong that while under the passing of a new bill which made the subletting of a private residence for less than six months illegal, the Urban & Redevelopment Authority (URA) would be looking at creating a new class of residences that would be allowed to do just that. He clarified in Parliament that this was being looked at separately and is not part of the new legislation.

According to CNA:

“Such properties would then be approved for that specific purpose, like service apartments or hotels today. New residential sites can be sold with such an approved use, allowing flexibility for short-term rentals.For existing residential buildings, they would then require planning permission for change of use, and this would be subject to a set of guidelines which URA is looking into.

So for those still holding out hope that one day, Airbnb listings in Singapore would become an additional source of income would become a reality, can continue to hold their breaths and hope the loosening of the government’s stance would turn out to be a reasonable one and not a circus act of property owners and developers having to jump through many hoops just to get the necessary permissions.

Good on the government for finally coming round to the idea that “couch surfing” is something that is welcomed all over the world.

This writer hopes that the government would stay true in its approach to technology disruption.  They have done well to embrace, encourage and legalise Grab and Uber in Singapore. Let’s hope they will continue to do the same with AirBnB