Home Share in Singapore  

Singapore, as the tourism and business destination, has a lot of visitors come by and spent a short-term living on it. The impact is, there are a very lot of options to choose from where somebody wants to stay and spend a night(s). This includes hotels, flat, apartments, condos, etc. But lately, one type of the lodging has been issued as a potential problem to Singapore people and the stakeholder. This lodging we talk about is Home Share, which is Singaporean private and public homeowners rented their properties to the visitors. Sites like Airbnb and PandaBed offer home share on their list of options. Airbnb is one of the biggest that providing this home share on their list. They admit that they have about 6,000 properties listed on home share menu. The examples are Kallang Shophouse ($249/night), Tiong Bahru Flat ($114), and a small room at East Coast with a balcony ($48). PandaBed is an online community for like-minded homeowners and travelers to list, discover and book trustworthy homes, apartments, villa, b&b and homestay across Asia. They aim to provide an authentic and trustworthy hosting or traveling experience for the community. Their PeerMatch feature enables host and guest to be connected in areas like culture, language and religion.
 

One thing should be considered is a home share is not a legal activity in Singapore. It has ruled under the law which stated that it is illegal for private and public homeowners to lease their properties for less than six months. For breaking this rule, the homeowner can be fined up to $200 and jailed for up to a year.
There are a lot of pros and cons about the rules regulate this home share business. At the cons side, Housing of the Development Board stated that this business will make an effect on the environment because of the high turnover between the occupants of the property. They have worried about the safety of the environment. This issue has been reinforced by the cons opinions from the people experiencing this problem. They stated that tourists who rent the property is more reckless and not as careful as the residents, like throwing the cigarettes butt, how they treat the facilities (Airbnb often offers the facility, such as gym, to the transient tourist), and also afraid of a very easy access of people to get in and get out of the residents near them without knowing who they are, and make them prone to criminalities. Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has noted that in 2013, there were 231 reports of this complaints, and keep increasing in 2014 as much as 375 reports, and in 2015, 377 reports. Singapore Hotels Association also in the cons side since the home share will make a serious competition with hotels and serviced apartment. Besides, the service they provided and the cleanliness won't be standardized as the hotel does. It will affect the tourist opinion of Singapore as a travel destination. 2017 is on track to hit over 700 cases of short-term rentals reported to the government.
Nevertheless, some people might think different and have no problem with this business. They stated that one should have a freedom to decide what to do with their own properties. And it will be saved if there's a rule for their guests to be screened up before accepted. Some also said this home share can make an immersive cultural hub. And it's an organic way to learn the city and the inhabitants, better than a hotel.
The government has a long thought process and a debate about to legalize or not legalize this business activity. On one hand, it makes advantages for the tourists and the homeowner, and on the other hand, they will come up with risks. They are not yet decided whether to legalize it or not, but they still watched closely to this activity with all the consideration, since it is a disruptive technology. Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development has stated that if this activity legalized, then there must be rules to ensure the equity of all the stakeholders.

 

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