Singapore court imposes hefty fines for Airbnb rentals

In this Jan. 16, 2018, photo, Terence Tan En Wei, 35, right, and Yao Songlaing, 34, leave the State Court in Singapore. A court in Singapore on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, fined two men 60,000 Singapore dollars ($45,800) each for breaching laws banning short-term rentals by renting out condominium units through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist and HomeAway. The pair had pleaded guilty at the State Court in February to four charges of illegally renting out four units last year, in the first case of its kind in the Southeast Asian island nation. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
In this Jan. 16, 2018, photo, Terence Tan En Wei, 35, right, and Yao Songlaing, 34, leave the State Court in Singapore. A court in Singapore on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, fined two men 60,000 Singapore dollars ($45,800) each for breaching laws banning short-term rentals by renting out condominium units through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist and HomeAway. The pair had pleaded guilty at the State Court in February to four charges of illegally renting out four units last year, in the first case of its kind in the Southeast Asian island nation. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
In this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, photo, Terence Tan En Wei, 35, left, and Yao Songliang, 34, arrive at the State Court in Singapore. A court in Singapore on Tuesday fined two men 60,000 Singapore dollars ($45,800) each for breaching laws banning short-term rentals by renting out condominium units through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist and HomeAway. The pair had pleaded guilty at the State Court in February to four charges of illegally renting out four units last year, in the first case of its kind in the Southeast Asian island nation. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

SINGAPORE — A court in Singapore on Tuesday fined two men 60,000 Singapore dollars ($45,800) each for breaching laws banning short-term rentals by renting out condominium units through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist and HomeAway.

Terence Tan En Wei and Yao Songlaing had pleaded guilty at the State Court in February to four charges of illegally renting out four units last year, in the first case of its kind in the Southeast Asian island nation.

Defense lawyer Wong Soo Chih said prosecutors had requested a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars ($15,267) per charge but the judge set it at 15,000 Singapore dollars ($11,450) per charge.

Offering short stays in private homes is illegal in Singapore, where most residents live in subsidized public housing. The minimum rental period had been six months, but has since been reduced to three months. Officials have said the rule minimizes disturbances to neighbors.

Despite these limitations, Airbnb continues to thrive in the city-state, where the platform has over 8,000 active listings. Last year, 350,000 guests stayed in Airbnb apartments in Singapore, according to the company.

Airbnb said in a statement after the sentencing that it will work with Singapore's authorities to allow the fair use of home sharing.

"We believe that an individual should, minimally, be able to share the private residence that they live in; and that no individual should be criminalized for sharing their home," said the statement from Mich Goh, Airbnb's head of public policy for Southeast Asia.

Describing the issue as "complex and multifaceted," the statement said the company looks forward to clarifying the rules through an upcoming public consultation and supports "a framework that allows responsible and sustainable home sharing to thrive to Singapore's immediate and long-term benefit."

Suspected suicide bombs in Jakarta kills 3...

May 24, 2017

Two suspected suicide bombings near a bus terminal in Indonesia's capital Wednesday night killed...

Over 130,000 flee menacing volcano on Bali...

Sep 29, 2017

More than 130,000 people have fled the region around the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian...

Indonesia president urges military to stay out of...

Oct 5, 2017

Indonesia's president has urged the military to stay out of politics and remain loyal to the...

Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes...

Nov 27, 2017

Indonesian authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone around an...

Bali volcano emits wispy plume of steam, flights...

Dec 4, 2017

Gushing ash from a Bali volcano dissipated into a wispy plume of steam, and Australian airlines...

Penggerak pasaran mengikut TradingView

About Us

Duniaga is Malaysia’s top local source for business news and information where people head to stay connected with the business news. We give daily in-depth analysis on the business happenings in the country.

Contact us: sales[at]duniaga.com

Subscribe Now!