URA suggests 80% consent rule for condos to offer home-sharing

It proposes new rules, including a 90-day rental cap, and seeks public feedback

Airbnb-style home-sharing is one step closer to becoming legal here, even as observers said the rules governing short-term stays proposed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will present a barrier too high for many to cross.

The URA outlined a list of safeguards in a long-awaited public consultation on short-term accommodation yesterday.

"We think it is possible to allow (them) in private residential properties, but subject to appropriate regulation and safeguards," National Development Minister Lawrence Wong wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

It proposed a new category of short-term accommodation for private residential properties, which developments can adopt if they have the owners' consent and are registered as such.

For condominiums governed by management committees, the URA is proposing that owners holding on to at least 80 per cent of the share value agree to the change of use.

In addition, the URA said it would consider the impact of such short-term stays on the surrounding community.

Condominiums, which have management committees and localised security measures, are more likely to be considered favourably for a change of use.

Even for condominiums that pass the 80 per cent threshold, the authority wants to cap the annual rental at 90 days and have a maximum occupancy of six people a unit.

The URA is also proposing that hosts register with the regulator and provide a record of guest details of each stay.

It said management committees can "put in place additional measures to manage potential disamenity", such as introducing by-laws with a lower rental cap than the proposed 90 days.

Platform operators such as Airbnb could also be made to comply with a list of rules, including vetting those posting and keeping track of the duration the units have been rented.

Airbnb said it is "committed to reasonable solutions" and welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback.

Consultation ends on May 31.