Singapore charges two men for illegal Airbnb lets

By Aradhana Aravindan / Reuters | December 6, 2017 2:48 PM SGT
Singapore charged two men on Tuesday with unauthorised Airbnb short-term letting of four apartments, media said, in the first such prosecution in the city-state.
Court documents did not refer to Airbnb which declined to comment on the case. The company has said that over the past year the Airbnb community has hosted more than 330,000 travellers to Singapore.
“The current framework for home sharing in Singapore doesn’t reflect how Singaporeans travel or use their homes today,” the company said in a statement. “The current framework also stands in contrast with Singapore’s commitment to innovation.”
The men face four charges under the Planning Act for renting out four units in a condominium for less than six months without permission from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.
If found guilty, they are liable to a fine of up to S$200,000 ($149,000) per offence.
Singapore passed new rules this year, giving officials the right to force their way into homes to check whether residents were renting them out illegally.
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb matches people wishing to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests. It appeals to young, web-focused consumers looking for a cheaper price, but also for the experience of living like a local.
Its rise has seen a growing crackdown by legislators worldwide.