Singapore court imposes hefty fines for Airbnb rentals

Published on : Thursday, April 5, 2018

SingaporeA certain court in Singapore has fined two men as much as 60,000 dollars ($45,800) each for violating laws that banned short-term Airbnb rentals on Tuesday through online services including Airbnb, HomeAway and Craigslist.


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 this island nation of Southeast Asia.


Defense lawyer Wong Soo Chih said that prosecutors had requested for a fine of nearly $15,267 (20,000 Singapore dollars) per charge.


But then 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 reside in subsidized public housing. The minimal rental period had been six months but then has been minimized to three months. Officials have stated that the rule minimizes disturbances to neighbors.


Despite imposing such restrictions, Airbnb continues to prosper in the city-state where this platform has more than 8,000 active listings.


Last year, 350,000 guests had stayed in Airbnb apartments in Singapore as per the company.


Airbnb mentioned in a statement that after the sentencing that it would work with the authorities of Singapore to permit the fair usage of home sharing. The statement also said that the company is eager to clarify the rules through an upcoming public consultation and supports a framework that permits sustainable home sharing to thrive to the long-term benefit of Singapore.


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