Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Two Airbnb hosts fined in Singapore’s first such verdict

Reuters, SINGAPORE

A man takes a photograph at Marina Bay in Singapore on March 22.

Photo: AFP

A Singapore court yesterday fined two Airbnb Inc hosts a total of S$60,000 (US$45,800) each for unauthorized short-term letting in the first such case under the city-state’s rules on short-term property rentals introduced last year.

The two men had pleaded guilty to letting four flats in a condominium for less than six months without permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

They faced a fine of up to S$200,000 per offense under Singaporean law. Prosecutors sought fines of S$20,000 per charge for a total of S$80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defense lawyers sought fines of S$5,000 per charge.

Judge Kenneth Choo fined the two hosts S$15,000 per charge each.

He said the fines would serve as a signal to deter others from pursuing such business to make a quick profit.

Private homes in Singapore are subject to a minimum rental period of three consecutive months, while for public housing, home to about 80 percent of Singapore’s residents, it is six months.

The authority has said it would conduct a public consultation to seek feedback on a proposed regulatory framework for short-term letting.

Wong Soo Chih, the two hosts’ lawyer, said they paid their fines on the spot.

Airbnb did not have an immediate comment.

This story has been viewed 1421 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top