71 offenders fined, 15 prosecuted over 5 years in Singapore crackdown on illegal short-term stays

Singapore flats
Owners of private homes and HDB flats in Singapore have to follow a minimum-duration lease rule. Representative photo courtesy: Instagram/singapore

At least 86 people have been fined or prosecuted since 2019 for violating the Singapore law on short-term rentals, according to data released by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Of this, 64 were fined for renting out their private homes; 7 were fined for letting their HDB homes; and 15 were taken to court.

All of these people had violated the law on the minimum duration legally required in Singapore for renting out homes.

For HDB flats, the minimum short-stay duration is 6 months, in order to prevent a high turnover of people coming and going in a neighbourhood.

For private homes, the short-stay duration is a minimum of 3 consecutive months.

According to The Straits Times, the authorities have warned the public that unauthorised short-term leases would mean strict enforcement action against offenders.

ST cited a CNA report in June 2024 that had flagged rampant violations: Singapore condos and HDB flats being listed on Airbnb, the online platform for short-term stays. The news outlet had said that some of these Singapore listings described the accommodations as “authorised serviced apartments”; such apartments have a minimum stay requirement of only 7 days.

This week, the Singapore agencies released the figures of fines and prosecutions, and said that they would investigate all reports of suspected cases of illegal short-term stays. “We also actively carry out investigations to identify errant cases, and monitor listings on online platforms,” they said.

First-time offenders renting out private homes under 3 months would be fined up to SGD 5,000; repeat offenders, or large-scale offenders, would be fined up to SGD 200,000 per charge, said ST.

First-time offenders renting out HDB homes under 6 months would get a written warning and could also be fined up to SGD 50,000; the worst offenders might see their HDB flats acquired by the authorities.

The authorities are also working with online platforms to ensure that Singapore listings conform to Singapore laws.