URA, estate business body probing potential breach of minimum-stay rule

While the jury is still out on a review by the Urban Redevelopment Capacity (URA) with the minimum lease period pertaining to private homes, cases of potential removes are staying looked into.

The URA plus the Council pertaining to Estate Businesses (CEA) reported they are prying cases reported by in recent articles or blog posts published available Times with potential quick stays for sale in non-public residential sections.

BT articles or blog posts published with April in search of flagged too long before property sharing websites such as Airbnb and Vacationrental became popular, many accommodation agencies have been functioning for a long time, presenting short-term continues of within six months on private homes.

Under URA’s guideline, nevertheless , renting out whole system or specific rooms pertaining to residential uses is allowed only for good stays of six months or more. Short-term stays here are allowed for serviced apartments, which are under residential zoning, and hotels with its own designated land use zoning.

“CEA and URA have been investigating the cases cited by The Business Times, ” said CEA acting deputy director (licensing) Chua Geck Siang in response to a BT query.

BT had flagged earlier this month that some accommodation service providers could have got around URA’s minimum-stay requirement for residential properties by clever wording of their tenancy agreements.

Standard contracts seen by BT, such as those issued by Uncharted Homes on behalf of BS Shenton Pte Ltd, contain a minimum lease of six months but with a diplomatic clause allowing for early termination without penalty. Another accommodation service provider, LMB Housing Services, issues an open-ended contract that states a minimum lease of six months without indicating the last date of stay, and allows the tenant to terminate the lease without penalty by submitting a termination letter 30 days before departure date.

But URA has clarified that there is a breach as long as residential units are rented out for under six months.

Other accommodation service providers cited in the BT articles include International Service Apartments and Atas Residence, formerly known as OSPC (Overseas Students Placement Centre) Pte Ltd. Besides these, there are many other service providers that supply rental for just six months on private domestic units.

Seeing that estate business work incorporates introducing house owner or landlord to a renter, assisting during the negotiation of an transaction amongst both parties, and also subsequent do the job relating to the transaction, the operations these managing providers raise the concern of the key reason why they are certainly not licensed by means of or regulated under the CEA since they provide some form of property leasing services.

In response to BT’s query, the CEA said that under the Estate Agents Act, entities and individuals conducting estate agency work in Singapore must be licensed and registered with the CEA.

But entities managing serviced apartments, which are intended for short-term stays in a way similar to hotels, need not be licensed under the Estate Agents Act, said Ms Chua. “The key issue is that serviced apartments must have the requisite planning approval from URA to be used as such. ”

Atas Residence was managing short-term stays for entire developments Oxley Thanksgiving Residence, St Thomas Lodge and Devonshire Apartments near Somerset – projects that did not currently have planning concur to be go as maintained apartments seeing that at September 9, the date if your BT article content were shared.

Since then, Atas Residence includes moved Street Thomas Ldg and Devonshire Apartments — two strata-titled developments — to a long-term stay catalogue nonetheless kept Oxley Thanksgiving Household under the not permanent stay category.

BT realizes that URA for Wednesday naturally written concur for the proposed switch of use of Oxley Thanksgiving holiday Residence — a single strata development managed by China’s temple Poh Ern Shih – to serviced apartment rentals this week. The five-storey prohibit at 328 River Basin Road provides a total of 88 contraptions with two levels of attic carparks, a roof terrace and swimming pool.

The Chinese humor had downloaded a formal applying it on September 14 to URA pertaining to the the conversion process of use to serviced apartment rentals.

Under URA’s guidelines pertaining to serviced apartment rentals, they have to often be non-strata subdivided, self-contained flats with supply for kitchenettes or kitchen areas and have support services such as concierge, housekeeping and/or laundry provided for the residents. They are rented out for hotels for a minimum of seven days or other longer periods.

Locations where serviced apartment utilize can be considered for approval are sites fronting major and arterial highways within predominantly residential areas, or sites located in combined use business parks, such as commercial centres and areas; or abutting medical hubs.