য়ার 845k Singapore Airbnb host hit with fine

য়ার 845k Singapore Airbnb host hit with fine

Airbnb has become a popular and often inexpensive alternative to hotels for many travelers.

Singapore:

A Singaporean man has been fined $ 845,000 for paying illegal short-term fares on Airbnb and other platforms, authorities said Tuesday, a record fine for crime in the city-state.

Housing is a sensitive issue in Singapore, where most people live in apartments and it is illegal to rent a house for less than three months in a row.

Simon Chan, 57, allegedly leased 14 apartments and subletted them for short-term accommodation for local and foreign guests.

The former property agent advertised the apartments on Airbnb, HomeAway and other platforms, local media reported.

A court on Monday fined him Sg $ 1.16 million (US $ 845,000) – the maximum fine ever paid for short-term rent – and he could face jail if he failed to pay, officials confirmed.

His girlfriend was reportedly fined Sg $ 84,000 for helping him.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority, which oversees city planning in Singapore, has warned that such unauthorized short-term rents “change the residential character of a property” with frequent turnover of guests.

The agency said it would “continue to take strong action against short-term housing offenders to protect the interests of the community”.

Airbnb has become a popular and often inexpensive alternative to hotels for many travelers.

But the company has faced growing criticism that it exacerbates the housing shortage and pressures the long-term rental sector, with cities including New York, Miami and Berlin shutting down the service.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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