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Revision of minimum stay duration (from six to three months) for private residential properties

  Published: 30 June 2017

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has lowered the minimum stay duration to three months, from the current six months.

The revision takes immediate effect and applies to all private properties which have been approved for residential use. All occupants residing in such properties must fulfil a minimum stay duration of three consecutive months. Stay durations of less than three consecutive months, including short-term stays (e.g. those facilitated through home-sharing platforms) continue to be disallowed.

During URA’s public consultation exercise on short-term stays in 2015, a majority of respondents were supportive of a reduction in the minimum stay duration. URA had considered this feedback in deciding on the current change.

More accommodation options

The minimum stay duration of six months was put in place since 2009. In recent years, we have observed growing demand from groups seeking accommodation for periods of between three to six months. They include academics and students visiting local Institutions of Higher Learning, and professionals on work assignments. The feedback from this group has been that they prefer private residential properties, considering their choice of locations, range in unit sizes, and financial affordability, over hotels and serviced apartments.

The revised minimum stay duration will provide these groups with more accommodation options. It will also provide more rental opportunities for property owners seeking to rent out their properties. Hotels and serviced apartments will continue to cater to visitors on shorter stays.

Preserving the residential character of housing estates

It is important that we preserve the residential character of private housing estates. URA has assessed that a minimum stay duration of three months is an appropriate limit which is not expected to cause any significant impact to residential communities, even as it extends benefits to potential tenants and landlords. However, URA will monitor the ground developments closely and assess the need for a further review, if necessary.

Separately, URA is reviewing possible guidelines to facilitate short-term rentals and intends to conduct a public consultation to seek feedback on this issue. We will provide more details on this consultation exercise when ready.