Protecting the residential nature of our homes


Some homeowners are turning their homes into guest houses and leasing rooms out for a couple of days using web portals that provide such leasing services as intermediaries.   

The commercial people view this as a good use of resources.  It allows homeowners to generate quick income from spaces they can spare.  

DC air bnb

However, this is not the view of the majority homeowners, who prefer to retain the residential nature of their properties.   Allowing residences to be used for short stays leads to high turnovers of occupants, and gives rise to nuisance and safety concerns.  Most of us do prefer some familiarity with the people who live around our homes.

For this reason, URA’s subletting guidelines do not allow home-owners to sublet their premises for stays of less than six months.  However, home owners may occasionally invite their relatives or friends from overseas to stay with them when they visit Singapore. This is a reasonable extension of a homeowner’s use of his home, and is not considered a breach of the subletting guideline. It is the onus of homeowners to ensure that this does not result in any nuisance to neighbours.

While URA has been following up to investigate when we are aware of or receive feedback on suspected unauthorised uses in a specific premises, not all the cases lead to enforcement because some turned out to be bona fide rental arrangements. Others may not be straightforward when the evidence is not conclusive and need further investigations.


“Feedback from our members indicates that those genuinely in need of short-term accommodation for periods of less than six months are being disadvantaged. For example, a foreigner who needs accommodation during his five-month MBA course will not be able to rent an apartment in a condominium or HDB flat.” — Mr Low Swee Kim, 1st Vice-President, Institute of Estate Agents
“I urge the URA to monitor such cases closely and act decisively. An ineffective response may encourage more such cases and diminish the URA’s credibility in enforcing the rules.” - Mr Christopher Gan, member of public
“A condominium I lived in had its facilities damaged by short-term tenants, who would also compromise the condo’s security…Short-term tenants should stay in serviced apartments or hostels.” - Mr Khor Eng Hao, member of public

Source of quotes from news articles.