SINGAPORE: A Singapore court fined two Airbnb hosts a total of S$60,000 ($45,800) each on Tuesday for unauthorised short-term letting in the first such case under the city-state’s rules on short-term property rentals introduced last year.
The two men had pleaded guilty to letting four flats in a condominium for less than six months without permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
They faced a fine of up to S$200,000 per offence under Singapore law. Prosecutors sought fines of S$20,000 per charge for a total of S$80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defence lawyers sought fines of S$5,000 per charge.
Judge Kenneth Choo on Tuesday fined the two hosts S$15,000 per charge each. He said the fines would serve as a signal to deter others from pursuing such business to make a quick profit.
Private homes in Singapore are subject to a minimum rental period of three consecutive months, while for public housing, home to about 80 percent of Singapore’s residents, it is six months.
The URA has said it would conduct a public consultation to seek feedback on a proposed regulatory framework for short-term letting.
Wong Soo Chih, the two hosts’ lawyer, said they paid their fines on the spot.
Airbnb did not have an immediate comment.