How overnight inspections unraveled a S$1.25m sublet scheme on Airbnb and HomeAway

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“SUBSTANTIAL” REVENUES

Between June 30, 2017 and July 2018, Chan earned a total income of S$1,254,907.78. In the first month, he had received over S$130,000 from subletting the accommodations.

From July 2017 to the end of this year, he made more than S$670,000 in revenue and from January 2018 to July 2018, he received almost S$585,000 in revenue.

He paid Zhao a monthly salary of S$4,000 for helping him with the project.

Chan was “solely motivated by profit” and providing the short-term housing provided him with a steady source of income, the URA prosecutor said.

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“The criminal business model in this case was quite sophisticated,” and the offenses were perpetrated over an extended period, the prosecution added.

It’s become a “self-funded, high-return model,” they said.

“Landlords must also exercise due diligence to ensure that their properties are not used by their tenants for unauthorized purposes,” the URA said.

“Unauthorized short-term accommodation with frequent turnover of overnight guests not only alters the residential character of a property, but also causes inconvenience to neighboring residents.

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“The URA will continue to take strong enforcement action against offenders in short-term accommodation, including landlords, tenants, agents and anyone who has participated in such unlawful activities, in order to protect the interests of the community.

In response to questions from TAUT, Ms. Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said the company introduced a policy last year that requires hosts in Singapore to provide their license numbers or confirm permissions to continue hosting. .

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Listings that do not set a minimum required length of stay of at least three months or are not updated with license numbers or confirmation of relevant clearances are no longer permitted to be listed on the platform at Singapore, Ms Goh said.

A “majority” of registrations comply with the new policy, she added.

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