Sharing Economy Association (Singapore) Releases Position Paper on Home Sharing in Singapore

The Association recommends that the Government create a policy framework that establishes fair and progressive rules for home sharing

 

Singapore, 22 Dec 2014 – The Sharing Economy Association (Singapore) released today its position paper on home sharing in Singapore, in conjunction with the Government’s plans to study the implications of home sharing and to gather public feedback.

 

Home Sharing and Benefits

Home sharing platforms connect “Hosts”, individuals who rent out spare space in their homes, with “Guests”, individuals who rent accommodation from Hosts. Trusted home sharing platforms that are popular in Singapore include the Sharing Economy Association’s members Airbnb and PandaBed.

Hosts who participate in home sharing generally rent their own homes occasionally — when on vacation or traveling for work, or simply as a way to meet travelers from around the world. On the other hand, Guests use home sharing platforms because they seek the authentic local experiences that local residents provide — they want to “live like locals.”

There are a number of clear benefits that home sharing provides to visitors to Singapore, hosts in Singapore and to the overall Singapore economy, including:

  • Provide authentic local travel experiences
  • Earn supplemental income
  • Increase tourism income
  • Distribute tourists throughout the city
  • Support entrepreneurship and flexible working schedules
  • Absorb high demand for accommodation during major events
  • Help retirees to earn extra income to fund their retirement
  • Promote efficient use of existing resources as well as a more environmentally sustainable way of traveling

 

Policy Considerations

Singapore’s policy makers have stated that the primary reason to prohibit short term rentals in Singapore is that short-term occupancy, with transient occupiers, creates disturbances and inconveniences to other bona fide residents in the development.

These concerns can be minimised when home sharing platforms act as responsible players and work to prevent disamenities by establishing two-way review systems. Home sharing platforms encourage their community members to leave reviews, to reward good conduct and deter bad behaviours.

In addition, home sharing platforms can implement measures to strengthen their communities, such as appropriate insurance or guarantee programmes. Safety and security can be further promoted by requesting for third-party verification.

 

Policy Recommendations

As a city which is well-recognised for its innovative policies, home to the World Cities Summit, and with our national vision of becoming a Smart Nation, it is necessary for the Government to create a policy framework that establishes fair and progressive rules for home sharing.

In 2014, a raft of new laws have either been passed or announced by some of the world’s leading cities and countries: Amsterdam, Hamburg, Portland, San Francisco, France and the United Kingdom. While each of the laws are different, they share a few common characteristics: they allow people to rent out their residences to short term visitors on an occasional basis.

The Sharing Economy Association supports amendments to Singapore’s rules that allow for individuals in Singapore to occasionally rent out their residences to short term visitors - either in the form of a spare room or an entire residence. Singapore’s new policy on home sharing should include smart and targeted provisions to prevent issues of disamenities in residential areas rather than blanket bans against short term rentals.

The Sharing Economy Association is prepared to work together with the Government to address home sharing in a constructive manner.

 

 

For more details, please refer to the position paper here.

 

About the Sharing Economy Association (Singapore)

The Sharing Economy Association (Singapore) is a new business association that aims to connect companies and organisations involved in the Sharing Economy in Singapore, develop a vibrant and viable industry, help our members address challenges and explore opportunities, and raise public awareness on the Sharing Economy.

The Sharing Economy Association’s current members include Airbnb, BlockPooling, iCarsClub, Leendy, Rent Tycoons, PandaBed and Waste is not Waste.

 

For more information about the Sharing Economy Association (Singapore) or to join as members, please visit http://www.sharingeconomy.org.sg.

 

 

Media Contacts

For enquiries, please contact the following Sharing Economy Association (Singapore) members:

 

Eugene Tay

President

Email: eugene@greenfuture.sg

James Chua

Treasurer

Email: james@pandabed.com

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