Singapore Shortens Minimum Stay Requirements for Home Rentals

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore cut the minimum period allowed for home rentals by half to three months, citing growing demand from tenants seeking shorter-term leases.

All home occupants must fulfill a minimum stay duration of three consecutive months, while shorter stays including those facilitated through home-sharing platforms are still not allowed, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement on its website Friday. Singapore had set the six-month minimum stay requirement in 2009.

“In recent years, we have observed growing demand from groups seeking accommodation for periods of between three to six months,” the URA said in the statement, referring to prospective tenants including academics, visiting students and professionals on work assignments.

The feedback from such tenants was that they prefer private residential properties over hotels and serviced apartments, as they consider factors such as choice of locations, range in unit sizes, and financial affordability, the URA said.

The changes will help to boost a slow rental market, where an oversupply of homes had seen vacancy rates climb to the highest in more than 11 years in 2016.

“The move is welcomed as it allows greater flexibility in terms of lease arrangements by landlords and tenants,” said Singapore-based Ismail Gafoor, chief executive officer of Propnex Realty Pte. “In the current sluggish rental market, landlords now have the option of renting out for shorter durations at higher rental as short-term leases usually command a premium over longer leases.”