SINGAPORE: Some home rental agencies are offering tenants short-term stays by inserting an early termination clause into their contracts, thereby bypassing the three-month minimum tenancy rule.
Channel NewsAsia discovered this when it tried to rent units from two different accommodation providers.
Responding to this reporter's request for a three-week stay, a staff member of the first company said it was "not a problem", as long as the termination form is signed when the tenant ends his or her stay.
The company even provided an early termination notice form.
The company’s agent also stated in an email that "as per Singapore rules and regulations, the minimum lease duration in residential developments in Singapore is three months but it could be terminated earlier with no penalty if a notice of termination is sent 30 days before the departure date".
Another agency Channel NewsAsia approached also obliged its request for a short-term stay.
Lawyer Amolat Singh noted that these companies are skirting the regulations by inserting an exit clause. "So I could enter into such an agreement and say: 'Sorry, after one week I want to quit,' and that will be acceptable to them,” he said.
On Dec 5, 2017, two men were charged for providing short-term stays to tenants via Airbnb.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority said that companies providing accommodation services are subject to enforcement actions if they are found to have breached the regulations.
It added that owners are primarily responsible in the event of such breaches, while tenants may also be subject to investigation.
URA said about 600 properties were investigated from January to September last year.