News: Skirting minimum tenancy rule with early exit clause

Jan 8, 2018

Despite the prosecution of two men in December for providing short-term stays via Airbnb, some home rental agencies are still offering short-term accommodations to tenants by including an early termination clause into their contracts, reported Channel News Asia.

This was discovered when the news agency tried to rent units from two accommodation providers.

In responding to a request for a three-week stay, the first company’s staff said it was “not a problem” provided the tenant will sign the termination form during the end of his or her stay.

The company’s agent said 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”.

An early termination notice form was even provided by the company.

The second accommodation provider also granted its request for a short-term stay.

Lawyer Amolat Singh said these companies are skirting the minimum tenancy rule 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.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority revealed that around 600 properties were investigated between January and September last year.

It noted that companies providing accommodation services are subject to enforcement action once they are found to have violated the regulations.

In the event of such breaches, owners are primarily responsible, while tenants could also be subject to investigation, added URA.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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