Last Wednesday, a taxi driver happened to send his tourists to a house located in Sengkang which had recently been illegally leased out on Airbnb from Changi Airport. He got to know this from the tourists upon them showing him the HDB address, which aroused his curiosity of any change of rules in renting out a HDB in Singapore.
The taxi driver alerted Shin Min Daily News to the discovery on Wednesday and reporters managed to speak to the owner of the flat who said that she was not sure that renting out her flat in such short period of time was illegal.
According to the cabby, Mr Hong, the tourists asked him to drive towards Sengkang.
“Those two tourists passed me a note immediately with the address of the Airbnb indicated on it”
“When I came across that this was a Housing and Development flat, I began to feel that something was wrong.
“I remember that according to regulations, it is against the law to lease out HDB flats for short-term stays. ”
Following that, Mr Hong told the tourists that the destination they went to is not a hotel, nor was it a residential unit that was meant for short-term stays under the regulations.
However, the tourists replied that the owner the flat will be staying with them.
Mr Hong continued: “When arrived at the unit in Fernvale Link, the driver realise that the place was actually an HDB flat.
Reporters later check it out and found a listing of the rental unit based on some photographs on some property portals sent by Mr Hong.
They leant that the owner charged $42 a night for one room, and there were 45 reviews that are positive on the listing.
After that, the reporters paid a trip to the flat.
The lady flat owner claimed that she didn’t know if this was against govenment regulations, and thought that it was fine for her to rent out her room.
The lady said: “We was going through the Airbnb website and found that there were other people renting out their houses on the AirBnb portal. “