Hotels have means, obligation to check guest reliability

Hotels have means, obligation to check guest reliability

In her response ("Short-term leasing has its benefits"; last Saturday) to my letter ("Potential ill effects of short-term leasing", Feb 4), Ms Bianca Sandra Overree said hotels and hostels merely want to see the page of one's passport with one's photo and name on it during identity verification.

However, unlike private residential leases, there are strict licensing regulations which require hotels and hostels to maintain extensive particulars of their guests in a register.

Compared to ad hoc landlords, professional hospitality managers possess the necessary training, experience and resources to recognise the veracity of identification documents and prohibited guests.

Operators must also obtain permits from the National Environment Agency, Fire Safety Bureau and the Building and Construction Authority - requirements which are not imposed on private landlords.

Ms Overree expressed her belief that short-term rentals will not have an effect on Singapore's residential supply.

But take a look at New York City. Short-term rentals are displacing long-term housing options during a period of record-high rents.

The city is also losing millions of dollars from lost hotel taxes.

Singapore is already the world's most expensive city ("S'pore the costliest city? That's rich"; March 6, 2014).

If landlords prefer short-term leasing, it would be more difficult and expensive for expats looking for longer-term rental here.

This article was first published on February 13, 2015.
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