Illegal leasing: 5 condo units in the clear

PHOTO: Illegal leasing: 5 condo units in the clear

Following reports in The Sunday Times last month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) investigated seven units at The Sail @ Marina Bay that were alleged to have been misused for short-term leasing.

Five of the units were found not to have infringed leasing rules, a URA spokesman told The Sunday Times.

She added that investigations are ongoing for two more units and declined to elaborate.

The Sunday Times first reported early last month that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) was held to resolve issues, including the matter of council members who allegedly misused their power to further their careers.

The motion to remove two of the council members who were said to be property agents and a third council member failed at the EGM.

Checks by The Sunday Times showed several websites advertising short-term stays at The Sail. When a Sunday Times team responded to one of the advertisements, it was shown three units available for rent for one month. Under URA guidelines on leasing and subletting, such properties are meant for stays of six months or longer.

Any violation may result in a fine of up to $200,000, a jail term of up to 12 months, or both.

A day after The Sunday Times report on Sept 22 on the alleged illegal leasing, URA met several council members and owners of The Sail to discuss the issue.

URA asked the council for a list of units that were allegedly misused and names of parties who may be involved.

Mr S. K. Cheah, 53, an investor, told The Sunday Times: "I have heard about URA officers being on site to investigate last month."

Another resident, who declined to be named, said: "URA officers came down at least three times, sometimes in the evenings. The residents were not told of the outcome of their investigations. But I still see the private concierge hired by the serviced apartment operators escorting tenants around the building."

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