×

UPDATE 1-Two Airbnb hosts fined in Singapore's first such case

(Adds comment from judge and lawyer)

SINGAPORE, April 3 (Reuters) - A Singapore court fined two Airbnb hosts a total of S$60,000 ($45,800) each on Tuesday for unauthorised short-term letting in the first such case under the city-state's rules on short-term property rentals introduced last year.

The two men had pleaded guilty to letting four flats in a condominium for less than six months without permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

They faced a fine of up to S$200,000 per offence under Singapore law. Prosecutors sought fines of S$20,000 per charge for a total of S$80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defence lawyers sought fines of S$5,000 per charge.

Judge Kenneth Choo on Tuesday fined the two hosts S$15,000 per charge each. He said the fines would serve as a signal to deter others from pursuing such business to make a quick profit.

Private homes in Singapore are subject to a minimum rental period of three consecutive months, while for public housing, home to about 80 percent of Singapore's residents, it is six months.

The URA has said it would conduct a public consultation to seek feedback on a proposed regulatory framework for short-term letting.

Wong Soo Chih, the two hosts' lawyer, said they paid their fines on the spot.

Airbnb did not have an immediate comment. ($1 = S$1.3) (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Nick Macfie)