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Singapore men convicted over Airbnb rentals

Singapore: Two Singaporean men pleaded guilty on Tuesday to letting out apartments on Airbnb without official permission, the first such case in the city-state under new rules against short-term rentals.
Housing is a sensitive issue in rich but land-starved Singapore where more than 80 percent of the population lives in government-subsidised apartments. Singaporeans Terence Tan En Wei, 35, and Yao Song Liang, 34, pleaded guilty in court to four charges of illegally renting out four apartments in a luxury private condominium in central Singapore.
Prosecutors said the pair, who were property agents, had listed the apartments on Airbnb, which allows homeowners to share their homes for a fee by marketing them online, and other vacation rental sites.
The duo made Sg 19,000 ( 14,500) from renting the apartments between May 15 and June 21 last year, prosecutors said.
They will be sentenced in April. Deputy public prosecutor Selene Yap called for them to be fined Sg 80,000 each.
The pair were charged under regulations introduced last May banning homeowners from leasing property for less than three months without approval from authorities.
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