To Airbnb or not to Airbnb…

Sometimes, the best regulatory response to emerging disruptive technologies is to stall.

Not rushing to regulate lets the market find its own level, and gives time for the disrupter, the incumbent, the consumer and other stakeholders time to adjust.

So I wasn’t unduly surprised when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced last Wednesday that it needed more time to review the issue of short-term rentals of homes.

It had conducted a public consultation exercise from January to April last year and said that views were “split, with no clear consensus”.

“This issue on short-term stays is complex, multi-faceted, has wide- ranging implications and it warrants a careful and balanced review,” it said, adding that it “needs more time to study the issue”.

The lull gives the URA more time to study the issues and come up with a regulatory framework. It needs to balance the interests of those who

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