Two Singapore Airbnb hosts to plead guilty to illegal letting charges: lawyer

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed people's models are seen in front of a displayed Airbnb logo in this illustration taken, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Two Airbnb hosts charged in Singapore with unauthorized short-term letting of four apartments are expected to plead guilty next month, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

The two men face four charges under the city-state’s Planning Act for renting out four units in a condominium for less than six months without permission from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, according to court documents last month.

They are liable to a fine of up to S$200,000 ($149,000) per offence if found guilty.

Their lawyer, Wong Soo Chih, said they are expected to be sentenced on Feb. 27.

Singapore passed new rules last year giving officials the right to force their way into homes to check whether residents were renting them out illegally.

Airbnb says it has 8,700 listings in Singapore, where high population density and limited land area mean a majority of the 5.6 million people live in apartments.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Paul Tait