The Internet of Things has enabled in recent times this trend of "sharing". In reality, it is actually not a recent thing as the trend had started many years ago, but perhaps becoming more viable as a business concern in recent times. Transportation (Uber), accommodation (AirBnB), you name it. The Internet makes it easy for such businesses to thrive.
Interestingly, those who advertise Singapore properties on AirBnB are likely in violation of the law as short term rentals for anything less than 6 months is apparently not allowed. That hasn't stopped many from trying though. They are really risking it. Considering that properties are expensive like heck in Singapore, that's putting a lot at risk. You could lose your house! It probably doesn't take a lot for your neighbours to get upset with you and make a report.
I suppose the government would be reviewing its policy on this in due course. Given Prime Minister's speech at the National Day Rally on monetising the home for retirement (Post National Day Rally 2014 - Education, CPF and Infrastructure), perhaps such short term rentals could provide an additional option as a source of income for retirees?
Understandably, these have to be balanced against having tons of strangers thronging around our residences, creating concerns of insecurity. It is perhaps less of an issue if the owner actually stays in the home. But another thing altogether when fully rented out.
When renting homes overseas, though not from AirBnB, I've come across rental homes residing in nice, quiet neighbourhoods. I never once met the owners. I was given the numeric lock numbers over e-mail to gain access to the lock at the entrance of the house. The lock box provided the keys to the house. And on leaving, I only had to lock up the place and lock up the keys. Pretty much an "unmanned" experience. This happened at both Phillip Island and Fremantle in Australia. Must say that both were most positive experiences for my family. The houses were fully functional and well stocked.
Post National Day Rally 2014 - Education, CPF and Infrastructure
Cashflow - A Tale of Stable Income
Property - An Asset, Liability or Cashflow?