Amsterdam city council levied 378 fines totalling €4.2m on property bosses and private owners last year, largely for illegally renting flats to tourists.
The 2017 figure is over twice that generated in 2016, when housing fraud cost owners €1.9m. At the same time, the council closed 148 properties which it said were operating as illegal hotels, compared with 284 in 2016, when inspections were stepped up.
‘Fraud is spread over the entire city,’ housing alderman Laurens Ivens told the Parool. ‘What we see now is more minor infringements – couples moving in together and then renting out one of their flats to tourists. These are the little guys, not the investors who rent out entire buildings as illegal hotels.’
The council also dealt with more complaints about shared flats – whereby three or more people, often students or people in their first job – share a property. This is illegal in Amsterdam, unless the flat sharers have applied for a licence.
The council report also shows that an end has come to the unfettered growth of Airbnb in the Dutch capital and just 5% of homes are now being offered for rent for more than the permitted 60 days. In 2016, almost one in five properties broke the agreement.
Nevertheless, Airbnb landlords are still not registering when they have rented out their properties as they should be doing since October, Ivens said.
‘That has to be improved,’ he said. ‘Which is why we have begun actively monitoring compliance.’ The council is also slashing the number of days property can be rented out to 30.