Amsterdam waterboard closes down two ‘Airbnbs for boats’

Amsterdam waterboard Waternet is trying to close down two websites which allowed boat owners to rent their boats to others on an informal basis.

Start-ups GoBoat and Barqo both aim to become a sort of Airbnb for boat owners and charge 15% of the rental price for their services.

But Waternet has told both firms their websites break the law because only licenced boats owned by proper companies can be rented out privately. If the companies press ahead with their plans, they face a fine, the Parool reported on Tuesday.

Waternet spokeswoman Daniëlle van Gerven told the Parool that it does not take action against informal rentals because it is impossible to do so.

‘We can’t check it out if you give your neighbour some money and use his boat for a day,’ she said. ‘But these companies are offering a centralised rental system and we can enforce the rules.’

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