Amsterdam council wants to offer central shopkeepers help to fight rent spikes, reports the Parool.
The leading coalition of three political parties, the liberal democratic D66, liberal VVD and socialist SP, supports a resolution to protect small shopkeepers, in the face of rising commercial rents alongside an increase in tourism.
Commercial rents have gone up, reports the Parool, due in part to an influx of tourist shops which make money from the record numbers of 17 million visitors a year.
There are concerns that competition for space and subsequent rent increases are pricing out local businesses. ‘We must prevent small businesses from becoming powerless against large real estate owners,’ D66 group chairman Reinier van Dantzig told the Parool.
The city wants to select which types of business are welcome and which aren’t, assist small businesses with their tenancies and inform them of their legal rights in the face of rent increase demands, says the Parool.
GroenLinks green left party wants to give routine support to retailers who protest rent increases, suggesting that the city could even buy buildings and manage rent levels itself.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam residents have raised concerns about the ‘Disneyfication’ of the centre, citing concerns about illegal rentals via websites such as Airbnb, exceeding the limits of 60 days a year for four unrelated guests.
The city has proposed a register to keep a check on landlords, while the head of public space, Abdeluheb Choho has suggested increasing tourist tax to 15%, from the current level of 5%, to stop the Dutch capital becoming a ‘tourist amusement park’.
Amsterdam is also building more rental homes, for people who earn too much for the social sector but too little to afford free market rents, which now average more than €2,000 a month, according to rental site Pararius.
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