Airbnb takes on Dutch holidaymakers claiming back service charges

They're back. Tourists spotted in Amsterdam. Photo:
Tourists in Amsterdam. Photo:

Airbnb is taking legal action against several organised groups who plan to take the holiday rental platform to court to recover service charges which, according to another court ruling, may be illegal.

An estimated 30,000 Dutch residents have joined five sets of claims against the holiday rentals giant, after a Dutch court ruled in March that it was breaking Dutch law by charging a fee to both apartment owners and holiday makers.

Earlier this week all five organisations were sent a counter claim by Airbnb, in which the company is asking Rotterdam district court to refer the issue directly to the Dutch Supreme Court for a ruling, the Parool reported.

‘We are asking a higher court to make a ruling so there is clarity for Dutch guests,’ the company said in a statement.

In the March ruling in Amsterdam, it was revealed that Airbnb was asking apartment owners to pay 3.6% of the booking value, while also charging an average of 15% of the total to renters.

Although Airbnb argued that it is legislated under Irish law, the Dutch court found that local consumer law still applies, the website was ‘serving two masters’ and had to pay back claimant Jacques Huppes €470.

If the Rotterdam court does refer the case to the Supreme Court, it could delay the case by 18 months.

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