Saturday 16 November 2019

Amsterdammers break Airbnb rules: long lets with too many people

Amsterdammers are flouting the city council’s rules for letting their homes via Airbnb, the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.

Amsterdam city council agreed at the beginning of this year new rules for private holiday rentals. Owners have to pay tourist tax and cannot rent out their home for more than 60 days a year. No more than four holidaymakers can stay in the property and the flat must not be in the rent-controlled sector.

7,000 properties

The Volkskrant said its reseach shows 5,706 people are renting out over 7,000 properties using the popular internet platform.

Of them, 13% allow more than five people to stay in the property and 8% are rented out for more than the two-month limit.

In addition, there are a large number of professional landlords with multiple properties using the service, and private investors are buying up attractive properties to rent out.

Critics

Landlords with short stay permits and hotels in the capital complain the use of Airbnb has reduced their occupancy rates. In addition, they say, Airbnb landlords don’t have to meet the strict requirements they have to adhere to.

‘Illegal lodgings and subletting has always gone on but Airbnb has changed everything,’ GertJan Bakker, of the city council’s illegal rental hotline, told the paper.

‘We have created a many-headed monster,’ he said. ‘The council cuts one off and two more spring up in another part of the city.’

Raid

The Volkskrant followed council inspectors and the police as they checked out the situation in an apartment on the Singel canal in Amsterdam city centre.

On the ground floor they found six American tourists asleep in what was described as a ‘pied a terre flat’. On the second floor was an American family and on the top ‘penthouse with roof terrace’, a group of German youngsters still sleeping off the effects of the night before.

‘If it is completely full, the owner of this property is cashing in €14,000 a week,’ one of the council officials said. ‘That is a lot of money.’

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