Holiday rental website Airbnb began collecting tourist tax from Amsterdam visitors since Sunday but city officials have no idea how much or who the money has come from, the Parool says on Monday.
The popular site, which now lists over 10,000 addresses in Amsterdam, agreed to start collecting the tax in an effort to meet council rules on sub-letting property. However, the council cannot see who has paid the tax so no checks are possible, the paper states.
The head of Airbnb’s European operations told the paper it is up to people themselves to make sure they obey the rules. ‘It is not our responsibility,’ the Parool quotes Patrick Robinson as saying.
The rules include not letting to more than four people and not renting out property for more than 60 days a year. Landlords must also collect tourist tax. People living in rent-controlled properties are not allowed to use the service at all.
Hundreds of compaints have been made to the city council about the abuse of the system. ‘Airbnb focuses on Amsterdam and deliberately targets people who want to let out their property,’ spokesman Gert Jan Bakker said. ‘But Airbnb can adapt its website to local circumstances as well.’
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