Amsterdam city council and holiday rental website Airbnb have agreed a new deal which they say will cut back on illegal rentals and reduce the nuisance to neighbours.
Airbnb has agreed to put a limiter on its website which means apartments which have been rented out for 60 days will disappear from the site for the rest of the year.
The website has also agreed to install a ‘neighbour tool’ which other residents can use to complain about noisy or aggressive tenants. It will also introduce a limit on four people per apartment.
Amsterdam allows people to rent out their homes via websites such as Airbnb for up to 60 nights a year and to no more than four people, provided they own the property or don’t live in social housing.
There are thousands of properties in the city which are rented out illegally or by professional companies and Amsterdam had threatened to tear up the Airbnb deal without more information from the website.
Airbnb says the vast majority of landlords stick to the rules and that ‘commercial landlords are not welcome’. The website does collect tourist tax on behalf of the city but does not give details about individual payments.’
In May, the company said Amsterdam’s Airbnb hosts rent out their properties for an average of 28 days a year, earning an average of €3,800 in the process.
The Insideairbnb.com website shows that 25% of hosts list more than one property, and more than one in ten flats offered for rent are available to more than four guests at a time.
Parliament recently voted in favour of a Socialist Party motion which would require everyone who wants to rent out their home via websites like Airbnb to register their plans. However, it is unclear if the government will put the motion into practice and housing minister Stef Blok opposes the idea.
The new deal between the city and Airbnb will be evaluated every three or four months, the Financieele Dagblad said.
Critics of the new deal point out that there is nothing to stop landlords who rent out their properties illegally from using websites similar to Airbnb. However, according to the Financieele Dagblad, the city has pledged to make similar agreements with other websites to ensure a level playing field.
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