Tuesday 10 December 2019

New rules for Airbnb rentals don’t go far enough, says Amsterdam housing chief

The government’s new measures to try to tackle the spread of holiday rentals via platforms such as Airbnb do not go far enough, according to Amsterdam’s housing chief Laurens Ivens.

Acting home affairs minister Stientje van Veldhoven said on Monday that cities will be able to require home owners who rent out their properties to register with their local authority but that websites like Airbnb cannot be forced to hand over information to councils for checking.

This, the minister said, would go against EU guidelines which view holiday rental sites like Airbnb as platforms. ‘More far reaching measures will require long-term lobbying in Brussels,’ she is quoted as saying by the NRC.

Amsterdam has already introduced a registration requirement but it is widely ignored. Under the new government rules, home owners can be fined up to €83,000 if they do not register.

Ivens says that holiday rental websites should be required to hand over the contact details of landlords who don’t include a registration number on their adverts to city officials for checking.

‘I want to be able to get hold of their details, but if platforms can still carry their adverts [without the registration number] how does that help me?’ Ivens told the paper.

The platforms will be required to pass on information about individual landlords if officials ask for them, Van Veldhoven said.

Councils wishing to introduce a register will also have to demonstrate that there is a shortage of housing within their boundaries and that tourism is causing problems.

Airbnb described the new government initiative as ‘pragmatic’ and said that it would ensure local authorities had the information they need to carry out effective monitoring.

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