Wednesday 15 July 2020

Amsterdam new holiday rental rules begin on July 1

Tourists back in Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Three quarters of people who responded to new rules about holiday rentals in Amsterdam support the ban in three central districts, according to the city council.

From next Wednesday – July 1 – Amsterdam’s new rules will be in force, meaning that ‘Airbnb’ style rentals are banned entirely in three central districts.

Across the whole of Amsterdam, anyone wanting to let out their main residence while they are away will now have to get a new €45 permit, and inform the city of every single rental in advance. Failure to get this permit could incur a fine of €20,750.

‘A lot of people responded to this ruling,’ city housing spokeswoman Anouk Panman told DutchNews.nl. ‘It is a subject that evokes strong feelings amongst Amsterdammers, and 75% were in favour.’

The consultancy period for people to respond to the new rules ended on May 28, and the city received 780 submissions – an unusually high number, also compared to previous proposals on holiday rental.

Nuisance

‘If you want to get into your house and out of the busy streets, and then both of your next door neighbours are renting out as holiday hires, these tourists have a completely different rhythm and you may experience nuisance,’ Panman said.

The same rules as before apply, meaning that people can let out their whole home for 30 nights a year to up to four guests at a time, if they are normally resident in the house. ‘If you hire out a house where you don’t live, then you are an illegal hotel,’ she added.

Amsterdam – which has asked for emergency powers to shut down hotels and holiday lets if there is a risk of a second wave of corona infection due to overcrowding – also has new rules and permits for bed and breakfast accommodation, with quotas in different areas.

Some experts such as Stephen Hodes, of think tank Amsterdam in Progress, have said the city should go further to ‘ban all Airbnb holiday rentals’ as well as having a total hotel stop.

Legislation

Airbnb – which according to its own research lists the vast majority of home holiday rentals in Amsterdam – said in a comment that it has been working on measures to reduce nuisance, and supports the Dutch government’s efforts to develop new national legislation on holiday rentals.

‘[About] 95% of Airbnb accommodation is outside these areas and so helps to spread tourism outside the centre,’ it said in a statement. ‘We are very concerned that these proposals are illegal and violate the fundamental rights of Amsterdam residents as well as decreasing income in these difficult times…

‘We want to work with Amsterdam on sustainable solutions, not short-term ones that are expensive, confusing and harmful to Amsterdammers and the local business community in this challenging period.’

A petition asking Amsterdam municipal council to limit the number of tourists visiting the capital to 12 million a year has been signed by almost 30,000 residents.

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