Amsterdam to ban rental of tourist homes in 3 neighborhoods | Voice of America

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam, amid an unprecedented tourism crisis caused by restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, announced Thursday that it plans to ban people from renting homes to visitors in three neighborhoods historic city center.

The move, which is expected to take effect on July 1, is the Dutch capital’s latest attempt to curb people renting their homes on platforms like Airbnb amid complaints from residents that tourists are wasting their quality of life.

This goes hand in hand with a system that will come into effect on July 1 in Amsterdam, according to which anyone renting their accommodation in the city will need to have a permit. The town hall will not issue a permit for the three neighborhoods targeted by the ban.

In an emailed statement to The Associated Press, Airbnb said 95% of its listings in Amsterdam are outside of the areas covered by the ban, and added that the company had already introduced tools to combat against noise and nuisance.

“We remain eager to work with Amsterdam to support long-term solutions on home sharing – rather than short-term solutions that are confusing and damaging for residents and small businesses in these trying times,” Airbnb said.

Amsterdam has in recent years tightened the rules for people who rent out their homes, including limiting owners to a maximum of 30 nights per year and a maximum of four people per night.

The town’s district with picturesque canals and cobbled lanes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been inundated with tourists in recent years, leading to an increasing number of complaints from local residents.

However, coronavirus restrictions have seen an unusual calm plague the city in recent weeks. The streets often crowded with tourists are now largely deserted.

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