Amsterdam’s 20,000 Airbnb hosts must obtain tourist licenses or cease operations, court rules

Airbnb hosts in Amsterdam were outraged on Wednesday after the country’s highest court ruled that anyone who rents their property without a license is breaking the law.

In a shock judgment, the Raad van State said the capital must comply with the national housing law, which bans unlicensed vacation rentals. None of the roughly 20,000 Airbnb hosts in Amsterdam currently have a “vacation rental” permit, a city spokeswoman confirmed, meaning anyone who rented a house to a tourist on judgment night was technically in violation of the law.

The judgment triples the fine for illegal rental of vacation homes from € 6,000 to € 20,500.

“You should be able to do whatever you want with your own home,” wrote an irate host under the pseudonym Boomreactor on, an online news site, “I won it with my own brain. C ‘is mine.” Another said: “It’s a shame. Another income model for my city apartment is probably gone, when everything was going so well. There was good demand, and it was good for my asking price.

The Raad van State has ruled that vacation rentals “take homes out of the stock”, which is not allowed in places where accommodation is scarce and expensive – like Amsterdam.

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