Rental platforms banned in Amsterdam city center areas

Netherlands: The Dutch city of Amsterdam has announced that holiday rentals will now be banned in three inner city districts of the Old Town from July 1.

The three districts concerned by the tightening of the rules on short-term rentals are Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde, Burgwallen-Oude Zijde and Grachtengordel-Zuid. Rentals will only be allowed in other areas of the Dutch capital if they obtain a special permit, which allows groups of up to four people to stay there for up to 30 nights a year.

Amsterdam has long been at odds with the rise of Airbnb-style vacation rentals in its city.

Two years ago, the city council imposed a cap on the number of nights travelers could rent a property there, reducing it from 60 nights to 30 a year.

Then, two months ago, the city council drawn plans to restrict rental operations in certain areas of the city centre, and only this week it was revealed that a petition suggesting a limit on the number of visitors to the city had been signed by more than 23,000 people.

The incoming ban will cover areas within postcodes 1012 and 1017 and has been specifically implemented to reduce over-tourism and noise pollution.

In a press release translated from Dutch, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam and Housing Advisor, Lauren Ivens, said: “This consultation indicates that the topic is very much alive among Amsterdammers. What is striking is that no less than 75% [of the 780 residents and organisations who had submitted their views prior to the ban] are in favor of banning vacation rentals in the three boroughs.

Ivens added that vacation rentals could be restricted in more areas in two years, when the council plans to conduct another review of the tourism situation.

While noting that Amsterdam had seen “strong growth” in accommodation listed on online booking platforms, Ivens said the supply of accommodation offered for rental periods had increased by up to five times, putting pressure extra in an already crowded housing market.

This, he said, was disrupting the quality of life for people in Amsterdam and the permit system introduced was an additional measure designed to enforce these rules for tourists.

Other changes to Amsterdam’s housing regulations include:

  • Increased fines for landlords who continue to rent out their properties without a license or who flout the 30-day limit on the maximum number of nights in short-term rentals
  • Only properties larger than 100 square meters can be converted into two or more smaller dwellings, in order to retain as much housing as possible for permanent residents of Amsterdam.

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