The Hague will not allow vacation rentals, Airbnb is effectively banned

The Hague City Hall. Photo: Ellywa via Wikimedia Commons

The Hague City Council effectively prohibits all residents from renting their property or a room through agencies such as Airbnb, according to the local broadcaster West Omroep.

The ban follows the council’s decision not to introduce a licensing system for holiday rentals, following a controversial court ruling earlier this year.

In the ruling, the State Council said it was illegal to rent property to tourists without a permit because landlords effectively remove a house from the national housing stock.

The decision, which was unexpected, gave a boost to people campaigning against vacation rental platforms. In formal terms, the ruling means that anyone who rents property to tourists without permits is breaking the law.

However, no local authority has implemented a license system for renting to tourists and The Hague has decided not to. There are currently over 300 properties in The Hague on Airbnb.

“In practice, we are not going to impose significant fines, but we will intervene,” said housing alderman Martijn Balster. The focus will be on people who are still trying to rent out their property, Balster said.

The ban is likely to last until the end of this year, by which time the government will have finalized national legislation to cover holiday rentals.

These national rules will allow local authorities to require holiday rentals to be registered in areas where housing supply is scarce.


Amsterdam said it would continue to fine people who run vacation rentals for more than 30 nights a year or for more than four people at a time – in line with city rules.

According to city figures, one in every 15 homes in Amsterdam has been rented out to tourists and around 25,000 are used for this purpose each month. It is also the most expensive in Europe in terms of price with an average rent of €253 per night in the city centre.

City officials in Amsterdam have also been given the green light to experiment with using algorithms to track down people who illegally rent out their homes.

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