What you need to know about Amsterdam’s new Airbnb rules

Like many other cities, Amsterdam is looking for new ways to protect itself from overtourism and to ensure that it remains a great place to live and visit. Now, new rules have been announced to cut the time residents can rent their homes on Airbnb in half.

The council wants to make sure that Amsterdam retains its charm. Photo by Paolo Paradiso / Shutterstock

Currently, people who own their homes or have their owner’s permission can rent their entire home for 60 days a year. From 2019, this period will be reduced to 30 days. Guests must also register with city council and limit occupancy to just four people. The result for visitors is less accommodation to choose from.

Despite existing regulations, some people are breaking the rules, although the extent of the problem is unclear. A Dutch newspaper said at least 6,000 properties broke the rules in 2017 – including 5,000 that rented out their properties permanently – while Airbnb says the figure is more like 1,000.

City councilor for housing Laurens Ivens said: “I agree that reducing the duration is not the solution to the city’s congestion, but it will reduce the problems caused by tourists in some areas. “

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In high season Amsterdam can be crowded with tourists. Photo by Ed Norton

The cap will affect any other short-term rental platform as well, but Airbnb will be hit the hardest. There are nearly 19,000 Airbnb properties in Amsterdam with 21% of hosts in the city managing multiple listings.

Airbnb denounced the move in a statement, saying their tenants were “disappointed with your intention to make big hotels prevail over families in Amsterdam who sometimes share their homes.” They also warned that the new rules could undermine the public’s right to own property and to provide services.

Short-term rentals aren’t the only target in the board’s sights. The hotel tax rose to 6% this year and in September they said they were also considering an additional tax of € 10 per room to encourage tourists to give more back to the city.

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