Amsterdam Bans Vacation Rentals Downtown: One In 15 Homes Already Offered On Platforms Like AirBnB

According to official information published on the city’s website, Amsterdam asked for the residents’ opinions, and 75% of the 780 participants were in favor. They allege that in these neighborhoods, “the quality of life of residents is so pressured by tourism that vacation rentals need to be banned.” Some residents have been in favor of banning them throughout the city, “but that is not feasible under current legislation and regulations,” said Laurens Ivens, Councilor for Housing.

A Measure Expandable To Other Neighborhoods

Although this measure applies to the three neighborhoods mentioned above, the city council does not rule out the possibility of expanding it to other places if necessary. An OIS report affirms that those three neighborhoods are the most affected, and from the city council, they explain that “we will investigate again in two years” and “if it turns out that other neighborhoods obtain comparable scores, we can ban other neighborhoods.”

From the city council of the capital, they affirm that the tourist rent has grown strongly in the last years and that “one of every 15 homes in Amsterdam is offered online”. They claim that the offer on “various platforms” such as Airbnb has increased five times, to the point that 25,000 ads are published per month. “This growth has increasingly negative consequences for the enjoyment of living in various neighborhoods,” they say.

Already in April of this year, Ivens let it be known that he was going to take this measure at some point. Back then, AirBnB said 95% of the homes listed on its platform are outside of these three districts, and also noted that a third of homeowners need rental income to make ends meet. According to the measure announced this week by the city of Amsterdam, as reported in the national newspaper De Telegraaf, AirBnB has exposed the following:

On the other hand, vacation rentals in the rest of the city will remain viable, as long as the owners get a license. This measure will take effect from next July 1, and, in the event that an unlicensed rental is detected, the owner will be exposed to a fine of 20,750 euros.

These houses, in addition, can not be rented more than 30 nights a year to a maximum of four people, and the house must be occupied by the tenant or owner for the rest of the year. These rules will not apply to what are known as Bed & Breakfast while operating one of these facilities already requires a permit, and district fees apply.

This move comes shortly after Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnb, gave an interview to CNBC in which he concluded that “travel as we knew it is over.” Airbnb has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, to the point that a few weeks ago it laid off 2,000 employees, 25% of the workforce.