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Airbnb an election issue in Amsterdam


Against a background of charges of widespread rule-breaking on short-term holiday rentals, the Dutch Labor Party has made a ban on Airbnb and similar platforms part of its platform for the upcoming city elections in March. The party is the second-largest in Amsterdam's council.

Short-term rentals are legal in Amsterdam, but no property can be rented for more than 60 days out of the year, and none can host more than four guests at a time. All must pay tourist tax, and register each new rental.

However, a recent study by the newspaper Trouw, claims that Airbnb is allowing its hosts to flout the law. Data collected from Airbnb and 'scraped' from its website, the report says, found 5,000 homes and houseboats rented constantly as short-term and never occupied by owners. It also claimed that 1,000 more rentals involved violation such as allowing more than four guests at a time.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I'm not sure how it can be said with any degree of certainty that data "scraped" from the site indicate anything close to real data other than, for instance, general availability, rather than which days a property is actually booked.  Hosts, including me, block days (weeks, months) when the accommodation is used by family & friends or when they, like me, travel out of town.  I'm not disputing that rules are broken but suspect it makes better news not bothering to dig through information to reach actual numbers.  And many local taxes are collected by the company under agreements reached with those entities so again, a half truth and blaming the company for governmental agencies dropping the ball.

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