Skip to main content

Amsterdam tightens lock on Airbnb


Amsterdam is taking another step in its fight against over-tourism by using new powers to lock Airbnb out of the heart of the city and to require permits for rentals in the rest of the city.

The bans are possible because of a tricky ruling by the highest court, the Council of State, which ruled earlier this year that holiday rentals are only possible if there is a licensing system—and since no Dutch city had such a system, they were free to say 'No!' while working out a licensing system. 

Amsterdam's system, which will go into effect on July 1st bars short term rentals other than licensed B&Bs and hotels in two core postal codes, and allows licenses in the rest of the city only if the property is lived in by a regular tenant most of the year and is rented out 30 days or less to no more than four people at a time. The latter restriction is aimed at blocking raucous 'stag' and 'hen' parties that have become a popular pet peeve for Amsterdamers.

License holders will be required to post a license number in their listings, and to report each rental to the city so officials can enforce the 30 days limit. City officials note that at one point or another, 1 in every 15 city residences has been rented through Airbnb, and that across platforms there are usually about 25,000 ads a month. Airbnb says that its listings are 90% outside the banned zone and that it has helped disperse visitors throughout the city.

National legislation on licensing is expected by the end of the year, though it is not clear if it will supersede Amsterdam's home-grown version. Other cities, including The Hague, have opted not to create licenses, thus at least officially banning short-term rentals, although not necessarily enforcing the ban.

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

Add Comment

Comments (0)

Link copied to your clipboard.