Amsterdam will now permit short-stay rentals

21 January 2014, by

Amsterdam City Council has announced that it will allow residents to privately rent out their own property for short periods, under strict conditions.

This comes despite a ruling in October 2013 by the Amsterdam Criminal Court that short-stay rental was "commercial exploitation."

Aldeman for Housing Freek Ossel says the council regards occasional rental of privately owned property as "an additional form of accommodation that dovetails with a hospitable Amsterdam."

Rules for short-term stays in Amsterdam

Currently there are 800 properties in Amsterdam licensed for commercial short-stay visits, and this number will stay fixed for the immediate future.

For those people renting out privately, owners will be able to continue renting them out to tourists, as long as the property is made available for only two months a year to a maximum of four people at a time. Owners must also pay tourist taxes.

Illegal hotels in Amsterdam

The city made it clear that such rentals would only be permitted if "conducted safely and honestly without causing nuisance," adding that they would take a firm line against all incidents of nuisance and unsafe situations.

During the past year, Amsterdam has shut down a number of illegal hotels, properties that do not abide by short-stay regulations or fire and other safety regulations.

Anyone renting out a property privately for longer than two months per year will be investigated for possible commercial activity.

Responsibilities of rental intermediaries

The city also wants the companies that act as intermediaries for private owners and renters, such as Airbnb and Short Stay, to take responsibility for explaining Amsterdam’s stipulations to users and owners.

Short-stay rentals in Amsterdam

They want the companies to send owners a tourist tax registration form at the end of the year and provide an indication of how much they owe.

Further short-stay developments

The city is putting on hold consideration of permitting different lengths of commercial short-stay rental, although it is still possible to start a bed and breakfast in the city.

Aldermen Ossel says that the demand for commerical short-stay housing in Amsterdam has been satisfied, based on estimates from 2009.

The current policy is that, should the available number of properties drop, the city will consider licensing new short-stay apartments in areas of the city where there is high demand and where the housing market allows.

"The Amsterdam market for regular housing remains under pressure," Ossel said. "There, too, we need to maintain a reasonable supply."

The city will evaluate the policy again in 2017.

Source: Municipality of Amsterdam

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Comments arranged by date (Total 3 comments)  
January 21 2014, 02:44PM

Short stay is not the same as renting your house out to tourists through Airbnb. The council has frozen the number of short-stay permits at 800... but you don't need a permit for Airbnb, if you don't rent out for more than two months a year and are not commercial. Please get your facts straight.

January 21 2014, 03:23PM

Dear AreYouanExpat,

Thank you for pointing out the error. We have amended the article.

January 23 2014, 11:42AM

Actually, what Amsterdam is trying, to legislate short stay rentals by private people renting out via AirBnB is something various US cities including New York are trying to regulate as well, but then by bullying home owners. The 2 month cut off is typical Dutch to pretend they give home owners a little leeway. Who do these arrogant politicians a bureaucrats of Amsterdam think they are to regulate short stay rentals of privately owned property at all? It violates their ownership rights. And on top of that they think they can regulate international companies located in other countries, not located in their city nor country? Next online American companies will be expected to abide by the edicts of the city of Timbuktu. Amsterdam's attempts to regulate online companies have no legal standing in the USA and will never have.

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Alexandra Gowling

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