Amsterdam is shutting down illegal hotels
Choices in accommodation for travellers has greatly increased, thanks to the services offered by sites such as Airbnb and Short Stay, which allow people to rent an apartment for a week or so and experience the city like a native.
Visitors should be aware, however, that some places have not been complying with the city’s regulations and have been operating as illegal hotels, according to the city government.
What constitutes a 'short stay'
After some debate, Amsterdam now permits apartments to be rented for short stays.
A permit for this allows a landlord to rent a property for no less than five nights and no more than six months, to no more than four people at a time.
Any property that rents room for less than five days is considered to be operating as a hotel and must then abide by fire and other safety regulations.
The government brought in the regulations earlier this year and has been steadily enforcing them with the intention of stopping illegal and unsafe operators.
The city recently closed eight apartments in four buildings located in the centre of Amsterdam, as they found them to have breached the short stay permit.
There were 27 tourists found in 33 beds across the apartments, all of whom were staying for less than five days, meaning the apartments were operating as de facto illegal hotels.
A security check found that all apartments were also missing essential fire safety features, such as extinguishers and alarms. The lack of fire safety and breaches of the short stay permit were enough reason for the city to close them all.
The city has been intensifying investigation into illegal and unsafe hotels since last year. In the last few weeks, 16 properties have been closed across the whole of Amsterdam.
Source: Municipality of Amsterdam