Dutch Council of State: If you rent to tourists in Amsterdam, you need a permit!

Dutch Council of State: If you rent to tourists in Amsterdam, you need a permit!

This week, the Council of State ruled that renting out your property to tourists in Amsterdam without a permit is not allowed. Amsterdam’s permit exemption, allowing residents to rent out their homes for up to 30 days as long as they report it and satisfy other conditions, is, in fact, in violation of the Housing Act.

Breaking the rules

The Housing Act states that it is prohibited to "withdraw living space designated by the municipality from the housing stock". This means that homes cannot be rented out to tourists, even for a short time, unless a permit has been issued for holiday rental.

According to the Council of State, the municipality is not authorised to deviate from the statutory permit requirement. The city is, however, allowed to determine extra regulations. The rules for holiday rentals recently came under the scrutiny of the Council of State when a case was brought to them involving a woman from Amsterdam who was fined 6.000 euros by the municipality for renting her house out to American tourists for five days in 2018 via Airbnb.

According to local bylaws, the woman should have notified the municipality before the tourists’ stay, she, therefore, received the maximum fine. However, when the case was brought to the Council of State, they ruled that the fine needn’t be paid, as it was levied on the wrong grounds. It is not that she did not violate the Housing Act; she was fined on the grounds that she did not comply with Amsterdam’s permit exemption regulations, regulations which should not exist.

Permits are compulsory

The municipality can no longer exempt its residents from the statutory permit requirement. This means that Amsterdam residents will need to apply for a permit if they want to rent out their homes. The Council maintains that the municipality needs to make new rules as to when you get a fine and when you don’t and add these to the Municipal Accommodation Statute.

The ruling surprises Amsterdam housing alderman Laurens Ivens, as it seems as though this means all holiday rentals are banned, he is going to investigate the matter further. The new housing rules, which came into force this year, already allow the municipality to ban Airbnb rentals in certain areas of the city.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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