Dutch municipalities can now seize profits from illegal housing rentals
Illegally renting out your house is an economic crime, which until now has been punished with fines. On Tuesday, October 2, a motion was adopted to allow the municipality to not only issue fines, but to also seize profits made via illegal rentals.
Seizing profits and issuing fines
The adopted motion was presented by the VVD and SP and received support from all other political parties. Previous to this motion, landlords would only receive a fine if they were caught illegally renting out accommodation.
However, this fine was hardly a deterrent as, according to Daniël Koerhuis from the VVD, “rogue landlords already take into account that they will get an administrative fine and happily carry on with their activities”. The option for municipalities to seize profits especially targets professional groups. Such groups often rent out complete housing blocks to large groups of people.
Maximum of rental days to be shortened in Amsterdam
Currently, residents in Amsterdam can rent out their property for 60 days per year to a maximum of four people via Airbnb, Booking.com, Wimdu and HomeAway, for example. Next year, the maximum number of days one can rent out their property will drop by half to only 30 days.
At the moment, there are around 20.000 Airbnb addresses in Amsterdam and more than 80 inspectors actively looking to identify illegal hotels. Last year, fines dished out for illegal housing rentals totalled 4,2 million euros.
Last week, Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Kajsa Ollongren announced intent to implement obligatory registration for holiday rentals. Landlords would then receive a registration number which would have to be visible on their advert.
This would make it easier for the municipality to see which properties are being illegally rented out. Obligatory registration is something that the municipality of Amsterdam was hoping for.