Is there a “decent” alternative to Airbnb? Amsterdam to investigate
The majority of members on the municipal council of Amsterdam are in favour of investigating the possibility of bringing to market an alternative to holiday rental platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb, one which will adhere to the city’s rules when it comes to holiday rentals.
Flaunting Amsterdam’s rules
According to figures from property consultant Colliers, in 2018, 41 percent of the accommodations on offer on the Airbnb platform were rented out for longer than the stipulated 60 days allowed per calendar year. In 19 percent of cases, they were even rented out for longer than 120 days!
Airbnb contests the figures reported by Colliers, claiming the company has used a flawed calculation method. According to the holiday rental giant, only 3,2 percent of accommodations on offer are rented out for longer than 60 days, not the 19 percent Colliers reports. Since January 2019, the number of days you are permitted to rent out your property has been cut to 30.
Since 2017, those letting their properties to holiday-goers are obliged to notify the municipality. However, a measly 25 percent actually does so. If you are caught renting out your place without having notified the municipality, you could face a fine of 6.000 euros. This fine could also run up to 20.500 euros if other conditions are also not met.
Many municipal council members wonder if the current approach to illegal holiday rentals is enough. VVD council member Daan Wijnants argued for a “more effective approach to excesses”. PvdA councillor Tom Leenders wants the city to make it easier for locals to report illegal rentals.
Bringing new competition to the market
Housing alderman Laurens Ivens has invited holiday rental businesses for a chat several times, however, his invitation has been ignored. The city, therefore, wants to look for a decent alternative to the current holiday rental sites.
During a committee meeting, Fairbnb, an Italian rental company that actively combats fraud, was brought up several times. Leenders proposed facilitating or establishing a healthy counterforce for Airbnb.