Amsterdam shuts 30 illegal hotels
The Municipality of Amsterdam has shut 30 illegal hotels in the city over the last three weeks, and has imposed fines amounting to more than €216,000 to other establishments, as part of a wide and ongoing operation to tackle illegal hotels in Amsterdam. Het Parool reports. Alderman for construction and living, Laurens Ivens, tells the paper that the mission's activities over the summer alone show how deep the issue is. In one of the hotels, there were 56 sleeping areas, while the building violates several fire safety standards. Ivens tells the paper that the hotels are taking up living space in Amsterdam, and they cause a nuisance as well as fire hazard. "It has to end", Ivens says. Over the summer, inspections discovered that owners of 45 addresses, with in total 401 living areas for tourists, were in violation of certain standards. If it is found that the building does not meet fire safety standards, then it is immediately shut down, and the owner gets a fine. Fines are also given for improper use of a home, and the owner is then told to stop illegal activities. In the last year alone, 92 illegal hotel apartments have been closed, covering 250 sleeping areas. The municipality says it is taking strong counter-measures against illegal hotels and hostels.