Amsterdam to further limit houseboat tourist rentals

Houseboat in Amsterdam (Photo:, 20 August 2012)Houseboat in Amsterdam (Photo:, 20 August 2012)

The municipality of Amsterdam is developing new regulations limiting houseboat owners from renting out their homes to tourists. Owners of boats will only be able to rent out their homes for no more than sixty days per year, and only to a maximum of four people.

"Many houseboats now seem to be permanently used as hotels and designed specifically to live on," socialist party alderman for housing Laurens Ivens. "We are making sure action is taken against residents who illegally use their houseboat as a hotel."

Authorities want to prevent unfair competition with hotels, the city said in a statement. They also want to limit additional water pollution, and decrease the disturbance caused by tourists in residential areas. The city claims that despite a decrease in residents living on the water, there is an increase in disturbance complaints about tourists there.

The permanent use of a residential houseboat as a commercial vacation stay was already forbidden in Amsterdam. Only partial or incidental tourist use of a property as a bed and breakfast is currently permitted. Residents still have to collect tourist tax for each rental, and pay the money accordingly.

Enforcement of the new rule is done by the municipality. Special investigative teams will go into the city looking for houseboats used illegally as hotels.