Friday, 18 March 2016 - 12:57
Amsterdam gets tougher on Airbnb while freezing hotel growth
Amsterdam is updating its hotel policy. The city is freezing hotel growths and being stricter with Airbnb about complying to all rules. In this way the capital wants to prevent prominently featuring on the list of dirtiest hotels. Responsible alderman Kasja Ollongren presented the new hotel policy on Friday. As expected, the city is braking new hotels in Amsterdam. From now on the basic answer to applications for building a new hotel will be "no", a "yes" answer will be exceptional. Amsterdam is also implementing stricter requirements for hotels. New initiatives will only be considered if the local residents were consulted and the plans are exceptional and promote social entrepreneurship. The plans must also pass a sustainability test. The city will encourage the owners of rundown, dirty hotels to rebuild them into "a municipality desired function", such as housing. If these owners do so, they may be allowed to develop a new hotel elsewhere in the city, provided it meets the new stricter rules. The stricter rules may lead to a shortage in hotel rooms in the city in the future, which will mean that visitors will need to find other accommodation. Housing alderman Laurens Ivens worries that this will lead to a further increase in the number of homes rented out through Airbnb. Ivens is therefore planning a more active approach in monitoring Airbnb in an effort to moderate the growth. Airbnb has to be stricter in addressing illegal rentals - people who rent out their homes to more than four people or for longer than 60 days a year. If they do not do so, Amsterdam will terminate its cooperation agreement with the company. The municipality is also examining possibilities of shortening the maximum rental term and is implementing a hotline to register complaints about illegal rentals.