Amsterdam hands out half-million euros in fines for Airbnb renters
Since autumn last year Amsterdam imposed a total of 526,500 euros in fines for illegal vacation rentals, mostly through sites like Airbnb and Booking.com, the Telegraaf reports.
A large part of that amount is made up of 297 euros in fines imposed on a Airbnb renter and key business Iamb&b earlier this year. Last week another mega-fine of 175 thousand euros in total was imposed to renters and another key business Keyokay, according to the newspaper.
Key businesses hand over the keys of Airbnb or Booking.com listings to tourists, have contact with the tenants and often maintain the property's profiles on listing sites. They are also often responsible for cleaning the property after visits.
Keyokay, which was declared bankrupt on Tuesday, was given a fine totaling in 67,500 euros - 13,500 per apartment it managed. It involved three buildings with a total of five illegal listings. The owners of these apartments were fined to a total amount of 108 thousand euros.
According to Amsterdam Housing alderman Laurens Ivens, many of these illegal listings are addressed based on reports of nuisance by neighbors.
"The phenomenon of holiday rental has undergone tremendous development. Therefore a shadowy market unfortunately emerged with illegal and often unsafe overnight stays", the alderman said, according to the newspaper. "Naturally, the city government stepped up enforcement quickly. Through continuous innovation, we are increasingly able to address illegal hotels and illegal key businesses. We are turning the thumbscrews because it has to be clear: homes are meant to live in."