Ban Airbnb rentals say Amsterdam city councillors

Hotel My Home in Amsterdam Netherlands
Outside the Hotel My Home on Amsterdam's Haarlemmerstraat. 16 October 2017. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times)

With additional reporting by Zack Newmark.

The Amsterdam faction of labour party PvdA wants to ban holiday apartment rentals in the Dutch capital, including those available through sites like Airbnb. This ban applies to the rental of complete homes, but not the letting of single rooms, meaning the proposal would not affect true Bed & Breakfasts, according to the party's election program released ahead of the 2018 municipal elections, Het Parool reports.

Amsterdam has a strict 60-night limit on the amount of time a vacation rental may be offered in a city home, but half of Dutch Airbnb landlords ignore this, according to a study released in August. A representative of Airbnb called the study "flawed."

The PvdA is the first Amsterdam party to put a ban on holiday rentals in its election program. Other parties included stricter measures and reducing the maximum rental limit from 60 nights per year down to 30.

"We spend a huge amount of money on enforcement of illegal rentals, but we can not get the nuisance under control. In the meantime vacation rentals mean higher house prices, without the city getting anything out of it", PvdA faction leader Marjolein Moorman said to the newspaper.

The city does collect a tourist tax from Airbnb listings, which equals five percent of both the rental price and cleaning fee. This rises to six percent in 2018. The tourist tax total is expected to raise nine million euros in revenue annually after the increase.

The city's finance alderman, Udo Kock of D66, floated a plan last year to raise the tax on vacation rentals and hotels as a way of combating the influx of stag parties and low budget tourism. In May, Kock's D66 colleague, Public Space Alderman Abdeluheb Choho, said he wanted to see the tourist tax tripled from five to 15 percent.