Dutch hotels want tight national regulation of Airbnb, vacation rentals

The Dutch association of hotels KHN is calling for strict, national measures to regulate house sharing through sites like Airbnb and other forms of private rentals to tourists. Platforms like Airbnb are increasingly gaining ground in the Netherlands and often involve illegal rentals by homeowners who work without a license, do not pay taxes and do not comply with the legal regulations, KHN said in a press statement. 

According to the association, an analysis of Airbnb rentals - the largest online platform for private rental of homes - shows that the house sharing site is rapidly emerging outside the Randstad. The number of Airbnb rentals in Groningen increased by 200 percent in three years, in Leeuwarden and Maastricht by more than 150 percent, and in the province of Noord-Brabant by more than 100 percent, according to KHN.

"These figures show that Airbnb is no longer a purely Amsterdam phenomenon", KHN chairman Rober Willemsen said. "We are increasingly encountering Airbnb outside of our capital. This also extends the problems that go with it. A large part of the private rental takes place without the government having a good view of it. As a result, many private providers do not pay tourist taxes, they do not meet the necessary safety requirements and do not pay attention to the nuisance for the neighborhood. In order to prevent Amsterdam situations and to limit the nuisance of Airbnb, we think it's time that the government intervenes and restricts the holiday rental of houses."

KHN calls on the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, to take measures when they debate the sharing economy on Thursday. The association wants a national framework with a clear package of measures, including at least a national obligation for private rentals to be registered, and a limit of renting out a home for no more than 30 days per year. KHN also calls for better supervision by, among others, the fire department, the Tax Authority, and the Environment Inspectorate.