Amsterdam Airbnb rules in violation of Housing Act: Council of State

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Centrum along the Amstel, Netherlandsphb.czDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Amsterdam's rule that allows residents to rent their homes to tourists for up to 30 days a year without a permit, as long as they report the rental to the municipality, is in violation of the Housing Act, the Council of State said in a ruling on Wednesday. Amsterdam is not allowed to exempt residents from the prohibition on renting a home to tourists without a permit, the Council of State said.

The Housing Act stipulates that it is forbidden to "withdraw living space designated by the municipality from the housing stock". According to the Council of State, this means that a home cannot be rented out to tourists - even for a short period - unless the municipality issued a permit to designate the home as a holiday rental.

"The municipality is not authorized at all to grant residents an exemption from the statutory permit requirement," the Council of State ruled, declaring the exemption option - that Amsterdam residents can rent their homes to tourists through sites like Airbnb for up to 30 days a year - "non binding". "This means that this exemption option no longer exists and nobody can use it anymore," the Council said in its ruling. 

This ruling was made in a case filed by an Amsterdam resident. She was fined 6 thousand euros in 2018 for renting her home to American tourists for five days without reporting the rental to the municipality. She does not have to pay this fine, the Council ruled. Not because she did not violate the Housing Act by renting her home to tourists, but because the municipality of Amsterdam fined her for not complying to requirements for an exemption that should never have existed. 

In practice,this means that Amsterdam residents will have to apply for permits if they want to rent their homes to tourists through Airbnb. The municipality can continue to fine residents for renting their homes to tourists without permits, the Council said.



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