Airbnb Regulation in Amsterdam
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
What Every Host Should Know
It seems that is some bad news for Airbnb hosts in Amsterdam. Namely, the local authorities have decided to cut the days that Airbnb hosts can use to rent their properties. The city councilors in the Dutch city actually cut the number of nights in half (from 60 to 30). The only good news here is that this change will go into force next year (2019). This gives Airbnb hosts in Amsterdam some time to change their strategies even though it would be best for this regulation to be removed. So far, the councilors have not provided any reasonable argument in favor of their decision other than the fact that they are trying to prevent the expansion of short-term rentals via Airbnb.
Current regulations: What do I have to do right now if I want to rent my home in Amsterdam?
Short-term rentals in Amsterdam are separated into two categories – private holiday rentals and bed & breakfast. The City of Amsterdam has special regulations for these two options.
First of all, private holiday rentals are properties where the owner rents the property and is not present during the rental period.
The rules that apply to this situation are:
Hosts must report to the City every time they rent their properties.
Tourist tax must be paid to the City. All revenues have to be reflected in the annual income tax assessment.
Only owners and main residents can rent out the property to others.
The maximum number of nights that the house can be rented is 60 days per year (30 starting from December 2019).
The Homeowners Association or the landlord should grant permission.
You cannot rent to more than four people at one time.
Fire safety standards are obviously a must
If you are renting your property in Amsterdam you should be very careful as the City of Amsterdam carries out strict checks on holiday rentals. If you do not report the rental of your property, you can get a fine of €6,000 or more.
The limitation of the number of nights allowed is automatically controlled by the platform. This means that you don’t have to worry whether you have surpassed the number of nights on Airbnb because the system won’t allow you to rent any more nights once you have reached the limit.
Bed & Breakfast
Additionally, the City of Amsterdam created a bed & breakfast rental option which is when the host rents his private home and he is always present during the rental period. The main differences in term of regulations are that hosts don’t need to report every booking -with a one-time registration is enough-. Only a maximum of 40% of the residence can be rented. The part that you rent out cannot be an independent living space. You need to keep night records of your guests (name, dates, and ID).
The taxes related to both options include tourist tax, income tax and VAT (only in some cases). What’s good is that the tourist tax from Amsterdam rentals is collected automatically by Airbnb on behalf of Amsterdam Airbnb hosts.
It’s good to know that the local authorities in Amsterdam have provided detailed explanation about the conditions for starting a bed & breakfast and reporting a private holiday rental property on the city’s official website.
Incentives vs prohibition
It’s obvious that more and more cities are trying to limit Airbnb activities and unfortunately Amsterdam is one of them. There is more than one reason for that even though we can freely say that most of these decisions are made under the influence of different lobby groups.
In our opinion, strict regulations like the ones imposed in Amsterdam will only harm the tourism sector and local economy in the long run. They may have some positive effects in terms of income, but they will eventually do more harm than good. Airbnb is a platform with a unique concept that has already improved the traditional tourism sector. Competition always leads to better ideas and solutions and all these things are good for the tourists.
So, instead of limitations and strict regulations, the city council in Amsterdam could implement a series of incentives and benefits for specific situations and cases.
One of these measures that can definitely help everyone is benefits for Airbnb hosts outside the city. Namely, the gentrification of the city center in Amsterdam was one of the problems that were highlighted by the councilors. But, this doesn’t mean that the other parts of the city are the same. Many of them need support and we can all agree that a platform like Airbnb can make a difference in these areas.
What we are trying to say is that instead of prohibition, the local authorities can start promoting Airbnb and short-term renting in general in less developed or less popular parts of the city. Those who have visited Amsterdam, know that this Dutch city has a well-developed transport system. This means tourists can get to any place in Amsterdam in no time. In this way, the center of Amsterdam will experience fewer problems and surrounding neighborhoods will also get a share of this huge market.
Of course, Airbnb can make an effort to eliminate some hosts that are trying to take advantage of the system by turning their properties into unofficial hotels and avoiding taxes. The good news is that Airbnb is already working on this and the automated system we’ve mentioned before and the tax regulations have been working perfectly.
All in all, cities like Amsterdam should not try to fight Airbnb but cooperate with this platform because this cooperation can bring benefits to cities, hosts and to travelers too.