Airbnb agrees 60-day limit on Amsterdam home rentals
Amsterdam has reached a pioneering agreement with home rentals website Airbnb to limit the sharing of private homes to 60 days a year, the city and website said Thursday.
"A home should remain a home," said Amsterdam councillor Laurens Ivens, in a joint statement which announced what it called a "unique" deal with Airbnb.
The Dutch capital said in 2014 it had became one of the first cities in the world to adopt rules allowing residents to "share the home in which they live for a period of 60 days per year".
The city of some 830,000 residents, famous for its canals, welcomes more than 17 million visitors every year, leaving many jostling for space on the busy roads and pushing up the price of accommodation.
"Today's agreement focuses on tackling bad actors, and ensuring that home sharing remains sustainable and positive for locals and neighbours," Amsterdam and Airbnb said in the statement.
The agreement will go into effect from January 1, 2017 and will last until the end of December 2018.
Airbnb will introduce a new day counter on its site to help hosts track their rentals and to ensure no-one breaks the rules "unless hosts confirm they have a proper licence".
The increasingly popular site has been targeted by several cities exasperated by what is seen as a bid at times to avoid local laws and taxes.
Barcelona city hall said last week it would fine Airbnb and its rival HomeAway 600,000 euros ($635,000) for marketing lodgings that lacked proper tourist permits.
And New York state tightened rental rules in October slapping a steep fine on people who rent out their entire, unoccupied apartment for less than 30 days which has squeezed the city's long-term rental market.
© 2016 AFP