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Amsterdam vacation rental stays down by three-quarters

Since it became mandatory in Amsterdam to receive a permit for bed and breakfasts and holiday rentals offered on platforms like Airbnb, vacation rentals in the city have fallen by 75 percent, a city spokesperson said to Het Parool. The coronavirus crisis brought tourism in Amsterdam to a crashing halt, and the sector is only starting to pick up again.

The new rule went into force on July 1, and since then, Amsterdam has handed out 2,074 permits for bed and breakfasts, and another 1,275 permits for Airbnb listing owners, the newspaper reported based on figures from the municipality. There are about 20 thousand Amsterdam listings on the platform in total. The large discrepancy does not mean that the other homes are being rented out to tourists without a permit, the spokesperson said.

Residents only need a permit before their first rental starts, meaning an Amsterdammer can apply for a permit in November even if their first Airbnb booking is set for December. “Our digital investigation shows that nothing is currently happening with the houses that are for rent,” the spokesperson said.

The drop-off in holiday rentals could also be attributed to the ban on vacation home rentals in three of the most popular city center neighborhoods, Burgwallen-Oude Zijde, Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde and the Grachtengordel-Zuid. Residents of these neighborhoods gave the sharpest rebuke of home rental platforms and the negative impact it had on their neighborhoods, which prompted the city’s decision.

During the first month the new rules were in effect, three holiday rental landlords were penalized for violating the ban with fines of nearly 21 thousand euros. They could face another 29 thousand euros in penalties if they continue to rent out the homes in violation of the city rule, the city said. Three more landlords were fined in the first half of August, according to Parool.

Airbnb has previously suggested they would work towards reversing the rule or getting it thrown out in court.

A significant percentage of Amsterdam’s recent tourism resurgence was from day-trips visits to the city, the Amsterdam-Amstelland Security Region said last week. In those cases, accommodations are not required, which could also be linked to the faltering usage of holiday rentals.

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