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Amsterdam studies ban on holiday home rentals in some neighbourhoods

Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM has upped the ante in its attempt to keep the city liveable with a new set of proposals that could mean an outright ban on holiday rentals in certain areas.

The Dutch capital is investigating whether the quality of life in certain neighbourhoods has come under so much pressure that it might warrant banning holiday rentals in parts of the city, according to a statement on Wednesday, ahead of discussions in the municipal council later this year.

Such a ban could be implemented if the review indeed shows such levels.

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"A home is meant to live in" and should not be seen "as a profit object", Laurens Ivens, the city's socialist executive in charge of housing policy said in the statement, which takes the fight to online booking platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com.

Amsterdam wants to "avoid that increasingly more houses are being rented out via platforms like Airbnb, Booking or Expedia", as home availability is scarce, according to the statement.

The largest Dutch city has already cut holiday rentals to a maximum of 30 days per year.

An Airbnb spokesman said: "We disagree with policies that restrict the rights of Amsterdammers to occasionally share their homes."

The e-mailed statement added that Airbnb customers accounted for 8 per cent of overnight stays in the city.

Amsterdam is also looking to implement law adjustments that force bed-and-breakfasts to apply for a licence from the city from 2020, which will be capped in numbers and valid for five years.

Under the new proposal, only the person residing in a property would be allowed to operate that property as a bed-and-breakfast. BLOOMBERG