Amsterdam Legitimizes Airbnb with New Short-Term Rental Rules


Feb 14, 2014 7:00 am

Skift Take

Although Amsterdam’s new legislation will serve as a role model for other cities struggling to understand the new lodging model, every city is unique and will need to define the sharing economy on its own terms.

— Samantha Shankman

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Tambako The Jaguar  / Flickr

Amsterdam rowhouses next to the canal. Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr

Amsterdam City Council created a new category of accommodation Thursday that makes it legal for city residents to occasionally rent their homes to tourists.

The new category “private rental” gives residents the opportunity to list their homes on sites like Airbnb without fear of penalty. But some rules do apply.

According to the city’s website, residents can only rent the home they live in and they must own the space or have permission from their landlord to rent it. Residents must pay tax on the income made from short-term rentals as well as a tourist tax.


No more than four people are allowed to rent one home at a time and residents can not rent their home for more than four consecutive nights.

Also, residents’ monthly rent must be more than $958 per month to qualify for this type of rental. It may be because residents paying less than that are leasing from a corporation that does not permit short-term rentals.

The new rules pave way for other cities considering a new type of lodging category that accommodates the rise of short-term rentals.

An Airbnb statement heralds the new legislation:

“We’re honored that leaders in Amsterdam took the time to learn about our community and the sharing economy. They saw how this activity is helping local residents afford to stay in their homes and is enabling visitors to explore the city more sustainably; and they crafted rules that make it easy for people to do just that.”

That may be the case in Amsterdam, but is most certainly not in New York where two-thirds of Airbnb hosts are breaking the existing city law.

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