European Interest

Amsterdam leads fight to restrict Airbnb

Flickr/A.Currell/CC BY-NC 2.0
Rooms offered by Airbnb in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Eight European cities will write to the European Commission to demand that holiday rental platforms like Airbnb and be legally obliged to share data with regulators.

Laurens Ivens, deputy mayor of Amsterdam, announced the plans at the end of a two-day holiday rental conference.

“We will ask the commission to look at quality rules for platforms, so that a platform cannot only put anonymous hosts on its site but it is clear who is offering houses,” Ivens told journalists.

“It’s crazy that all sorts of products have quality rules, so why not ensure we know who is offering a house?” said Ivens. “If you want to have a platform operating in Europe, you must make it known who the landlord is – and then in Amsterdam we can decide if it is for 30 days or in Paris, for 120 days. It can be done via a registration number on the site, for instance.”

A spokeswoman for Amsterdam city told that it is spending €4m a year in policing casual holiday rentals, including scraping data from the web to see whether hosts are breaking the current rules of a maximum 60 days per year.

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