Thenextweb.com reports that Amsterdam officials plan to send out civil servants looking for “illegal hotels” or apartments renting short term without a permit. Airbnb has just over 4,000 listings in Amsterdam and German clone Wimdu has additional rentals that would be impacted.
Airbnb has had a host of regulatory skirmishes that boil down to a few key issues.
1) Cities want their hotel taxes.
2) Tenants groups in cities like San Francisco, New York and Amsterdam where it’s hard to find an apartment are not pleased with the possibility that landlords could be taking available apartments out of circulation and using them as short term rentals.
3) Homeowners insurers aren’t super keen on assuming liability in the case of an accident occurs while an Airbnb guest is staying at a rental.
4) At some point public safety agencies may get involved to make sure there are no risks to guests, in the way they’ve been regulating hotels for a century.
So, yes, Airbnb has some regulatory hurdles to gear up for. But this is the first we’ve seen a city taking it a step further and actively trying to shut down Airbnb hosts.