The voice of our community

On May 2nd 2017 the City of Amsterdam announced they want to introduce a notification obligation which would require hosts to notify the City every time they host. These proposed new rules are disproportionate as Airbnb already provides hosts with the tools they need to make it easy to comply with the current legislation. The adjustment in the Housing Ordinance was open for consultation, an opportunity many in our community took to share their opinion. Have a look in what hundreds of Amsterdam hosts are saying.

Punishing people who follow the rules
Many hosts have expressed their surprise by the announcement of May 2nd. They share the feeling that this proposed rule targets the wrong people, it will not stop illegal hotels, but it does punish the normal Amsterdammer who needs a little bit of extra income to survive in a city that’s becoming more expensive to live in everyday. Mark, a host in Amsterdam, said:

“Airbnb has been my saviour. I had just started my own business and it was hard to make ends meet as I wasn’t generating any income. Luckily I was able to earn some money via Airbnb. This helped me to do groceries and pay the bills.”

Daniel, a host in Amsterdam too, also stated:

“But this feels as a personal attack on me, a hard working, non-nuisance causing and very proud Amsterdammer.”

Forgetting the positive impact of home sharing
Having positive experiences with guests is what empowers hosts in Amsterdam to keep sharing their homes. Hosts have emphasized to City Hall that the guests they welcome into their homes are the ones who choose to have a local experience of a place, deliberately decide to stay outside central Amsterdam and are eager to receive a host’s local recommendations. Sepp, a host in Amsterdam says:

“Airbnb gives the city of Amsterdam an extra kind of tourist. The self conscious, respecting, enthusiastic, but mostly an enterprising world traveller.”

Administrative burden
Next to sharing many positive experiences, hosts, in large numbers, have expressed their concerns regarding the proposed notification obligation. Airbnb hosts want the same as what the City of Amsterdam wants; a better city for everyone. Hosts agree that smart and proportionate regulation might be a useful tool to conserve a city that’s liveable for all, but the proposed regulation is not helpful to achieve this goal. Regulation like this is simply unmanageable for hosts, as Lies, a host in Amsterdam, explains:

“The proposed notification would cause many difficult situations for me. Guests often book last minute and I want to continue being able to welcome them. Of course I don’t go over the allowed 60 days, something which is also preserved by Airbnb.”

Invasion of privacy
Good intentions are what drives most hosts in Amsterdam. The right to privacy is part of the constitution and many hosts feel that this right will be taken away from them in some form if this rule is to be implemented in October. Yvonne and Steve could not explain it better:

“We are hardworking people who rent out our home when we go on holiday ourselves. To notify the municipality when we host would force me to address hosting like running a business alongside our day jobs, which is not our intention and not what we want.”

“We have the freedom to go wherever we want to and that is something that should be respected. Thirdly, sharing my home is part of the free culture we’re all part of in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, and actually something we want to show to the world.”

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