News of: Monday, December 03 2007,

Amsterdam to legalize short-stay apartment and houseboat rentals

Amsterdam is making a special legal arrangement for short-stay rental of serviced apartments and houseboats.

At the moment, officially, rentals of serviced apartments below 2 months are illegal, although the city has already stopped to actively enforce this law. In the past few years, dozens of apartments that were rented out to tourists and business people were shut down by the city authorities as 'illegal hotels'.

The new law still has the status of proposal, and will be discussed in the city council. It can take a few months before it takes effect.

The main lines are:
- rentals must be a minimum of 1 week
- only so-called 'free sector' residences can be rented (cheap apartments are restricted by distribution for lower income groups).
- houseboats will also be included in the new law
- there will be a maximum number of short-stay licences of 825.
- the law will introduce a 'short-stay tax' (a new kind of tax), a percentage of the market value of the property.

Details of the above can change, and technically even the entire proposal could be rejected by the city council.