Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Your Rights Online

Amsterdam Using Airbnb Listings To Identify Illegal Hotels 141

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the couch-not-up-to-code dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a move that might dampen the popularity of Airbnb's site for Amsterdam, the city government is now using the accommodation listing service as a source of tips about illegal rental property. 'Airbnb is never a smoking gun,' said Jan-Jaap Eikelboom, spokesman for the city of Amsterdam, regarding use of the service. But the government does use Airbnb and its competitors to compare its own nuisance data with street listings on sites like Airbnb, and has been doing so for a while, he said. This combined information can come in handy when investigating suspicious buildings and can help with spotting illegal activity, he said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Amsterdam Using Airbnb Listings To Identify Illegal Hotels

Comments Filter:
  • by nuckfuts (690967) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @04:13AM (#42794465)
    I for one have never heard of it.
    • I for one have never heard of it.

      You couldn't infer what it does from the summary, where it says "...using the accommodation listing service..."?

      • by nuckfuts (690967)
        I didn't say that I couldn't surmise what it's about; I just said I'd never heard of it before. I'm questioning the submitter's assumption that the site is common knowledge.
        • The purpose of airbnb from the summary is far less mystifying than what an "illegal hotel" is, or why that's a serious issue in Amsterdam.

          • by petman (619526)
            That's not mystifying at all. I would think illegal hotels would be a problem in most countries, not least due to inability of the government to collect taxes on the room rentals.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              In a rare turn for me, I'm going to guess they're more interested in making sure commercial places of accomodation are up to code for numerous health and safety reasons.

              • by leuk_he (194174) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:58AM (#42794873) Homepage Journal

                That is exactly what the officail stance is...

                Volkskrant (dutch) [volkskrant.nl]

                Taxes, fire safety, and illegal rent.
                Illegal rent: social rented space that is sub-rented.

                • by BruceCage (882117)

                  Just wanted to point out that the heading for that article ("Amsterdam wants to get rid of Airbnb website") seems misleading. Nothing in the (short) article indicates that the municipality has a problem with Airbnb itself. But then again, misleading headlines are business as usual for such a shoddy paper as the Volkskrant.

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                In a rare turn for me, I'm going to guess they're more interested in making sure commercial places of accomodation are up to code for numerous health and safety reasons.

                Stop defending the actions of a government, that's forbidden on slashdot. So-called taxes health and safety laws are just an excuse for Collectivist intervention in the smooth running of the free market, as a way of redistributing money from innocent businesses to undeserving welfare layabouts AT THE POINT OF A GUN.

                • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

                  by stenvar (2789879)

                  as a way of redistributing money from innocent businesses

                  No, that's just a strawman created by left wing ideologues. In fact, what's objectionable about these kinds of so-called "health and safety laws" is that they often serve the interests of big powerful businesses and hurt the interests of most people, by increasing prices, reducing choices, and increasing barriers to entry.

                  Who do you think has the most to gain from making competition from private rentals illegal in Amsterdam? Condo owners who need to b

                  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:09AM (#42795641) Homepage Journal

                    No, that's just a strawman created by left wing ideologues. In fact, what's objectionable about these kinds of so-called "health and safety laws" is that

                    We've really gotten to the point where food inspectors are part of the world collectivist left-wing conspiracy?

                    Too much AM radio.

                    • by stenvar (2789879) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:42AM (#42795847)

                      We've really gotten to the point where food inspectors are part of the world collectivist left-wing conspiracy?

                      No, we merely have gotten to the point where people like you kill any political discussion by setting up one strawman after another.

                    • by TubeSteak (669689)

                      Did you read the OP's comment?

                      No, that's just a strawman created by left wing ideologues. In fact, what's objectionable about these kinds of so-called "health and safety laws" is that they often serve the interests of big powerful businesses and hurt the interests of most people, by increasing prices, reducing choices, and increasing barriers to entry.

                      That generic "regulation is stifling competition" claptrap ignores why we regulate.
                      The argument applies equally to food safety as it does to building codes and it isn't a compelling argument in any case.

                      Higher prices, higher barriers to entry, and less choice are the price we pay for a safer life.
                      Otherwise, we can go back to the good old days when rivers caught on fire,
                      entire blocks of buildings burned down because of a stray candle,
                      and horse meat was a large component of beef

                    • by Grishnakh (216268)

                      How on earth is someone renting out their condo a danger in regards to building code? It's not like they built the condo themselves without following buildling codes. The condo was built by builders who got the proper permits and followed building codes. Then someone bought the condo, and decided to rent it out. So what exactly is the regulation needed for?

                    • by Molochi (555357)

                      Sound's like they have a city ordinance against sub-letting and devote city inspector resources to enforcing it. I think they also require a licence to operate a bnb, but that would require you to own the property if they don't allow sub-leases... I guess.

                      Sounds like a law that could be handled better as a contract clause.

                    • by ediron2 (246908)

                      LOL, GP invokes strawman (all regulations are a liberal conspiracy) on your side of the argument. P responds with ORLY?! So you claim his answer is another strawman. That's some serious drain-bammage, bro. Do like P suggests and change stations, quick!

                      Seriously; if libertarianism is about being unencumbered to a point where every environmental, health or safety misdeed is allowed under the dual banners of 'capitalistic self-interest prevents abuse' and 'caveat emptor', it's even less viable than communi

                    • It's strawmen all the way down these days.
                    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                      How on earth is someone renting out their condo a danger in regards to building code? It's not like they built the condo themselves without following buildling codes. The condo was built by builders who got the proper permits and followed building codes. Then someone bought the condo, and decided to rent it out. So what exactly is the regulation needed for?

                      Historically, illegal rentals hurt the most marginal members of society. Immigrant workers, paying exorbitant rents to share a one bedroom cold-water ap

                    • by stenvar (2789879)

                      LOL, GP invokes strawman (all regulations are a liberal conspiracy) on your side of the argument

                      Did I say anywhere "all regulations are a liberal conspiracy"? No.

                      You're a bloody liar.

                    • by stenvar (2789879)

                      Higher prices, higher barriers to entry, and less choice are the price we pay for a safer life.

                      Just because some of those choices are good doesn't mean that more are better, or that everything purporting to be a "health and safety regulation" actually is.

                      Otherwise, we can go back to the good old days when rivers caught on fire, entire blocks of buildings burned down because of a stray candle, and horse meat was a large component of beef products.

                      More dumb strawman arguments. Is that kind of blind idiocy all

                    • by stenvar (2789879)

                      Historically, illegal rentals hurt the most marginal members of society. Immigrant workers, paying exorbitant rents to share a one bedroom cold-water apartment with six other families for example.

                      And explain to me: how does regulation fix that? How do those poor immigrants find apartments at what they are able to pay once you regulate?

                    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                      And explain to me: how does regulation fix that?

                      First by creating an enforcement regime, which requires that certain minimum guidelines be met in order to rent living space. This is not controversial anywhere but in the minds of an anti-government extremist.

                      For example, I own property in a small rural town in Central Missouri (that conservative bastion) that has one house my family and I use occasionally and one that we rent. When we decided to do so, we were required to register the property with local a

                    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                      Did I say anywhere "all regulations are a liberal conspiracy"?

                      Pretty much. You suggested with your scare quotes around "health and safety" laws that there was some more sinister basis for such laws than health and safety.

                      Quote: "...so-called "health and safety laws"... "

                      See, it's only a straw man if it's not true, friend.

                    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

                      Shut up, he argued.

                      Argued rather effectively, too.

                    • by Grishnakh (216268)

                      When I think of an "illegal hotel", I don't think of a drop house for illegal immigrants, I think of someone renting out a room in their house as a pseudo-bed-and-breakfast for travelers, without getting the proper permit or paying the (probably ridiculous) taxes and fees needed to set up that business.

                      Is this new enforcement action going after the truly dangerous situations (28 people in one apartment), or the people trying to make a little extra money by renting out a room?

                    • by stenvar (2789879)

                      You suggested with your scare quotes around "health and safety" laws that there was some more sinister basis for such laws than health and safety.

                      I wrote:

                      In fact, what's objectionable about these kinds of so-called "health and safety laws"

                      I.e. I was clearly referring to a particular set of health and safety laws, not all health and safety laws.

                      You deliberately misquoted me to try to portray me as a radical right winger who rejects all health and safety laws.

                      You apparently are really well trained when it com

                    • by stenvar (2789879)

                      First by creating an enforcement regime, which requires that certain minimum guidelines be met in order to rent living space. This is not controversial anywhere but in the minds of an anti-government extremist.

                      If you set those minimal requirements, their owners will renovate accordingly and then charge market rates for those new units. If people couldn't afford to rent these kinds of nicer units before at market rates, how will they be able to rent them after the regulation is in place?

                      In fact, what these r

                • by azalin (67640)
                  In that countries other things are smoking far more often and more legal than guns. Hey I got a business idea: What about a dutch coffee chain called "Spacebucks"?
            • by lxs (131946) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:32AM (#42795001)

              In short,
              There is a huge shortage in affordable housing in Amsterdam and there is very little space to remedy this. Add to this that about 10% is owned as speculation objects by criminals with no tenants. Having unlicensed hotels and hostels on top of the 100 or so licensed hotels in these residential areas are a huge burden on the city and its inhabitants and also unfair competition to the businesses that do play by the rules.
              Only last year there was a deadly shootout in an unlicensed hotel at the end of my street. If you are a US citizen that is probably a daily occurrence for you, but here in Amsterdam it is kind of a big deal.

               

              • by flyneye (84093)

                I suppose when they finally find a solution and buildings stand empty from high priced rent, the same buildings will be squatted by the same people who used to pay rent and have paying "friends" stay with them. Bravo, another government brainstorm.

              • by stenvar (2789879)

                If you are a US citizen that is probably a daily occurrence for you, but here in Amsterdam it is kind of a big deal.

                I wonder whether it's the fact that they keep getting their bicycles stolen that makes the Dutch so rude and arrogant.

              • by DarkOx (621550)

                Well I for one don't see how justice is served by criminalizing speculation, or did you mean to imply that these speculators were criminals because of their having broken other unrelated laws?

                If I want to purchase properties and let them sit empty its should be nobodies damn business but my own.

              • Rent control leads to shortage, news at 11.

                I moved to the Netherlands for a contract 20 years ago. They had a 4-waiting list for apartments. Fortunately they had some set aside at higher price just for people like me who couldn't wait (or afford a hotel for a year and a half, note effectively a higher rent too).

              • by Type44Q (1233630)

                Only last year there was a deadly shootout in an unlicensed hotel at the end of my street.

                Well then, I for one consider the matter settled; after all, such an incident could never happen in a licensed hotel.

                Or something... ;)

              • by pz (113803)

                Only last year there was a deadly shootout in an unlicensed hotel at the end of my street. If you are a US citizen that is probably a daily occurrence for you, but here in Amsterdam it is kind of a big deal.

                This -- this exactly -- is why all of the Hollywood producers and script writers should be banished to some remote, cold place and left to die a slow, rotting, and painful death.

                To the parent poster, the US has nowhere near the level of gun violence you suggest. It's also a huge, vast place that's more accurately compared to all of Europe put together, rather than just one city in a smallish country. Use your powers of reasoning to figure out why integrating over so many people might make it look like the

              • by Compaqt (1758360)

                You want to say both
                1) There is a huge shortage in affordable housing in Amsterdam
                and
                2) Having unlicensed hotels and hostels [is] ... unfair competition.

                ??

                #2 is increasing the supply of housing, thereby alleviating the shortfall in #1.

            • by flyneye (84093)

              When we figure that it is foreign travelers bringing revenues to the country, the legislators that concocted this bullshit fail to recognize that the country profits from it anyway. No hotel, fewer travelers, less money. Must've used the U.S. government as a consultation on that piece of legislation. I don't know how you could get much stupider. Is it seriously a prerequisite of government office to have an I.Q. a bit lower than a cockroach?

            • of course it comes down to taxes.
          • Considering Amsterdam is (justly or unjustly) famous for prostitution and drugs, I can think of some reasons why illegal hotels would be a particular problem there - apart from the obvious one of operating a business hidden from the tax authorities.

          • by jrumney (197329)

            The purpose of airbnb from the summary is far less mystifying than what an "illegal hotel" is

            My suspicion is that "hotel" in Amsterdam has the same relation to normal English usage as "coffee shop" does. Probably whatever a "legal hotel" is in Amsterdam would be illegal in most of the rest of the world.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:55AM (#42794863)

            It's really not rocket science. An "illegal hotel" is (of course) an unlicensed hotel.

            The reasons these are of concern is primarily safety. These kind of illegal hotels often violate basic fire safety rules, and are death-traps in case of a fire. Remember that most buildings in the inner city of Amsterdam are old (2-3 centuries old is not exceptional). If you cram dozens of people in such buildings without basic fire safety precautions and safety exits, that's a recipe for disaster. Indeed, people have died in fires in illegal hotels over the past years.

            In addition, these locations are crime magnets.

            So, is it so odd that the Amsterdam municipality wants to get rid of them? Me thinks not.

        • by Dasuraga (1147871)
          in all honesty that assumption is made in so many summaries. I often hear people talking about airbnb, but that's probably more from techcrunch-type sites than slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      LMGTFY [lmgtfy.com]

    • I for one have never heard of it.

      Right, hence this 'story'. Now you've heard of it.

    • by Bronster (13157)

      You know what, I've never used it. I've never even visited their site - but I've heard of airbnb.

      It's kind of the best known service in its "class".

      Your question would be similar to "Are we all supposed to know what Netflix is?". In theory you may have not heard of it if you've been under a rock for the last N years (I've never used Netflix either).

      But hey - they've been mentioned on slashdot before... so yeah, I guess you are expected to have heard of them. I certainly remember reading http://tech.slash [slashdot.org]

      • Your question would be similar to "Are we all supposed to know what Netflix is?". In theory you may have not heard of it if you've been under a rock for the last N years (I've never used Netflix either).

        And yet newspapers and TV stations still find ways to, subtly, remind you that Barack Obama is the President of the United States, for example. It's the done journalistic thing. Instead of "Netflix has announced..." you get "Netflix, the popular online movie rental service, has announced..." Those few who needed informing are now so informed, and those who already were don't notice because it's journalistic convention.

        In this case, I think a little more context as to what makes Airbnb so notorious as far as

    • by Martin S. (98249)

      -1 Offtopic is a bit harsh. I also have absolutely no idea who Airbnb are either and the whole topic looks like link farming non-story to me.

    • Yes, because proper summary with definitions, used everywhere else in journalism, is not used on /. If you don't already know what it means, you're either an uninformed moron who has no business even reading /. or you're too lazy to google it. Prepare to be flogged and voted down.

    • Short term rentals of private property. Can be anything from a couch or air matress to bedroom to full housing unit.

      It was of the Y-Combinator's business incubators most successful startups.
      • by Kergan (780543)

        The stuff on it is crazy expensive, though. At least in the area I currently live in... The deals are much better over at justlanded.com or couchsurfing.com.

  • Governments want information. On its own people, on others. Information from places like this is often free and requires no formal request to use or get. Which makes it a win win. This type of thing is only going to get more prevalent. Soon, if not already, massive systems will filter all this data and track everyone, off nothing but open, public and free information. Add that to what they are able to obtain from private companies such as Facebook and twitter etc. It is scary how much governments, not even
    • by Sique (173459)
      And why do you specifically mention governments? Business also wants information. If I'm going to the store of a certain coffee seller for new capsules, they ask me lots of questions about the type of coffee machine, its location, the variants of coffee I prefer, how many people are using the machine etc.pp. Departement stores often ask me for my ZIP at the cashier. Online shops always want to know where I first heard of them. None of those information is necessary to proceed with the sale. I still get aske
    • by tehcyder (746570)
      Gosh, evil governments use information freely given to them by retards over the internet to help catch moronic criminals. The horror.
  • thats news to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      thats news to me.

      My stays with airbnb have helped me read slashdot more efficiently. airbnb always offered a superior experience to sleeping on the streets and the young backpackers in the hostels had sex more frequently than they showered. YMMV

      Please consider airbnb for all your future slashdot travelling needs. Did I mention that airbnb is here on slashdot? airbnb is where you want to go.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:05AM (#42794679)

    Amsterdam needs to regulate hotels due to serious safety concerns. You know, checking for fire code regulations, that kind of thing. If the city doesn't do it, then people just 'trust' the people running the place to ensure its safety. Last year at least two people died, and Amsterdam is serious.

    http://www.at5.nl/artikelen/82520/uitslaande-brand-nieuwezijds-voorburgwal [at5.nl]

    Few were surprised to later learn that building was being used as an illegal, unregulated hotel.

    If anyone can rent their 'whatever' via airbnb, then such an unregulated and dangerous market would flourish.

    • Two people died in an illegal, unregulated hotel last year?!!?

      Oh the horror of it all!!

      Note that if my home, which is NOT an illegal, unregulated hotel were to catch fire, as many as THREE people might die...

      I fail to see the tragedy of two deaths in "an illegal, unregistered hotel", though I can certainly see the loss of tax revenue from same as being of more pressing concern to some....

    • and here I thought it was about hotel taxes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:30AM (#42794797)

    Three years ago I set up a group trip to Amsterdam. Two weeks, 16 people, everything paid for up-front (food, transportation, accommodations). When I take groups on trips to large cities, I choose apartments because you get to live amongst the locals instead of being in a hotel where you get 'American-style service and amenities' (I can get that in America, thank you very much). I took a special trip ahead to set everything up and check everything out. Seven luxury apartments all in the historical center, all beautiful... everything checked out to my liking. I rented from three different agencies (web-based), all of which I visited in-person on my scouting trip and everything seemed legit.

    When we arrived four months later, I was warned by our drivers that he needed help to sneak the luggage into each apartment so nobody might see us. Turns out, it's illegal to rent apartments in the city of Amsterdam. Foreigners (and even locals) had been buying up properties at a rapid rate and then renting them out to tourists for huge profits. After signing away over US $70k for the accommodations, I found out we were all breaking the law, and worse, if we were found out we would all be kicked out immediately with no refunds. I have arranged many trips like this to different countries, and I was completely blind-sided.

    Thankfully nobody was vacated from their apartment, but I must say it added a great deal of stress to the trip!

    In a city where there isn't enough property to go around for the locals, having the city converted into makeshift hotels and apartment rentals creates a problem for the local population. Prices soar as the supply dries up and people are forced to move outside the city center and commute when (by design) they shouldn't have to.

    It also kills the flavor of the community. Anyone who has ever spent any time in Prague can attest to this. Almost no locals live in the heart of the city - everything has been converted to hotels and vacation rentals. I talked to dozens of Czechs in the two weeks I was there and only two of them lived in the city. To get a feel for the local people you have to leave the heart of the city (beautiful but total tourist trap).

    So I can see why Amsterdam has taken these measures, I just wish they were communicating it better to travelers.

    • by acidfast7 (551610)
      70k for 16 people for 2 weeks = 300USD/day/person (roughly €250/person/day). That's a horrible price and as a European I can't believe that any rational person could be suckered into paying that much ... lol.
      • 70k for 16 people for 2 weeks = 300USD/day/person (roughly â250/person/day). That's a horrible price and as a European I can't believe that any rational person could be suckered into paying that much ... lol.

        Really, try to find a hotel with a lot of space + kitchens + washing machines in the middle of Amsterdam.

        You can find some hotel rooms where the price is similar but they will have VERY tiny rooms.

        As in any real-estate based transaction, you pay a ton for prime location.

    • by acidfast7 (551610)
      Also, you must not plan a lot of these trips. These laws are extremely common in many European cities. For example, take Stockholm, where the second-hand rental black market is huge. Thankfully, most websites work with SMS/cell numbers so you can't get the property address without communicating with directly the "owner." One can sort by area of the city, but one can't get the address from the webpage directly (pictures are available but no identifying marks.) Why can't the Dutch figure this small detail out
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      if it's so good business renting them, you'd think they'd accommodate for it and just tax it accordingly.

      and maybe they shouldn't have the offices in there either, rent them too to tourists. supply and demand and all that. the tourists are bringing in money to the region after all from outside the region.. you don't like 'em? raise pricing to a ridiculous profit sweet spot.

      • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:29AM (#42795417)

        if it's so good business renting them, you'd think they'd accommodate for it and just tax it accordingly.

        Normally I'd agree with the free market approach. But having visited Amsterdam, I can see why they wouldn't want to accommodate it. Pretty much the entire city can be traversed by walking/biking (there are a *lot* of bikes there). If they want to keep it that way and slow the growth of the city, then they want to maximize utilization of the buildings that are there.

        Tourists rental apartments which sit empty half the time waste space, and drive up prices for residents by adding tourists to the demand side of the equation. I can see the city's logic here. Divide the real estate economy into two separate groups - residents and tourists. Confine the tourists to hotels so the market prices for tourists' housing expenses are decoupled from the market prices for residents' housing expenses. That way as more or fewer tourists visit, the price for hotel rooms will rise or fall. But they won't affect the price of residential apartments in the city.

        The market approach solves the higher housing prices by sprawling the city outward, expanding its size. Real estate on the periphery has (initially) lower prices, thus encouraging people to move outwards rather than stay in the center. But much of the charm of Amsterdam is in how accessible the entire city is by foot or bike, and the lack of skyscrapers. If the city wants to preserve that, then segregating tourist housing from residential housing makes sense.

        • by olau (314197)

          Great comment.

          Also keep in mind that what is once built, tends to stay up for a long period. So shortsightedness in city planning can have long-lasting consequences.

    • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:08AM (#42795629) Journal

      So let me understand. Your argument is that rents go up in a desirable location and that is some how a problem? I just don't see it. The property owners many of whom probably worked very hard to get where they are certainly gain from the appreciation and deserve to do so. The argument about the locals not being able to live in their own city is just silly.

      If they have to commute wages will go up because employers will have to cover the cost of commuting or they won't be able to hire qualified, let alone quality workers. The place will either become a less desirable tourist destination as a result and property will depreciate until locals can afford to move back in; or wages will continue to rise and people will move back to the city. Either way a new equilibrium will be reached.

      The entire thing just smacks of an entitlement problem. "Sob sob, I can't afford to live in the neighborhood I want to with my part time job serving coffee." So what..

    • by OverlordQ (264228) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:19AM (#42796783) Journal

      After signing away over US $70k for the accommodations, I found out we were all breaking the law, and worse, if we were found out we would all be kicked out immediately with no refunds.

      If you're going to play travel agent, knowing the local laws is usually a first step.

    • I understand where you are coming from, but signing over $70,000 in a lump sum prior to services being rendered is a pretty big risk to take.

      I'm having heartburn over putting down $20,000 as a deposit held in escrow for a house I plan to buy. (deposit for closing, not downpayment). I couldn't imagine the nervousness I'd feel about putting that kind of cash on the line upfront...

      (Post writing note: I just reread your comment and saw that the $70k included food and transportation as well and not just rent.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Sounds like America. Very often more people live outside the gritty dirty city center than the hipsters who prefer to live there. If the locals have to commute to work then it only makes sense for the tourists to commute to tourism sites if they don't want to stay in a hotel. If you want to go somewhere "authentic" then get out of the big cities and go to small towns and villages.

    • I rented an amazing apartment in Amsterdam last summer. I did the research, found a highly rated apartment with a beautiful canal view in one of the nicest parts of town. Had a kitchen and laundry for a week at a better price than a cheap hotel. I was just booking for 2 and did not consider whether it was licensed. If I were booking for 16, I'd make sure to check that a place is properly licensed beforehand.

  • Fine the B*ast*ards!

    1. Change the Terms & Conditions of Use to List VERY HIGH use charges
    for non-individual users, such as City of Amsterdam;
    2. Track URL's of non-individual (eg, City of A..., etc.) users;
    3. Collect stated fees!

    If corporate or gov't users of Air BnB's web site can -save- big,
    they can afford to -pay- big, for the privilege.

    (Air BnB can even make the service Free for -others-
    by charging & collecting huge fees from City of Amst.
    etc.)

    Of course, all users nee

  • by Capt.Albatross (1301561) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:06AM (#42795615)

    It's not just in Amsterdam but also in New Amsterdam - this is playing now on New York Public Radio's morning news program:

    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newtechcity/blogs/new-tech-city-blog/2013/feb/05/nyc-tells-airbnb-hosts-dont-get-too-cosy/ [wnyc.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When the legal hotels allow smoking in the rooms and supply bongs, then the demand for so-called illegal hotels will diminish. My apartment rentals in the Dam have all been selected for herb enjoyment and have worked out well.
  • You basically need a hotel license for rentals of less than 30 days. Most often its neighbors turning in neighbors due to the congestion of increased traffic. But there was NY Time stories of people getting busted for advertising on airbnb and craigslist. Its grounds for a losing a lease, which is hard to find in NYC.
  • Just spent the weekend in Amsterdam with my wife.
    Found a great hotel, with good prices, via the web. (Tripadvisor, which I find to be a good resource).
    Everything was safe, clean, good breakfast etc.

    Out of curiosity, I just checked airbnb for both AMS and my home tome.

    The deals did not look good compared to genuine hotels.

  • Jan-Jaap Eikenboom = John Jacob Oaktree!

    Ah, the Dutch.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

Working...