As of January 1 next year (2020), things are going to change in the capital city that is Amsterdam. The changes, including giving certain people priority for residences and banning Airbnb in specific areas, are included in the city’s newest Accommodation Statute.
So, what’s changing in Amsterdam?
For starters, priority will be given to the city’s youngsters when it comes to choosing occupants for around 800 housing association residences. Up until now, young people from Zaanstad have had the same chance of getting a house in Amsterdam as those who were born and raised in the Dutch capital. What’s more, they also get priority in their own city too. Talk about unfair…
Luckily, this inequality will be evened out next year. For young people to be eligible for priority when it comes to a residence in Amsterdam, they need to have lived in the city for at least six years continuously out of the last ten. The municipality will also set a quarter of the properties aside for “lotteries”, which young people from outside of the city can also participate in.
More people to receive priority
It’s not only young Amsterdammers who will be given priority when it comes to the housing market either: teachers and nurses will receive priority for social housing properties and mid-priced rentals. This comes about as an extension of the municipality’s project to give teachers priority for residences in the city.
To receive this “priority”, teachers and nurses must meet a few conditions: namely, they must have a permanent contract, have a declaration from their employer and must not already have a residence within 20km of their place of work. Another group being given priority for certain residences is families. These will receive priority for mid-priced rentals with three rooms or more. Renters leaving social housing will also be given priority to encourage movement in the housing system.
Yes, that’s right: Airbnbs will be prohibited in certain neighbourhoods to protect the liveability of the area. However, in order to prohibit Airbnbs from certain areas, the city will need to objectively prove that liveability is at risk due to tourism.
The Amsterdam Council wants to place Airbnb bans on the Haarlemmerstraat, Kinkerstraat and Red Light District neighbourhoods. These areas first need to meet the aforementioned requirements before a ban can be implemented. Airbnb bans may also be implemented in other areas if it becomes apparent that the liveability there is also at risk.
Airbnb isn’t the only holiday rental that will be cracked down on; bed and breakfasts will also have to comply with more rules and will have to request a license to operate. A quota will also be put in place: in the centre, a maximum of four percent of the free sector rent and resale houses will be able to get a license. This percentage could be less in other areas.
Turning houses into rooms for rent
Increasingly often, investors buy houses, split them up into smaller rooms and rent them out. In doing so, they pocket a fortune and ride the wave of increasing rent prices in the city. This has happened to around 11.500 properties already. Of these properties, around 80 percent were illegally turned into rooms for rent, as the owner was not in possession of a valid license to do so.
The municipality is giving these owners one more chance to legalise their properties and is putting its foot down by setting a limit on the number of licenses per block and per neighbourhood. Said limit has been set at five percent per neighbourhood and 25 percent per building. This means a maximum of 13.405 licenses for the whole city.