Airbnb Toughens Up Home Sharing Limits in London, Amsterdam

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Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb has set an automatic limit to the number of nights hosts can rent out their homes, at a time when the platform faces increasing pressure from cities and governments.

Hosts will now need a license to rent their homes in London for more than 90 days a year, and for 60 days a year in Amsterdam, according to statements from Airbnb Thursday.

The new rules strengthen existing guidelines set up in 2015. Airbnb will automatically limit home listings on its platform from 2017.

"We want to be good partners for everyone in [Amsterdam] and ensure home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably," James McClure, Airbnb general manager for Northern Europe, said.

In Amsterdam, Airbnb will also promote a new tool for neighbors to share concerns about a home listing, including noise complaints.

The company, which recently raised $555 million at a $30 billion valuation, has faced increasing pressure from city authorities, who are concerned the lodging-by-web platform is increasing the cost of living for residents.

"We have been in discussion with London Boroughs to understand their concerns about enforcing existing legislation and this move by Airbnb is a very positive and sensible step forward," James Murray, deputy London mayor for housing and residential development, said in an emailed statement Thursday.

Common framework
In June this year, Bloomberg reported that mayors and representatives for cities including New York, Paris and Seoul, had started a first concerted effort to produce a common framework for so-called "sharing economy" apps to operate within.

"Having the 20 or 30 biggest urban markets of the world all operating under entirely different rules doesn't do much good for anyone," Wiley Norvell, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's deputy for housing and economic development, said in June.

De Blasio has discussed the pros and cons of sharing economy services with several mayors, including Paris chief Anne Hidalgo last year. Balancing local housing needs and new services for tourists is one aspect she's especially concerned with, said Ian Brossat, who's in charge of that issue for the French capital.

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