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Airbnb to limit rentals in Amsterdam, London amid complaints from cities

Airbnb Inc will start enforcing limits to private home rentals in two popular European cities on the home-sharing platform, London and Amsterdam, the company said on Thursday.

The move comes amid complaints from some cities that the booming house sharing sector can lead to illegal hotels and contribute to housing shortages.

Airbnb said it will “introduce new and automated limits to help ensure entire home listings in London are not shared for more than 90 days,” unless hosts prove they have permission to share their space for longer.

The new measures will be in place by spring next year.

The Dutch capital and the online rental service said that they will work together to ensure that homeowners can only rent out their properties for a maximum of 60 days per year.

Amsterdam had introduced its limit earlier, but Airbnb said that from Jan. 1 its site will introduce automated tools to ensure homes are not listed for more than 60 days a year unless the owners have a license.

“A home should remain a home,” Amsterdam alderman Laurens Ivens said in a statement.

“With this new approach we are showing that working together with platforms such as Airbnb gives the city a new and efficient weapon to tackle illegal hotels,” he added.

Airbnb’s general manager for Northern Europe James McClure said: “We want to be good partners for everyone in the city and ensure home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably.”

Since the company launched in 2008, Airbnb has grown to be one of the world’s most valuable private startups by collecting fees when private hosts rent out accommodations listed on the site.

However, it also has run into problems with city fathers and local residents concerned by the rapid rise in rentals.

Barcelona authorities last week said they would fine Airbnb and another rental site, HomeAway, 600,000 euros (US$638,940) each for offering lodging that does not have the necessary permits.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau told Catalunya Radio that while tourism was an asset for the Spanish city, it had grown too much and was denying locals access to housing.

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