News of: Monday, February 15 2016,
Amsterdam has announced it will start using innovative techniques to trace down illegal hotels.
Amsterdam does this because it is faced with thousands of apartments being rented out through websites such as Airbnb. This is not illegal per se, but there are rules for renting out properties to tourists, and many owners don't stick to the rules.
By 'scraping' a website, i.e. reading out an entire database, the city authorities will try to find out which apartment owners are not obeying the rules. It will be possible to combine data found on various websites - many owners post their apartments or rooms on more than one website.
Airbnb refuses to give data to the authorities, saying it actively removes properties from its website that it deems illegal.
The new digital enforcement methods will be used as of April 2016.
Screenshot of Inside AirBnB - click here for website.