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London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to review Transport for London’s advertising policy after a property company advertised encouraging landlords to flout the 90-day annual limit for short-term lettings in London.
Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, has written to the London Mayor arguing that allowing a property management company such as Hostmaker to appear on the Transport for London (TfL) networks is ‘sending the wrong message’ when regulation should be tightened in the expanding home-sharing sector.
It is illegal for landlords to rent out their homes in the capital for more than 90 nights a year on short-term lets unless they obtain specific planning permission from their local council. However, a recent investigation by the BBC found that Hostmaker, alongside a number of other short-term lettings management companies, are offering services to help landlords evade the 90-day limit.
Alongside banning advertisements from Hostmaker, Mr Copley has called on the London Mayor to go further and update TfL’s advertising policy to only allow advertisements from short-term letting management companies if they have implemented a voluntary cap to enforce the 90-day limit.
Mr Copley said: ‘With a burgeoning housing crisis in London, it is unacceptable that unscrupulous companies, such as Hostmaker, which encourage landlords to flout the law are being allowed to advertise on the TfL network.
‘This is sending the wrong message, when we should be focussing on tightening regulation in the expanding home-sharing sector in the capital to prevent long-term rented housing for Londoners being lost to holiday lets for tourists.’
Policy Director for the RLA, David Smith backed the letter to the London Mayor, saying: ‘While people have the right to do what they want with their properties, the movement of homes from the long term to short-term lettings sector is damaging to communities and to the supply of homes to rent for ordinary Londoners. The sentiment of these advertisements contradicts the Mayor’s own policy on short-term lettings, and we call for their swift removal.’
Airbnb announced plans for a voluntary 90-day limit in the Greater London area in 2016.