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News from Tom Copley: Mayor urged to ban unscrupulous short term lettings adverts on tube

22 May 2019

 

Mayor urged to ban adverts on tube that encourage breaking short-term lettings law

 

Today, Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, has written to the Mayor of London urging a ban on advertisements on the tube network promoting home-sharing management firm, Hostmaker. Mr Copley argues that Hostmaker is encouraging landlords to break the law and flout the 90-day annual limit for short-term lettings in London. He said that allowing unscrupulous property management companies to advertise on the Transport for London (TfL) network is “sending the wrong message” when regulation should be tightened in the expanding home-sharing sector.

 

Under current regulations put in place under the Deregulation Act 2015, 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.

 

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.

 

In his letter to the Mayor, he argues that the limit is “vital” in preventing an increasing number of London properties becoming “permanent holiday homes… at time of housing crisis in our city”.

 

Hostmaker currently have posters advertising their services on display across the Transport for London (TfL) network. However, in his letter, Mr Copley cites that TfL’s advertising policy states that they will not accept adverts on their estate that do not comply with the law.

 

Alongside banning advertisements from Hostmaker, Mr Copley has called upon the 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.

 

At the end of 2016, Airbnb announced their plans to voluntarily introduce a 90-day limit on ‘entire home’ listings in the Greater London area.

 

Last month, the Mayor called upon the Government to introduce a short-term letting registration system in the capital. This follows on from a report published by Tom Copley in January 2018, More BnB: Short-term Lets in London's Housing Crisis, which proposes a number of recommendations to tighten up regulation and enforcement measures in the growing home-sharing sector.

 

Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:

 

“The current 90-day limit law is a vital measure that is stemming the growing tide of London properties being turned into permanent holiday homes.

 

“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.

 

“I hope the Mayor carefully considers the proposals in my letter for TfL to reject adverts from property management companies that have no interest in enforcing the law”.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  • A copy of Tom Copley AM’s letter to the Mayor of London can be found attached;

 

  • Under current regulations put in place under the Deregulation Act 2015, 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;

 

  • An investigation by the BBC in February found that Hostmaker, alongside a number of other short-term lettings management companies, are offering services to help landlords evade the 90-day limit;

 

  • TfL’s advertising policy can be read here;

 

  • In December 2016, Airbnb announced their plans to voluntarily introduce a 90-day limit on ‘entire home’ listings in the Greater London area;

 

  • Last month, the Mayor called upon the Government to introduce a short-term letting registration system in the capital;

 

  • Tom Copley AM’s report, More BnB: Short-term Lets in London's Housing Crisis can be read here;

 

  • Tom Copley AM is a Londonwide Assembly Member.