Calls for London Mayor to ban TfL short-term let adverts

UK: The Mayor of London is being asked to ban adverts on the Transport for London (TfL) network which appear to call on landlords to offer tourist lets only as opposed to homes for Londoners.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has put pressure on Sadiq Khan to remove the marketing campaign adverts, which were put together by short-term lettings company Hostmaker.

Research carried out by the RLA indicated that short-term lettings have a significant impact on the number of homes to rent available in the capital and consequently, landlords can decide to push up rents.

The figures show listings on Airbnb increased by 60 per cent to 53,000 listings in London in the 12 months leading up to 2017 alone. Meanwhile, the popularity of such sites shows no sign of slowing down.

Laws limit the number of days homes in London can be let on a short-term basis to 90 nights a year to prevent homes being taken permanently off the long-term rental market. Airbnb itself has pledged its commitment to enforcing the limits.

A secret investigation by the BBC earlier this year found Hostmaker was one of a number of companies encouraging people to flout the restrictions, as well as GuestReady and City Relay.

London Assembly member Tom Copley wrote to the Mayor, who is also chair of TfL, as he called for the advertisements to be removed. A petition on the issue has already received in excess of 600 signatures.

RLA policy director David Smith told Property Wire: “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,” he added.