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Transport for London bans short term letting ads

Transport for London (TfL) has finally bowed to pressure from campaigners and announced a ban on adverts that promote short-term letting in the capital. 

London mayor Sadiq Khan was encouraged to clampdown on adverts across the tube network by companies that encouraged landlords to break the 90-day annual limit on short-term lets in London. 

More than 8,300 Londoners have signed a petition calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to ban adverts ‘encouraging’ landlords to abandon long-term tenants for Airbnb-style holiday rentals.


The petition was started by Generation Rent, the national campaign for private renters, after property management company Hostmaker paid for adverts across the TfL network suggesting landlords can earn 30% more by switching to holiday lets.

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.

Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesperson, Tom Copley, who previously wrote to the Mayor of London asking for a ban on advertisements on the tube network promoting the home-sharing management firm, welcomed yesterday’s announcement by TfL. 

Copley said: “In recent months, we have seen adverts across the TfL network encouraging landlords to flout the law when it comes to short term lets.

“In the midst of our housing crisis and with rents rising, this has been sending the wrong message to beleaguered Londoners living in a largely unfair and unforgiving private rented sector in urgent need of reform.

“The 90-day limit law on short-term lets offers the only current means of protection against the rising tide of properties in the capital being turned into permanent holiday homes, though it is incredibly difficult for local authorities to enforce.

“It is hugely positive to see TfL take action on the back of concerns that I previously raised along with Generation Rent towards these adverts. However, it should be stressed that this move marks just one of the ways that we can strengthen regulation in the ever-growing home sharing sector to defend our long-term rented housing stock.”

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    First time I've ever agreed with Generation Rent! Next step will be thinking Shelter helps the homeless! Nah.... That would be really stretching it.

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    I have never used AirNB and totally deplore them. However, we should have free market and allow people to do what they like with their properties or investments. It is not hurting anyone. Government needs to cheaper housing to whoever needs it. They should not dictate the people about who they should rent the properties and for how long. The government s getting a huge amount of tax from the landlords, anyway. They should use to house people who need social housing.


    I agree, Vibha.

    However, I think that if an AirBNB arrangement were hurting neighbours through noise then it should be stopped e.g. it should not be acceptable/legal to rent out flats for one day or so in order that people can have all night celebrations.

    Otherwise it is not for the Government to commandeer private property because they sold off social housing. As you say, they should use the huge amount of tax from landlords to build affordable housing.

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    Well every Government intervention even if allegedly suppose to improve which is debatable drives up Landlords costs and Tenants Rents every time.


    Their interventions also cause tenants to lose their homes, landlords to lose their businesses and the country to lose the tax revenue which supports it.

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    Ellie. The Government are Building and in cahoots with the Big Boys thousands & thousands, hundreds of thousands of them being built, don’t be taken in, we are being replaced make no mistake about it.
    We are already taxed to the eyeballs hundreds of millions/ billions to keep and house them, without using our taxes to Build New places for them, is anyone else paying tax ?.
    The great sell off didn’t reduce stock very much and not for long. Many Council Tenants bought them for a pittance held them for the required 5 years then flogged them for full Market value making a killing spare a thought for working people with big Mortgage’s back then buying off their own backs. Those were often bought by Private landlords and put straight back on the rental Market so not much shortage created by that.
    So if you want to know where many of those went to live it was with their Mothers, Brother, Cousins, Uncle Sister also living in a Council House.
    I read the Police are now being trained to stop illegal Private landlords evictions this is a very strange move seen as no legal evictions allowed, add those to all the other anti landlord Organisations that house no one and the picture is complete. We are being targeted and totally discriminated against by law, some stitch up.


    It is odd that we are targeted because we pay so much tax, improve properties and generally provide a fair deal for tenants.

    The picture is not really an attractive one for us - our investment is risky, the return is relatively low, the business requires a great deal of work and, as you say, we are persecuted and treated badly.


    I don't think they could replace us because we provide better accommodation at a cheaper price. Also we respond quickly and efficiently to problems because we manage everything ourselves - and we listen to what the tenants want.

    Many of my previous tenants have contacted me to find out if I have any vacant flats. They can't afford to continue living in the newly built accommodation that they moved to. Some former tenants email me at regular intervals to see if any flat is now available.

    I have a couple leaving because the husband has to move to a different part of the country due to his job - she was crying - she said she didn't want to leave the flat or me. I expect the new flat they are going to rent is more expensive and much smaller. At the moment they have a two double bedroom flat with a big sitting room and nice garden in Central London. It has been underoccupied really with just one couple there because of the additional licensing requirements in the borough.


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