The Mayor of London has come under pressure to put a stop to advertisements encouraging landlords to move into tourist lets instead of providing homes for Londoners.
The calls have since been supported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) for Sadiq Khan to remove and ban the adverts by Hostmaker, a short term lettings company, which have been spotted across the Transport for London (TfL) network.
According to existing research by the RLA, the number of homes available for Londoners to rent has fallen significantly since the rise of short term letting, with rents being inflated as a result.
The figures show listings on the short term lettings site, Airbnb, increased by 60% to 53,000 listings in the capital in the 12 months to 2017 alone, and the popularity of these sites is showing little sign of slowing down.
To prevent homes being taken from the long-term market, Airbnb and similar companies must ensure that a short-term let does not exceed 90 nights a year under current law. However, a recent BBC investigation discovered that a number of companies, including Hostmaker, are encouraging people to circumvent these rules.
Since this was brought to light, a petition on the issue has attracted more than 600 signatures, and Tom Copley, London Assembly member has written to the Mayor requesting that the advertisements to be removed.
‘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,’ said David Smith, RLA policy director.
‘The sentiment of these advertisements contradicts the Mayor’s own policy on short-term lettings, and we call for their swift removal,’ he added.
The RLA has produced two research papers analysing the issue in greater detail, The Rental Revolution – what the sharing economy is doing to the PRS? and The Bedroom Boom – Airbnb and London.