New advertising guidelines will mean that any advertising that encourages removing homes from the private rental market will be banned from the TfL estate.
The victory comes after over 8000 renters signed a Generation Rent petition asking TfL to drop adverts from short term lets company Hostmaker. In the adverts, Hostmaker told landlords they could increase their yield by 30% by ditching tenants and switching their properties to short term lets.
The new policy, which can be found here, states that any adverts seen to do the following would be banned from the network:
- imply that removing properties from the private rental market for other rental purposes (such as short term lets to tourists) can be financially or materially advantageous to property owners.
- promote companies or services which appear to rely on property owners removing their properties from the private rented sector.
- appear to conflate short term lets with lettings in the private rented sector. The type of lettings the advert is promoting should be unambiguous.
- advertise services for both types of lettings.
- use phrases or terms associated with short term lets where they are ostensibly advertising services relating to lettings in the private rented sector, or vice versa.
Georgie Laming, Campaigns Manager at Generation Rent said;
“This is a huge victory for renters in London. Living in London is already tough, paying sky high rents for cramped housing, without being attacked every time we take public transport by adverts encouraging landlords to get rid of our homes. It’s great news that now, any adverts encouraging the loss of long term, private rented housing will be blocked.
“But without a better system of regulation, enforcement and taxation that prevents landlords from taking homes out of the longer term market, renters will continue to lose out from the rise of holiday lets.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said;
“I am doing everything in my power to make housing more affordable for Londoners. When everyone sticks to the rules, short-term lettings can help people earn a little extra money and they provide more options for visitors. But it is clearly wrong when companies encourage hosts to break the rules, and when services seem to rely on homes being taken out of the private rented sector altogether for financial gain. That’s why I welcome TfL issuing guidelines to ban adverts that encourage unlawful short-term letting and that make it harder for Londoners looking for somewhere to rent.”
For further information, please contact Georgie Laming on [email protected] or 07950 399281.
Generation Rent is the national voice of private renters. We exist to make sure renting is safe, fair and secure. www.generationrent.org
- You can find pictures from Generation Rent’s campaign here
- The petition was hosted on 38 Degrees and can be seen here
- More information on Generation Rent’s hostmaker campaign can be found here
The new advertising guidelines can be found here
- Current legislation in London means that any property rented out as a short term let for longer than 90 days would need new planning permission.
- Hostmaker were exposed by the BBC trying to help landlords skirt the law: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47305575