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Graham Awards


"Ban these short let adverts!" - trade body and Labour unite in plea

The Mayor of London is under pressure to pull advertisements calling on landlords to stop providing homes for Londoners and move into tourist lets.

The Residential Landlords Association has written to Khan specifying one short lets management firm that is advertising in this way on the Transport for London network.

RLA research shows that short term letting has already had a significant impact on the number of homes to rent available to Londoners and has the potential to push up rents.


The figures show listings on the short term lettings site, Airbnb, increased by 60 per cent to 53,000 listings in the capital in the 12 months to 2017 alone and the popularity of these sites shows no sign of abating.

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 from the long term rental market, with Airbnb making a firm commitment to enforcing these rules.

However, a recent BBC investigation found a number of companies encouraging people to flout these rules.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association says: “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.”

The RLA’s call comes after a letter being sent to Mayor Khan by Labour’s spokesman on housing in the London Assembly - and he, too, wants tube advertisements for the short-lets management firm to be banned.


Labour's Tom Copley argues that it is encouraging landlords to break the law and flout the 90-day annual limit for short-term lettings in London. 

Under the Deregulation Act 2015 it is illegal for landlords in London to let their homes for more than 90 nights a year on short-term lets unless they secure planning permission.

In his letter to the Mayor, Copley 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”.

Copley has called upon the Mayor to update Transport for London’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.

Last month, the Mayor called upon the government to introduce a short-term letting registration system in the capital.

“With a burgeoning housing crisis in London, it is unacceptable that unscrupulous companies … which encourage landlords to flout the law are being allowed to advertise on the TfL network” says Copley.

“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.”

  • Paul Smithson

    Abolish section 21 the capital will just be Air BNB, the Government can't have all ways........huge housing crisis coming up.

  • Paul Singleton

    Knee jerk politics, nothing thought through, just keep making new rules as you go!

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    At least London has introduced a 90 day limit in Scotland short term lets are completely unregulated.

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    • s M
    • 26 May 2019 14:32 PM

    I find this difficult to understand as a Landlord with a portfolio entirely based in the City of London. I've been forced to apply for a £1,000, I am forbiden to off set my interest payments against my profit, I can not charge the cost of a chech in or out inventory, a contract or an end of tenancy clean, shortly I won't be able to ask a tenant to leave no matter how mucb damage they cause or disturbance tbey inflict on others. It now appears that Mr Khan is concerned that there aren't enough buy to lets. Now who would have seen that one one coming, didn't anyone warn him that this would happen.

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    Dont believe in charging
    for Check In and Out. Or Inventory
    Thats why we have had a big clamp down on rip of charges.
    Why charge a tenant check in and out fees?? Where's the logic, they are renting your property. They sign a TA, they sign the Inventory they sign that they have read the mould and damp and Legionnaires fact sheet. They are then paying us professional LL Rent. Next your be saying we should be charging them when we inspect every 2 or 3 months!. If the property is not cleaned to the same standard as shown by photos in the Inventory then deduct a Cleaning charge from the security deposit, simples why make it so difficult. The fact the government has applied s24 in not tenants fault, increase your rent to cover. A TA cost pennies.
    Been doinf this for over 35 years and works well.

    S l
    • S l
    • 26 May 2019 17:22 PM

    fees ban stated no cleaning fees. so that is out of question and that makes the contract " return in same condition as was given at start of contract" redundant.
    can i ask where can i get the damp and mould and legionnaires fact sheet? thanks

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    No way, i shall be deducting a fee from the security deposit if property is Not left clean and tidy as it was when tenants moved in and as identified by Signed for Inventory. No ifs or buts, tenant will be reminded at Sign In stage and ar every Inspection and in Check Our letter.
    The damp mould and Legionnaires fact find is a fact find out together of line and goes with every TA.
    Just google daml and mould and what causes it the same with Legionnaires.
    The latter is for when tenants take up a property, which may have been empty for a week or 2 and should they have a holiday, it covers the bugs that can lurk around in Shower heads.

  • Suzy OShea

    I have long since given up on expecting tenants to properly clean their rooms on departure or even during the week. This is why I employ weekly cleaners in my properties who also inspect the properties weekly rather than every two to three months. a lot of damage can occur in two to three months.

  • Suzy OShea

    Its also despicable theft of Cameron's Conservative government to rule out that private landlords can no longer deduct interest payments from their profits. Every other business can do this except private landlords, because the governments want to drive us out of the market. They only want corporate landlords who will have to pay them Corporation tax and capital gains tax. so they are making the housing crisis much worse for the tenants.

  • Suzy OShea

    Sean Moore, Did you have to pay the £1,000 to pay for HMO registration?


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    In our area is was £500 now they decided dont need a licence mad stupid clueless council.
    Re cleaning, i expect the whole of the property every 2 or 3 months, if i find the property is in a mess dirty and untidy, i tell the tenants i shall return in a weeks time and expect an improvement, normally it works. I dont clean for them, i cant tell them how to live, its their property for the 6 , 12 months or how ever long they have signed up for. I tell them at the begining to respect my property and to leave it in the same condition as it was when they moved in subject to fair wear and tear. If its dirty they will be charged a fee to return it to the same condition as it was. Please, you are making this so difficult for yourselves. My property is the tenants home, it is not a hotel, they have to be able to relax. The Inspections are not just for my benefit but also the tenants, re issues etc.

    S l
    • S l
    • 27 May 2019 09:50 AM

    you got lucky your council decided not have to. most council love the revenue and the power they get. ours charge 700 . there should be a cap on how much the council can charge for licence and there should be a regulatory board to control these councils who have no clue on how prs work and even enforce the min size room rules well before they even become law. what can we do as my rebuttal only got them riled up and impose more stringently on all my properties. even threats of suing if we dont sign admission of guilt.

  • Suzy OShea

    The tenants in my properties like the services I provide such as cleaning, Sky tv and super fast internet. But then most of my properties are HMOs where very little collective responsibility exists.

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    Dont agree, we have students with same demands, but on check out if not left as was when moved in i deduct to put it back as per Inventory.
    They get bills and sky included in their rent also.

  • Suzy OShea

    Yes, my son moved into such a student shared flat in Mornington Crescent five years ago. The whole group moved into what was supposed to be a thoroughly cleaned flat. All I can say is that the cleaner must have been blind!

    I would not even have shown a flat in that filthy condition, never mind let it. So I put my team of cleaners in and got the toilet bowl white again and they did several maintenance jobs, like blocking a large hole in the wall in the bathroom next to the sewage stack, which was probably rodent alley for the block, treating damp and mould found in one of the rooms when they moved the wardrobe to clean behnd it. that would have affected the health of the young lad staying there and my son had the room next door. The oven was sand-blasted to get rid of all the burnt in grease and the fridge thoroughly cleaned and I had a smoke alarm and a carbon dioxide monitor fitted since there was no door between the kitchen and the only means of escaping the flat in the event of a fire. There were more things, but i shall not go on!

    Clearly the LA was failing in his duty of adhering to health and safety standards. My efforts cost me some £500 but it was worth it to know that the flat that my son was sharing was safe and clean. When they left, I put my cleaners in again and it cost £160 for a quicker job, which the families of the students were happy to pay because there was no objection to returning their deposits in full from the LA!

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    Should have refused to take it, demanded to see the landlord ot LA manager, charged them for wasting your families time and reported them to the University and blasted photos all over every social media site. Dont be taken for a ride. A professional LL would check every thing first and put cleaners back in until job right.

  • Suzy OShea

    Steve Sykes,

    Yes, i would have refused to take it but my name was not on the TA, five other names were including my son's. When I spoke to him about it his excuse was that they had had great difficulty finding a flat that could accommodate five of them! So they had chosen this one out of inertia or the difficult logisitcs of getting five people to meet and view at the same time. The LA know this and take full advantage! To cap it all, my son who is 6ft 5” talk had what looked to me like the "broom cupboard" or the child's room! Great!

    S l
    • S l
    • 28 May 2019 14:15 PM

    a box room no longer allowed to be used as bedroom as the new law stated minimum size single and double room. Even if your name is not on TA, you are entitle to question the LA as a parent. I think the group all decide who takes what room and if your son decided to choose the smaller room, its on him, not the LA. They could always refuse to take on the house to be honest.

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    • 28 May 2019 14:20 PM

    Don't think many student LL are aware that they ARE subject to the new MANDATORY HMO REGULATIONS.
    Doesn't surprise me at all so incompetent are most LL and LA

  • Suzy OShea

    S I

    This was back in 2010 so no legal minimums banning box rooms then.

    The students drew lots as to which room they would get and there were reduced rents for the smaller rooms, as the people in the larger rooms paid more rent.

    however, even back then it was a legal requirement to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, which were not in the flat. i could have caused that LA a great deal of trouble but then it would have rebounded on the 'kids'.

    S l
    • S l
    • 28 May 2019 15:33 PM

    surely the LA cannot do anything to rebound onto the kids so long as they pay the rent and keep to the contract? what could they do?


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