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Controversial short-lets firm tries to deflect growing criticism

A company appearing to call on landlords to abandon tenants and instead let their properties to short-let visitors is now trying to deflect a growing chorus of criticism.

Hostmaker, set up in 2016 with an offer to manage London properties put on to Airbnb and other short let platforms, found itself in hot water last week when it promoted a marketing campaign on Transport for London buses and tubes.

The advertisements were interpreted as suggesting mainstream buy to let landlords should instead turn their properties over to more lucrative short-lets - irrespective of the social cost of taking that home out of the long term rental sector.

As a result Labour’s housing spokesman on the London Assembly began a high profile campaign against the company’s advert; this was backed by the Residential Landlords Association. Both queried the legality of Hostmaker’s suggestion given that properties can be short-let for no more than 90 nights a year in London.

We reported the story last week here.

Now the company has tried to salvage the situation, making this statement over the weekend, from Hostmaker London spokesman Renaud Barnoin:

“We are committed to complying with all rules and regulations in the markets we operate in and the London 90-day rule is no different. 

“We provide furnished and managed housing for short, mid and long-term rental needs, and our flexible lettings solution is designed for hosts to make the most of short lets and switch to medium and long lets when the 90-day limit is reached, opening housing stock to local demand. 

“In a cosmopolitan city like London, there is always going to be a need for a range of housing and rental solutions. 

“We were pleased to be one of the inaugural members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Short Lets and are committed to continuing a dialogue with all parties to ensure the needs of a diverse housing and rental market are addressed.”

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