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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Airbnb distances itself from controversial short lets management adverts

Airbnb has issued a statement distancing itself from controversial advertisements from a short lets management service.

Hostmaker - which describes itself as “the world's largest management company for Airbnb and more” - was in hot water last month when a series of advertisements on Transport for London appeared to be urging long-term landlords to switch from conventional AST-tenants to short lets booked through Airbnb and other similar platforms.

The advertisements led to both the Residential Landlords Association and the Labour Party asking London Mayor Sadiq Khan to remove the advertisements; there was also a petition against the ads raised by campaign group Generation Rent.

The ad campaign ended last weekend; it’s not clear whether this was the scheduled close of the campaign or in response to the high-profile criticism.

Hostmaker has since issued a defiant statement saying that although the tone of the advertisements may have been "misguided" its service did not reduce the capital’s stock of affordable homes, nor attempt to find a way of evading London’s existing rule limiting short lets in any one property to a total of 90 nights per year.

Now Airbnb has entered the debate directly, issuing a statement to Letting Agent Today.

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “Airbnb was not involved with this campaign. The adverts do not reflect the spirit of hosting in London and we are pleased they are being removed. Airbnb has always been the only platform to help London hosts follow the rules by automatically limiting how often they can share their homes. 

“We have zero tolerance for attempts to get around our measures and we have backed the Mayor's proposal for host registration, which would help ensure rules are applied fairly and equally to hosts on all platforms.”

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