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Defiant Airbnb management service says it doesn’t reduce affordable stock

Airbnb and short let management service Hostmaker - at the centre of a dispute involving a landlord trade body and the Labour party - insists it does not take any affordable housing away from the wider market.

Hostmaker, set up in 2016 with an offer to manage London properties put on to Airbnb and other short let platforms, last month 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.

The post campaign ended at the weekend.

Now Nakul Sharma, chief executive of the management firm, has apologised for what he accepts was the “misguided” tone of the campaign. 

But he is defiant on some aspects of the criticism, saying in a statement: “In a cosmopolitan city like London, there is a need for a range of housing and rental solutions to meet the needs of the wide variety of residents and visitors in our capital city. Whilst it’s critical that there is plenty of affordable housing stock available, our portfolio is made up of premium homes in zone 1&2 postcodes and does not take affordable housing stock away from the market.”  

And he continues: “We are here to meet the needs of Londoners and visitors to the capital who would prefer to stay in a high quality, furnished and managed home service. 

“We provide a flexible lettings model to homeowners of these type of properties; blending long-term, mid-term and short-term rentals to suit market demands and help homeowners weather the current slump in rent prices and property sales, ensuring they aren’t left with gaps in the year when their property is standing empty.”

The company had earlier claimed that it was committed to complying with all rules and regulations regarding London’s 90-day policy.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 05 June 2019 10:40 AM

    Why blame hostmakers when the landlords are the ones making the decisions. Who would want to rent to tenants/lodgers who are constantly under their feet in their homes and making a mess and unwanted noises? Until and unless the MPs are making better laws and policies with common sense the owners will keep moving away from providing housing to tenants. It goes without saying the government and council had a huge hand in the rapid decrease in the stock in PRS. Every laws and regulations being made recently are cutting off the PRS not increasing it.

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    • 05 June 2019 13:43 PM

    There is no slump in rent prices.
    Exactly the opposite actually but to pay for S24 etc AST rent is no longer sufficient
    Therefore LL engage in fraudulent short-term letting.
    Very few lenders or Freeholders permit such lettings.
    Of course there are tenants who do this with their LL unaware
    But however done to achieve an increase in income people will turn to other devices to make more money for whatever reason.
    The AST had fallen out of favour due to S24 etc.
    It no longer earns sufficient for the LL.
    Very few LL would have even contemplated anything other than AST letting.
    But when you are being forced to pay tax on fictitious profits you have to make the money somewhere.
    Fraudulent short-term lettings seem to achieve this admirably.
    Can't blame LL for doing this.
    For many will have no real choice the alternative probably being bankruptcy.
    So expect a continuing withdrawal of AST properties to be used for short-term lettings.
    This will be most obvious in London where GR etc will be moaning now that rents are even higher and that is if you can even find a rental situation.
    Who'd of thought eh!?

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    S24 not a problem.or is rent increase when seeking New tenant.
    Unless Labour somehow against all the odds gain power life will go on for the professional LL.

  • icon

    S24 not a problem.or is rent increase when seeking New tenant.
    Unless Labour somehow against all the odds gain power life will go on for the professional LL.


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