A statement issued by short lets management firm Hostmaker about its controversial advertising campaign has been branded “disgusting” by a campaign group.
Generation Rent, along with the Labour Party and the Residential Landlords Association, had complained strongly about Hostmaker advertisements on Transport for London, which appeared to urge landlords with long-term tenants to turn their properties over to more profitable short-lets.
Hostmaker, which has promoted itself in the past as “the world's largest management company for Airbnb and more”, issued a statement apologising for what it called the “misguided” tone of the campaign - but insisting it had not diminished the capital’s stock of affordable homes.
Now Generation Rent has hit back with an article on the website CityMetric. Generation Rent campaigner Georgie Laming disputes that Hostmaker actually made an apology at all, because of its comments about affordable homes.
In particular, Laming takes exception to one specific statement by Hostmaker referring to parts of central London. She calls it “disgusting” and it says:
“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.”
Laming makes the point that zones 1 and 2 are not the preserve of the rich and include, amongst other places, Tower Hamlets “a borough where the average household earns £23,092, spends a whopping 71 per cent of its income on rent, and where 48.6 per cent of children live in poverty.”
She adds: “Hostmaker’s adverts telling landlords they can make ‘up to 30 per cent more’ by ditching their tenants for short term lets are, ipso facto, encouraging landlords to kick out the poorest renters in zones 1&2.”
To make matters worse, the advertisements appear to have been on Transport for London after Hostmaker claimed the campaign had finished.
“The ads are still up. On Sunday evening I walked through Oxford Circus and saw three huge Hostmaker ads still there. On Twitter, we’ve been sent proof of adverts on the Overground this week” she writes.
You can see her article here.