Hostmaker, a property management firm working with properties listed on Airbnb and other short-let platforms, has ceased trading with its parent company entering administration.
Last week we reported that Hostmaker was said by a newspaper to have lost over £20m in three years despite raising £23m in investment, and that parent firm Flying Jamon was scrambling for additional investors.
Now that appears unsuccessful and Flying Jamon is in administration.
The fledgling sector’s trade body, the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, says another similar company - Houst - has taken on the management of Hostmaker’s accounts.
“Currently, all bookings that had been made with Airbnb have been transferred to Houst” says the STAA.
Houst will operate on the same terms and a message on its website says: “Our absolute focus is on seamlessly transferring service and ensuring that you’re earning again as soon as possible. We know how important this is.”
Last year Hostmaker was involved in a controversy over its advertisements on London’s transport network. Some ads appeared to urge 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.
Airbnb issued a statement distancing itself from the ads, although Hostmaker at the time described itself as “the world's largest management company for Airbnb and more.”