An advertising campaign launched by a controversial Airbnb management company has prompted an MP to write to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to remove the poster ads from the city’s Underground stations.
The Mayor of London’s office holds the levers of power at Transport for London (TfL), which runs the tube network.
Hostmaker featured in a BBC undercover documentary in February during which one of its senior managers was filmed explaining how to get around Airbnb’s 90-day renting restriction in the capital.
But Hostmaker has courted controversy again after launching a series of ads on London’s tube network urging the city’s landlords to ditch long-term renting and embrace short-term lets.
The posters have headline text that reads: “My long-term let is ticking along… terribly” and then explains “But with our dynamic mix of short and medium-term, your properties could earn you up to 30% more”.
But the campaign has not gone down well among commuters many of whom have contacted London Assembly member Tom Copley (left).
He has now written to Khan claiming that the adverts do not meet TfL’s advertising policy.
His letter, which was posted on Twitter, says: “Hostmaker has been found to be actively encouraging landlords to break the law, and is acting in contravention of Mayoral policy on short-term lettings”.
“I am therefore writing to ask you in your capacity as Chair of TfL to ask that TfL no longer accepts advertisements from Hostmaker on its estate.”
Copley also asks that TfL advertising is amended to ensure that short-term lets management companies like Hostmaker must follow Airbnb’s lead and embrace a 90-day renting limit.
The company has now said it has removed the ads. Read our update story.