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Hostmaker to pull down “misguided” short-term rental ads

A company that manages holiday lets and other short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb has apologised for a “misguided” advertising campaign and says it will be removing posters this weekend.

Hostmaker has today updated its response to a petition by tenants’ rights group Generation Rent calling for its adverts at London underground stations to be banned.

The ads suggested that landlords could make up to 30 per cent more income each year by opting for short or mid-term rental agreements instead of letting their properties to long-term tenants.

The posters sparked outrage from the tenant’s group, which called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to have the adverts banned.

Generation Rent said the adverts were encouraging landlords to put their own profits ahead of the affordable housing needs of residents in the capital.

After yesterday defending the promotional campaign, Hostmaker chief executive Nakul Sharma has today confirmed that the adverts will be taken down this weekend.

He says: “We are sorry for the concern caused by our recent ad campaign and we acknowledge the tone was misguided.

“The adverts will be coming down this weekend and we will be reviewing all future creatives with our partners.”

He adds: “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.”

Airbnb also supported calls for the adverts to be removed.

A spokeswoman says: “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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