Photograph by Chris King

News from Siân Berry: Short-term letting adverts finally banned on TfL network

18 September 2019

Companies putting a squeeze on London housing have finally been banned from advertising on the TfL network, Sian Berry confirmed today.

Renters were appalled when adverts telling landlords to kick out tenants to convert homes to short-term lettings were peppered across the tube last summer, and again this year. 

Sian challenged the Mayor why the adverts were allowed to go up at all when they actively encouraged homes to be taken away from private renters – and are in conflict the Mayor’s own housing policies. [1]

TfL have updated their advertising guidelines to specifically address short-term lettings, and now say “Advertising on the TfL network must not, expressly or by implication, promote the use of residential properties in London for short term ‘holiday lettings’ in a way that contravenes planning laws”. [2]

Sian Berry says:

London renters already struggle to find decent homes they can afford so it is outrageous that companies who want to push renters out of their homes should target London like this. 

I’ve been raising this with the Mayor since June last year as different adverts, from different companies, but with the same message kept being allowed. I’m very glad a new policy clearly banning these adverts is now in place. 

Londoners shouldn’t be bombarded with messaging on their daily journeys that undermines or harms their lives or their communities. 

We’ve had adverts on the TfL network that make light of sexual assault on women, ones that come from repressive regimes and some that body-shame people. The Mayor should review TfL’s whole advertising policy to proactively stop this.

The move was also welcomed by Generation Rent, who led the public outcry against the adverts.

Georgie Laming, Campaigns Manager at Generation Rent said;

This is a huge victory for renters in London. Living in London is already tough, paying sky high rents for cramped housing, without being attacked every time we take public transport by adverts encouraging landlords to get rid of our homes. It’s great news that now, any adverts encouraging the loss of long term, private rented housing will be blocked.

But without a better system of regulation, enforcement and taxation that prevents landlords from taking homes out of the longer term market, renters will continue to lose out from the rise of holiday lets.


Notes to editors

[1] Sian Berry oral question to the Mayor, Hostmaker adverts on the Transport for London network (2), Jun 2019

Sian Berry letter to the Mayor, Advertisements on the TfL Network, Jul 2019

[2] TfL advertising guidelines – Short-term lettings

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