Association of Landlords lends support to calls to ban ads which encourage short term lets in London

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Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, is being requested to remove advertisements encouraging landlords to call on Londoners to move into tourist lets instead of actual homes.

Calls for Sadiq Khan to take down the adverts by short term lettings company Hostmaker, from the Transport for London (TfL) network, have been supported by The Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

A significant impact on the number of homes to rent, available to Londoners has been revealed by RLA research, and shows that short term letting already has the capability to drive up rental costs.

Listings on the short term lettings site, Airbnb, have increased by 60% to 53,000 in the capital in just 12 months to 2017 and there is no sign of the popularity of these sites abating.

The number of days homes in London can be let for on a shortterm basis (90 nights a year) are limited by legislation to stop homes being removed from the rental market. Airbnb firmly commits to fully enforcing these new rules.

However, Hostmaker, , a recent BBC investigation found out, was one of a number of organisations encouraging people to ignore this legislation.

Tom Copley, London Assembly member, has now written to the Mayor, who is chair of TfL, requesting that the advertisements are removed.  A petition on the issue has attracted over 600 signatures.

David Smith, RLA policy director, said that even though the public have the right to treat their properties as they please, the increase in the short term lettings sector is having a bad effect on communities, and the supply of homes to rent for ordinary Londoners is contradictory of the Mayor’s own policy.

Two research papers looking at the issue, have been produced by the RLA, The Rental Revolution – what the sharing economy is doing to the PRS? and The Bedroom Boom – Airbnb and London.

To buy a home, it takes six months and 24 days, new research reveals

Considering, the numerous stages that go into homebuying; from searching online to moving in, a new survey states it lasts 6 months and 24 days. 

Contract exchange is the longest stage in the process, and can take up to 25 months.  However, the poll for technology firm Matterport found that on average, it takes five months and 10 days.

The survey also found that more than 16 homes online across a period of just under 20 hours, will be viewed by potential buyers who look at it as time spent waiting for viewings, with buyers on average taking a further four and a half days to put in an offer on a home after its first inspection.

The survey also discovered that buyers tend to view over 16 homes online across a period of just under 20 hours and around four days often passes waiting for viewings.  

Adults view their future home three times before making an offer, often bringing friends or family along to get their opinion.  A further 24 days are needed to secure a mortgage offer, once the purchase has been agreed and then 3 days to contract a solicitor. The keys are finally delivered approximately nine days after contracts have been exchanged.

James Morris-Manuel, EMEA vice president of Matterport, said that, buying a home can be an incredibly exciting but also frustrating experience. Although moving somewhere new is often thrilling, it can also be very challenging, especially when solicitors can be slow, viewings can take longer to set up and chains can break down.  He added that, even the viewing can be annoying, since you have to fit in with the owner’s personal timeframe.  Logistically, there can be complications, if you would like to view a property several times and even wish to view it after your decision has been made.

The lengthy process could become even longer, as a quarter of those polled had made unsuccessful offers, especially for the 12% who put an offer on 3 or more homes unsuccessfully.

It takes an average of 8 months to buy a house in London, making it the area in which it takes the longest to buy.  Despite the fact that 28% of respondents said they had no expectations of the length of time it would take, almost one third said, it took longer than they thought it would, when they did buy a house.

With more than 2 in 10 believing it would last less than 2 months altogether, overall, the belief was that the whole process would take just under 4 months.

Buying a new home isn’t always easy, even when the process is seamless.  3 in 10 said that finding a property that ticked all their boxes was the most difficult part.

Choosing a property was the lengthiest part, a fifth of buyers in the survey said.   4 in 10 took over seven months to decide and stages like, liaising with solicitors and selling their current property making it even more difficult to buy a new home.

14% of buyers had to compromise on their ideal home when choosing a property, as time is valuable. Location, was the most common compromise, with room size and price almost as common. Almost half found their new home exactly as they expected but for some there were disappointments, such as, the décor, cleanliness and unexpected renovations and DIY that needed to be done. 

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