The UK’s Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has announced the launch of its Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal assessment scheme to ensure that to ensure its member properties are “fit for purpose, safe and legally compliant”.

“The lack of assessment in this sector has been shockingly lacking, putting customers at real risk of injury or worse. As the popularity of short-term holiday lets has been increasing throughout the country, the consumer has become more and more vulnerable,” said Deborah Heather (below), director at Quality in Tourism.

Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism

“Until now assessment of short-term lets has been non-existent creating a major disparity between the health and safety requirements in accommodation such as hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs; and short-term rentals from sites such as Airbnb. Consumers have assumed that they are safe when renting from shared economy booking platforms, but the reality is that it isn’t mandatory for accommodation to even install a smoke alarm.

This announcement is a major step forward for the industry and we’re proud to be a part of it.” concluded Deborah.

The ‘kite-mark’ style programme makes it simple and easy to check the health and safety status of a property, including working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As well as whether the property is legally compliant with appropriate insurances and certificates. Each property will be assessed annually.

Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA and CEO & founder of home accommodation provider UnderTheDoormat said: “This is a really exciting announcement for the short-term letting industry in the UK and beyond.

“Responsible growth”

As CEO of a member company, as well STAA chair, I am passionate about setting the bar for high standards in our growing industry and delighted that short-term accommodation hosts and property management companies can now all apply to be independently assessed and accredited on their ‘safe, clean and legal’ standards.

It is a great example of the concrete steps that the STAA is taking to increase consumer transparency and create an environment for the responsible growth of the short-term accommodation industry.”

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