First independent accreditation for the short-term accommodation sector is launched nationwide

The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has rolled-out the first ever UK-wide accreditation scheme in the short-term let / home-sharing sector.

Formed in 2017, as the sector trade body, the STAA has consistently raised the bar in industry standards, promoting and driving best practice among its members across the UK.

The accreditation scheme followed a successful pilot programme launched in June 2018. It is designed, managed and delivered by Quality in Tourism, an independent organisation which is synonymous with driving up standards and benchmarking businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry, having run the Visit England scheme for more than 20 years.

The STAA accreditation scheme is like a ‘kite-mark’ and means that homeowners who want to rent out their property for a week or two while they go on holiday, through to companies who manage homes, will be independently checked every year to ensure that properties are:

  • SAFE: which means health and safety and fire risk are in place – e.g. each property has an up to date gas certificate and working Carbon Monoxide detectors
  • CLEAN: each property is appropriately clean and comfortable as any guest should expect and achieves minimum standards equivalent to the traditional sector
  • LEGAL: which means compliant – each property is insured and complies with laws and is appropriately insured

 

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

 

Heather Wheeler MP, Housing Minister, Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government said: “Short-term lettings help households to boost their income by renting out their under-used accommodation, which in turn promotes economic growth through tourism. However, it is crucial that consumers can have confidence in the accommodation they book and in those responsible for sharing, hosting and managing that accommodation.

“We supported the STAA’s work with Westminster City Council to set up the Considerate Nightly Let Charter last year, helping hosts to avoid disrupting their neighbours. I am delighted to see the STAA taking further steps to drive up standards and promote best practice by introducing this independent accreditation scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – and leading the way in creating a set of standards to help consumers navigate our growing sharing economy.”

 

Deborah Heather, Director at Quality in Tourism commented: "Quality in Tourism is delighted to have worked with the STAA to evolve this accreditation. The changing face of the industry means we need to help both operators and consumers to get not only what they want in terms of modern products and options, but what they also need in terms of compliance and safety. The accreditation acts as a safety net for everyone, it makes sure operators are meeting their obligations and consumers are protected. It is a relatively easy and cheap way of ensuring you and your guests are protected.  We look forward to working with STAA and other countries to offer a truly global approach to accreditation in order to protect both consumers and operators. 

 

For more information or to register your property please visit our STAA page

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