UK Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA) Launch Event
The UK’s first membership body for short term home rental businesses formally launched on the 13th of September 2017 by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth.
The new membership body – the Short-Term Accommodation (STAA) – brings together nine providers from across the industry: The Air Agents, Airsorted, Airbnb, HomeAway, Lavanda, OASIS, onefinestay, SuperControl and UnderTheDoormat. Membership is open to companies and organisations that promote, provide or service short-term accommodation rentals.
STAA will help ensure that as the short-term accommodation sector grows, properties are managed to a high professional standard by responsible providers. A key part of its work is the launch of the new voluntary STAA Code of Conduct that all members are committed to, which includes encouraging all hosts to ensure their short-term let match the health and safety standards present for long-term lets.
The new Code of Conduct contains a range of measures designed to boost consumer protection, support enforcement, maintain residential amenity and drive local business growth. All nine members of the Short-Term Accommodation Association have signed up to the new code.
This new membership body is an important first step in making the short-term rental sector a more attractive choice for consumers. Research recently conducted by Populus on behalf of UnderTheDoormat, confirmed that nearly a half of all 2000 survey respondents (49%) said that uncertainty about the state of the home will be in when they arrive is the worst thing about renting somebody’s home when travelling. Over half (55%) of Londoners have also said they would consider letting their home out, but only if it were managed by a professional company to high standards.
This new membership body hopes to make the changes needed to ensure high standards, increase consumer confidence in the sector, and cement the UK’s place a global leader in delivering short term accommodation.
Merilee Karr, founder of UnderTheDoormat and chair of the STAA, said:
“By coming together in one membership body, UK-based organisations, such as UnderTheDoormat, and global giants, such as Airbnb, are united in their efforts to create an environment where travellers, individual homeowners, their neighbours, building owners, local authorities and the national government, can all be confident in the professional standards that drive our businesses.”
For a more information, including a copy of the full code of conduct, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA)
The STAA soft launched in March 2017, but its official launch took place in London on the 13th of September
The aims of STAA are to:
- Promote the industry and educating stakeholders about the different business models that exist
- Develop the short-term accommodation market
- Develop industry positions on policy challenges and opportunities
- Help companies to make connections with potential customers, partners and suppliers
- Provide a forum for the industry to address policy and regulatory challenges
- Engage with national and local government officials to build a supportive business. environment for the industry and to tackle policy challenges
- Develop industry standards and providing a mechanism for the sharing of best practice
- Engage with other international sectoral associations and related industries
New STAA code of conduct:
A summary of the key points of the code of conduct is provided below (NB, this summary is not an exhaustive list of the conditions imposed)
Protecting hosts and guests
STAA members will:
- Delist any host found to be acting in a to potential guests once notified by the appropriate authorities;
- Have processes in place to help prevent fraud such as identity verification of hosts and guests
- Provide hosts with guidance on how to protect themselves against fraud
- Protect the personal data of hosts and guests in accordance with data protection and privacy law
- Delist guests who have been proven to be in serious breach of their terms and conditions, for example committing fraud or causing major damage
- Provide hosts with an overview of their hosting activity to assist them with their tax obligations, while recognising that ultimate responsibility for complying with individual tax obligations lies with the host
STAA members will:
- Work via STAA with local authorities to raise awareness of local rules
- Always promote responsible hosting and compliance with local regulations, including in all public advertising campaigns
- Remove any listing proven to be in breach of applicable regulations once notified by the appropriate authorities
Maintaining residential amenity
STAA members will:
- Encourage hosts to communicate to guests that primary use of the property is for holiday or business-travel purposes and any other use requires prior permission
- Encourage all guests to be mindful of neighbours when coming in late, to not make excessive noise and to read the ‘house rules’ which individual owners may have provided
- Provide dedicated contact details for members of the public or local authorities to register complaints
Supporting local business
STAA members will:
- Encourage hosts to share information with guests about local businesses they can visit, to help promote local growth and tourism
Please see www.ukstaa.org for more information