The Short Term Accommodation Association has commented on the future of the industry ahead of this evening’s ITV Tonight programme investigation into the rapid growth of Airbnb in the UK.
The trade organisation for short term lets in the UK has revealed that its members, who include Airbnb, accept that a simple national registration scheme is inevitable as continuing media coverage puts the sector under pressure to put its house in order.
In comments made to ITV ahead of the channel’s Tonight programme due to air at 7.30pm about Airbnb, the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) says it is engaged with local authorities and government to ensure that the short-lets sector grows responsibly and takes on board the health and safety issues highlighted in recent months.
The STAA also says it will ‘consider a simple national registration scheme, but any regulations should be proportionate and should not disadvantage hosts and guests who behave responsibly’.
This would have huge implications for platforms like Airbnb, as listings would have to carry proof that properties were safe, and carry more evidence of landlord identity.
These are the two key planks of campaigners’ criticisms of Airbnb and other platforms – that opaque landlord details and unverified properties enable sub-letting and other scams, as well as creating an uneven playing field between traditional and short-let rentals.
LandlordZONE contacted the STAA’s representative Merilee Karr, who runs her own short-let business called UnderTheDoorMat.com, for further details.
Karr says she is ‘not in the right position’ to elaborate at the moment, but that the STAA is due to speak about property safety and landlord registration issues at the industry’s annual exhibition and conference on March 12th called the ShortStayShow at London’s ExCel centre.
It is hosting a panel discussion on short lets regulation. Speakers include MPs Nickie Aitken, Karen Buck and Steve Double as well as Shomik Panda, Director General of the STAA along with representatives from Booking.com and HomeAway.com.