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Sensible rules will ensure ‘responsible growth’ of short-term letting sector

It is not always possible for an individual or company to improve its image beyond that of its industry, and that is why the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has welcomed a court decision to fine an Airbnb host who rented out his council flat in central London just over £100,000.

The STAA views effective lawful enforcement as crucial to enhancing the reputation of the short-term letting sector in order to clampdown on rogue owners.

The STAA is keen ensure that unscrupulous operators are not permitted to undermine trust in the industry and harm the reputation of millions of people who choose to earn legitimate additional income through short-term letting. 

Merilee Karr, chair of the STAA, said: “The STAA always welcomes news reports when an owner or tenant who has been illegally letting their property is caught and appropriate law enforcement action is taking against them.

“These individuals are responsible for severely undermining trust in the short-term accommodation sector.

“As the industry body, the STAA’s role is to create an environment for the responsible growth of the short-term letting sector in the UK. And it’s why we work tirelessly with our members and in partnership with local authorities to educate homeowners about their roles and responsibilities of offering up their properties for short-term letting.”

The STAA, which launched in 2017, has developed a growing portfolio of measures with the explicit aim of reassuring consumers and providing guidance and help to homeowners, including its own code of conduct, to protect guests and hosts.

The rules are designed to support regulatory enforcement and maintain residential amenities which could be impacted by short-term lets.

Karr continued: “A lot of the bad practices that take place flout the law and there are clear penalties in place. As we have stipulated in the ‘Considerate short-term letting charter’ with Westminster City Council, it is illegal to sub-let a local authority property for any purpose, and that includes short-term accommodation.

“If you suspect someone is doing it, then please contact your local authority or the accommodation platform on which the property is listed so that they can take action.

“Short-term letting is helping millions of people earn legitimate additional income, allowing guests to experience the best of our urban neighbourhoods and supporting local businesses. 

“We are pleased to see that the few rogue operators are being dealt with so we can continue to grow this dynamic, innovative and exciting industry responsibly.”

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