Airbnb launches scheme to give hosts health and safety information

Airbnb has launched a scheme it calls the UK Trust and Safety Alliance to offer hosts information on health, safety and related issues. 

Founding members of the scheme include the National Fire Chief’s Council, Neighbourhood Watch, Crimestoppers, Get Safe Online, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Race on the Agenda. 

They will engage with Airbnb hosts on a quarterly basis through the platform’s ‘Meet the Experts’ series and will produce guides and information on an ongoing basis. 

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Airbnb has previously produced guides for hosts in partnership with Crimestoppers on spotting suspicious signs while hosting, with the National Fire Chief’s Council on fire safety, and with Get Safe Online about watching out for online fraud. 

Amanda Cupples, general manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, says, “We have a long history of working together with expert organisations to bolster safety for our community and the Alliance will help us to achieve more moving forward.” 

Airbnb and the wider short lets industry have been criticised for not having to undergo the rigorous health and safety checks associated with the heavily regulated buy to let and Build To Rent sectors. 

The creation of this new scheme follows recent Covid-related changes, including removing or suspending party listings and introducing some booking restrictions to address what it calls “problematic guest activity.”

Airbnb has also called for a registration for short-term lets to be introduced with operators attesting that they understand existing health and safety standards, including requirements on health and safety certificates, insurance, gas safety, and cleaning. 

According to a survey by Airbnb, conducted this year amongst hosts who short let their properties last year, nearly a third said they hosted to help make ends meet.

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