UK STAA welcomes 14 new members to its ranks

UK: The UK Short-Term Accommodation Association [ STAA ], the trade body representing the short-term rental sector, has welcomed 14 new members to its ranks.

It has also announced the 2020/21 board positions following its annual elections. Merilee Karr, CEO of UnderTheDoormat, will continue as chair, and Jean Philippe Monod, VP of Expedia Group, will continue as vice chair.

Three companies have signed up as members on a full-time basis – Sykes Holiday Cottages, Pass the Keys and Firescape. Eleven other companies have joined on the free two-month trial period membership offer that the STAA launched at the start of the month.

The full list of new corporate members is:

  • Pass the Keys –  a specialist property management company offering a fully-managed service
  • Sykes Holiday Cottages – the UK’s leading independent holiday cottage rental agency
  • Portico – a London-based lettings agency
  • A Place Like Home – a property management company specialising in short-term apartment rentals in London
  • Seven Living – a boutique property rental company offering luxury short-term living spaces across the UK
  • Blueground – a luxury property management company
  • HomeToHost – a leading London short let management company
  • LoveHomeSwap – a global house swap management company
  • Veeve – a specialist short let management company in London and Paris
  • Altido – one of Europe’s leading property management and guest hospitality operators
  • GoLightly – a private travel club for women to list and book vacation rentals and homeshare stays

The new affiliate members are:

  • Firescape – a supplier of new and practical fire safety equipment for all fire types including home fire extinguishers
  • Properly – a supplier of cleaning management and inspection services
  • Inventory base – a property inventory and inspection software supplier

The new members represent a 35 per cent increase to take it to 39 corporate and affiliate members, including some of the largest platform operators in the UK, such as Airbnb and HomeAway, as well as many companies that provide specific services to the growing short-term rental sector.

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “We are really pleased to be joining the STAA. The work it has done during these unprecedented times both representing the interests of its members and setting up the NHS Homes scheme, in which we are participating, has been truly impressive.

“I hope we can add a significant level of support and collaborate fully with the other members to make the STAA a strong and respected voice for our sector of the travel industry,” he added.

Matt Chetwood, COO of Pass the Keys, said: “We are delighted to become a member of the STAA. We are looking forward to meeting and working with the other members so that we can make a telling contribution to the development of the industry we all love.”

Paul Jameson, managing director of Firescape, said: “The STAA has been recognised for some time as being a voluble and credible voice for the short-term rental sector, so we are delighted to become a member. We hope that we can add value to the debates and work alongside the other members to create a sustainable future.”

Merilee Karr, CEO of UnderTheDoormat and chair of the STAA, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome these new members to our association. The unprecedented circumstances that we are currently all dealing with has shown that we are stronger when we collaborate and work together.

“A great example of this the commitment shown by many of our members in launching the NHS Homes scheme to offer key NHS workers free accommodation near the hospitals they work at.

“I am particularly pleased that Pass the Keys, Firescape and Sykes have joined on a full-time basis. They, along with those companies that have taken up the free trial membership offer, will help us to have a more powerful voice on the issues that affect the sector as we emerge from this current crisis and will add further weight to our aim of growing the short-term rental sector in a responsible and sustainable way,” she added.

Last month, the STAA announced that it was to waive membership fees, from 1 April to 31 May, for some of its existing corporate members and all new members.

Shomik Panda, director general of the STAA, said: “Our offer of waiving membership fees for two months, has attracted a number of companies. It means they can access the resources and support of their trade body that is passionate about what it does.

“We sincerely hope that at the end of their trial periods they will be convinced of the benefits to join up on a full-time basis. And, if there are any companies out there that are interested, the offer is still available – they should go to the membership section of the STAA website for details on how to apply,” he added.

The STAA has also announced the results of its board appointments following its annual elections:

  • Chair: Merilee Karr, CEO, UnderTheDoormat
  • Vice chair: Jean Philippe Monod, VP corporate and government affairs, Expedia Group
  • Policy lead: Theo Lomas, head of public policy, Government Relations & Campaigns [UK & Ireland] Airbnb
  • Affiliate members and research lead: Louise Birritteri, founder & CEO, Pikl Insurance
  • Property managers lead: Lavina Liyanage, chief markets officer, onefinestay
  • Events and new members lead:  Leo Walton, growth director, GUARDHOG

For more information, visit the UK STAA website here.