William Eichler 29 November 2018

Cornwall to improve protection for consumers using short-term lets

Cornwall Council has set up a Primary Authority partnership in order to provide protection to consumers using short-term letting accommodation.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) found earlier this year that short-term letting accommodation can be listed on sharing platforms or with Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) without the owners undertaking safety assessments.

In order to stop this, Cornwall Council has partnered with Quality in Tourism and adopted their Safe, Clean and Legal framework. The new Primary Authority has been approved by the secretary of state.

This will give the local authority the opportunity to regulate the county’s portfolio of short-term letting accommodation in order to safeguard consumer safety. 

‘This is an issue that has worried us for a long time, it’s simply an accident waiting to happen,’ said Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall.

‘Since the EU competition law eradicated the ability for properties to be assessed before being marketed, I have called for a directive to protect the consumer; so that we can be assured that properties have been checked and that they have complied with all necessary regulations.

‘Safe, Clean and Legal gives us the tools we need to protect our consumers and by the end of 2019 I intend for it to be mandatory for the safety of all properties to have been assessed before they are registered and promoted on the Visit Cornwall channels.’

Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism, said: ‘We have provided a solution to a problem that is being faced by councils across the UK.

‘A council’s reputation is being risked every day by listing properties that may not be complying with even the most basic safety requirements and therefore risking consumer welfare.’

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