Star Ratings property assessments have been slashed to just once every three years as part of a revamp of the program.
Star Ratings Australia General Manager Damien Hanger said the decision was made “following a comprehensive review of operations and after extensive consultation with licensees and peak industry bodies”.
“Our decision to extend the review cycle supports industry best practice such as a 3-5 year cycle for ‘soft’ refurbishments and a 7-10 year cycle for ‘hard’ refurbishments,” he said.
“It also reflects the policies we have had in place since the launch of the new quality-based scheme in 2011 and which involve Allowances & Dispensations that recognise capital works programs that extend beyond 12 months.”
Under previous management Star Rating property visits were scheduled every 18 months. However, this timeframe was reduced to every 12 months following the launch of the quality-based criteria in 2011.
Hanger said this cycle was “simply unrealistic for commercial accommodation operators and did not allow enough time to effectively plan, negotiate costs and access finance, and to then carry out the work required”.
“A three-year cycle increases our ability to identify areas for improvement, as well as maintenance or condition issues, and to support efforts to maintain quality standards,” he said.
“We can also rely on proven consumer complaint procedures as well as our plans to incorporate consumer ratings and reviews to ensure the integrity of the scheme for licensees and travellers alike.”
Hanger said under the new review cycle licensees will retain their Star Rating for three years “whilst continuing to receive annual benefits that lift awareness of the scheme and those operators willing to hold themselves to independent quality standards”.