Airbnb owner loses appeal to stay operating

The council had decided the Airbnb use could be to 'the potential detriment of neighbouring properties.'

Glasgow Airbnb owner cannot stay operating despite Scottish Government appeal iStock

An Airbnb host has been refused permission to continue using a Yorkhill flat as short stay accommodation despite an appeal to the Scottish Government.

Glasgow City Council ordered the owner of an Esmond Street flat to “discontinue the unauthorised short stay accommodation use”, as it is within a “single building sharing a means of access.”

Following a complaint by a resident, the council had decided the Airbnb use could be to “the potential detriment of neighbouring properties.”

But the owner, Dr Teri Welsh, asked the Scottish Government to reconsider as there had been an “unreasonable” period of time to respond to an enforcement notice.

The appellant also warned shutting down Airbnbs would have a “catastrophic” impact on the tourist industry.

After an investigation, reporter Andrew Fleming, appointed by Scottish Ministers, has dismissed the appeal. He did decide to give more time to comply with the notice.

He said: “Given the proximity of the flat’s entrance to that of the neighbouring flat, the communal close with seven other residential flats and the shared front entrance to the building, the use of the property as short stay accommodation is causing disturbance to the established residential character of the building and is being detrimental to neighbouring properties.”

Dr Welsh had submitted proof of a planning application to change the property to a short-term let and flight bookings to show they were out of the country when the notice was served.

The appeal claimed the enforcement notice “was not served as required,” as the applicant did not have 28 days to respond.

It said bookings had already been taken for this summer and it would be “unfair, very stressful and inconvenient to these guests” for those to be cancelled. 

A council statement said the use “constitutes a breach of planning control” and “all reasonable efforts” had been made to service the enforcement notice. “The council cannot account for unknown absences of residents,” it stated.

The statement added the council has “a robust and consistent approach to dealing with short-term lets under planning legislation.”

“This notice was served, as it is highly likely that the planning application the appellant refers to will be refused, and it was considered that it was expedient and in the public interest to serve the notice to reduce the amenity impact on other residents sharing the communal close.”

However, Dr Welsh said: “As most Airbnbs in Glasgow operate from tenement buildings, and as such are currently being served with these notices, it is highly likely their enforcement will result in a severe lack of suitable accommodation for tourists visiting the city.”

This will have a “detrimental effect” on the local economy and “the many small businesses reliant on tourism”, the applicant added.

He said: “It would be nothing less than catastrophic and highly irresponsible to dismiss the impact this will have on the tourist sector.”

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