Edinburgh Airbnb ban on absentee landlord who lives in Derbyshire

AN ABSENTEE landlord has been banned from letting her Edinburgh flat out to tourists and visitors on Airbnb.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 12:30 pm

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Edinburgh City Council insisted that Wendy Howe, 62, had breached planning rules by renting out her two-bedroomed property for more than seven years.

City Chambers officials ordered Ms Howe to stop letting the flat in Leopold Place, claiming it was against planning policy.

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Leopold Place properties often change hands for more than £500,000

Ms Howe claimed the flat was properly monitored and insisted it was not a 'party flat'.

She appealed to the Scottish government but was turned down.

In her appeal document, Ms Howe had stated: "My house rules for guests clearly state the need to reduce noise to respect the neighbours and the interior decoration of our property does not appeal to younger guests.

"The demographic it appeals to are families and mature people, my statistics are proof of that fact.

"Therefore this is not a party flat and has never been used as one."

She added: "My business has been running for 7 years and 6 months in this location without any complaints.

"Being originally from Edinburgh, I have always operated in a way that acts to improve and showcase the local area and the city.

"I would respectfully request that you conclude that I have not breached planning law and that my operation can continue, once this pandemic is over."

Council officials had issued an order calling for a halt to the rental business.

They said: "The use of the dwelling for short stay commercial visitor accommodation, which allows guests to book two-night stays, enables new individuals to arrive and stay at the premises for short periods of time on a regular basis throughout the year in a manner dissimilar to that of permanent resident.

"This regular turnover of visitors, combined with guests having access to a communal hallway, is detrimental toneighbouring residential amenity.

"Considering the above, a material change of use of the property from a flat providing residential accommodation to short stay commercial visitor accommodation has occurred."

Government reporter Andrew Fleming said: "Given the frequency and pattern of commercial visitor lettings at this property as wellas the property’s relationship with the other flat in the shared entrance, and the potential for increased noise and disturbance to the detriment of the neighbouring property, I consider that this has resulted in a significant variation from normal residential activity.

"I find that the use of the property for short stay commercial visitor accommodation constitutes a material change of use requiring planning permission. As no such planning permission exists, I therefore conclude that a breach of planning control has occurred."

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