Woman told to stop letting out two Leith flats as Airbnbs due to 'considerable turnover of people'

The owner, Roberta Giorgini, has appealed the decision to the Scottish Government

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Lockboxes on a property in the Old Town

An Airbnb landlord has been told to stop letting two flats in Leith as Airbnbs due to a "significant deterioration" of residential amenity.

Planning officials at Edinburgh City Council pointed to high levels of noise and disturbance for neighbours and the high turnover of guests as reasons for the enforcement notice.

The owner of the two flats, one on Albert Street and the other on Balfour Street, Roberta Giorgini appealed the decision to the Scottish Government's planning and environmental appeals division saying she only rented the flat to guests who sounded "nice and polite".

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Airbnb in Edinburgh is on the rise (Photo: Getty)

In their planning notice the council noted the Balfour Street flat was listed on Airbnb, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Homeaway and Gumtree, with the Albert Street flat listed on Airbnb and Gumtree.

They added that evidence showed one bedroom flat on Albert Street was available for four people while the two bedroom flat on Balfour Street was being made available for six people. Both flats were available to be booked for indefinite periods of time.

'Not compatible with the residential flatted building'

The council said: "By virtue of the pattern of activity associated with the use, including the relatively short tenure of guests, resulting in a considerable turnover of people and the issues of noise and disturbance experienced through the activities of guests, the use constitutes a material change of use."

"The character of the use is not compatible with the residential flatted building and the surrounding area which is predominantly residential.

"The increased number of occupants and the level of turnover generates a level of noise and disturbance that is not characteristic of normal residential occupation.

"The activities of the occupiers of the flat has resulted in a serious deterioration of the amenity of other residents occupying the building."

Ms Giorgini said she carefully picked who let her flat as a short-term let and said some of her neighbours were not against the use of the flat as a short term let.

In a letter to the reporter, Ms Giorgini wrote: "This is not a pub or a bar where people come to have fun and the character of the stay of the people I rent to is the same of common residents and there is no disturbance and probably less than it could be if the apartment is rented to young students.

"I am at the moment self employed, if I have to rent all year long term I will become unemployed and all my family life will be upside down with a lot of problems."

The case will be heard by the reporter in due course.