Four Airbnbs in one single Edinburgh tenement told to stop operating by the council

The four short-term lets will no longer be able to operate as Airbnbs

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:03 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:30 pm
The tenement in Grassmarket which has been subject to four enforcement notices (Photo: Google)

Four Airbnbs inside one tenement will be forced to stop operating after Edinburgh City Council served enforcement notices to all four flats.

The properties, at 68B Grassmarket, all received their orders to stop operating as short-term lets on 28 January, with the council saying it had taken the measure to protect the quality of life for other residents in the building.

Grassroots campaigners celebrated the decision while councillor Claire Miller said she was “relieved” enforcement action had been taken.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The flats were advertised on Airbnb with descriptions including “sumptous apartment in Grassmarket”, “heart of Grassmarket”, “Grassmarket luxury apartment by the castle” and “super location”.

The number of guests, two per flat, and high level of turnover, also contributed to the enforcement notice with planners stating the use “is causing disturbance to the established residential character of the building”.

Claire Miller, Green councillor for the City Centre said: “I am so relieved that my efforts to raise these four holiday lets with the council’s enforcement department has been successful.

“Residents in the Grassmarket feel that they have been forgotten and are being driven out by over-tourism for many years, culminating in their own buildings being turned into holiday apartments.

“I will be paying close attention to see that these flat are turned back into homes as quickly as possible.”

A spokesman for grassroots campaigners PLACE Edinburgh said: “PLACE are delighted that these four lets, that have been so negatively affecting the living conditions for neighbours in this tenement, are to be closed down.

“However, our network are hugely frustrated that irresponsible hosts are continuing to run unlawful short-term lets in our communities, without planning permission, and in tenements where planning guidance makes specific reference to their unsuitability.

“We also note, that according to the Scottish Assessor’s website, only one of the four short-term letting businesses in this case has registered to pay business rates.”