Glasgow Airbnb apartment owners lose appeal against council’s plan to stop rentals after complaint

The owners of a Glasgow Airbnb apartment in Tradeston, which neighbors complained was ‘disruptive’, have lost an appeal against a council order to stop letting the property.

A resident of the Carnoustie Street building reported that the flat’s use as short-term accommodation was ‘disturbing’ and ‘at times threatening’, with allegations of drug use by guests.

Council officials investigating the complaint decided that planning regulations had been breached and told the owners to stop using the property as a holiday rental. Failure to comply may result in prosecution or a fine.

But the owners, Rhona Lamont and Andrew Mackinnon, appealed to Scottish ministers. They claimed council letters had been sent to the wrong address and the short-term rental was within planning guidelines.

However, a freelance journalist, Trevor Croft, appointed by the Scottish Government, has now confirmed the original decision.

The 2/5 51 Carnoustie Street apartment was advertised on Airbnb as “a spacious and beautiful three bedroom duplex penthouse style apartment within walking distance of Glasgow city centre, Hydro and SECC”.

It offered accommodation for up to eight people, with three bedrooms and six beds, at around £150 per night, plus additional service and cleaning costs.

Council officials told Mr Croft that one resident “complained that the short-term use is disruptive, unsettling and sometimes threatening, with different people staying each night and regularly encountering complete strangers at the ‘inside what should be a secure block’.

The council’s submission to the reporter added: ‘Their own property has been the subject of unsolicited visits from people attempting to enter the property in question. Additionally, there have been several instances where a large number of people (over 10) have used what is a three bedroom apartment sleeping a maximum of six people.

“There were alleged cases of drug abuse, which heightened the complainant’s anxiety.”

Officials decided that because the entire apartment was available as short-term accommodation and the property was “considered to be in frequent use” as a vacation rental, a “significant change in use” had occurred, which would require a building permit.

Council guidelines state that approval would not be granted for a “change of use from residential apartment to short-term accommodation in existing residential apartment blocks ‘where apartments and vacation rentals share’ means of access”.

The council made ‘several’ attempts to contact the owners of the property to ‘informally’ resolve the planning breach, but no response was received, therefore enforcement action was ‘necessary’ .

The owners claimed the enforcement letter was posted to the wrong mailbox, meaning they didn’t have the full 28 days to “digest the notice”.

“We are not aware of any previous communication from the planning authority,” they told the reporter.

“This is not a typical residential block, the 28 individual properties in this block each have at least two main entry/exit points (their own front and rear doors).”

The journalist, Trevor Croft, appointed by Scottish Ministers, said he had “no doubt” a change in use had occurred.

He said: “I am satisfied that there has been a breach of planning control.

“While some envelopes may have been inadvertently delivered to the wrong address, they nevertheless reached the callers in time for them to review the notice and place the call. I conclude that the appellants were therefore not prejudiced by an erroneous delivery. »

Mr Croft added that the noise and disturbance ‘seems to be mostly related to one or two night rentals’.

Mr Croft said: ‘Council notes that amenity issues arise when short-term serviced apartments are interspersed in blocks of flats, as is the case here.

“I find the only way to overcome this is to return the property to traditional residential use.”

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