Airbnb use of flat is material change and harmful to neighbours

The use of an Edinburgh tenement flat for Airbnb has been refused and an enforcement notice to cease the use upheld, the reporter determining that a material change of use from a single household had taken place and the intensity of the use resulted in harm to the amenity of adjoining occupiers.

The appeal site related to a one bedroom, first floor flat in a three storey tenement building accessed by a common stairwell. The reporter considered the submissions regarding the intensity of the use of the property by tourists and business users in comparison to its use by a single household. She considered the number of arrivals and departures, 74 separate bookings covering a period of 290 nights over the course of a year, the use of the flat by up to three people, the likelihood of increased noisy activity late in the evening, increased activity as a result of the cleaning of the property, luggage drop off in between check out/ check in periods and the increased use of the communal drying area by guests for sitting outside, would be greater than that that would be expected were the property in use by a single household. This took the intensity of use beyond that normally associated with a single household as a matter of fact and degree as opined in the judgment in Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Suffolk Coastal District Council, 2012, and the reporter concluded a material change of use had occurred which required planning permission. She upheld the enforcement notice to cease the use on the grounds of harm to the amenities of adjoining occupiers.

Reporter: Jo-Anne Garrick; Written representation

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