Short stay accommodation materially changes use of flat

A reporter upheld enforcement action against the use of a flat in a Scottish city centre as short stay accommodation.

The appellant acknowledged that the flat was being used for short-stay letting accommodation, but asserted that this did not constitute a material change of use from its lawful use as a residential dwelling.

Examining whether the nature of the short stay use of the flat had resulted in a material change of use, the reporter had regard to the differences in character which would be immediately apparent to residents of the other permanently occupied flats, given the communal landings, stairs and lift. He highlighted the frequency of arrivals and departures, intervening cleaning and servicing, and the noise and disturbance generated by short-stay guests. He also noted the inevitability of permanent residents regularly encountering strangers in communal but still private areas of the building, as a further indication of a markedly different use from that of other permanently occupied residential flats in the same building.

The reporter rejected a lesser step of a system of guest vetting as capable of safeguarding the amenity of other residents and dismissed the appeal, upholding the enforcement notice and its requirement to cease the use and a one month compliance period.   

Reporter: Christopher Warren; Written representations

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