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Airbnb owner refused consent to let because of communal door

An Airbnb flat owner in Scotland has been refused access to let out her flat because it is in a block with a communal front door.

In Scotland, owners have to win consent for a change of use if their property is to be short let via Airbnb our any other similar service.

The East Lothian Courier reports that Karen Skinner was refused permission for a change of use for her ground floor property at Port Seton because it shares a communal entrance with other flats in the building.


However, she is challenging the decision by council officers, highlighting that the property has its own back door which can be used by guests.

Skinner insists the private entrance is preferred by holidaymakers who stay at the flat and she is quoted as saying: “The [council] officer's report has omitted to state that this flat has its own private back door entrance favoured by the guests, leading to a public path, and is independent of the main entrance. This fact would have been crucial in the determination of the planning application.

“The reason for refusal states that the use is ‘incompatible with and harmful to the amenity of the occupants of other flatted properties’; but despite the flat having been let in this way since May 2021, there have been no objections or concerns raised by the other residents.”

Council planners refused the change of use in June saying: “Such a regular turnover of users/occupants would change the nature of comings and goings not only to the application property itself but also within the- communal entrance and hallway of the residential building.

“Most users/occupants of the holiday let would have a degree of luggage or other property to take through the communal entrance which in itself would lead to a level of disturbance and nuisance  not associated with the permanent/long term residential use of the property.

“It is accepted that permanent residents may also make noise but they tend to keep their luggage in their homes and do not move them with the same frequency as regularly changing guests.”

Skinner’s appeal will be heard next month.

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    There wouldn't be the planning applications to turn residential flats and houses into short term or AirBnB accommodation if it weren't for the abolition of Section 21 there. Nor would there be the large number of families in hotel accommodation - a number which is rising all the time.

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    Airbnb can be very problematic in residential blocks of flats. One of my flats is in a building converted into 4 flats in a seaside town. The owner of the top floor flat did Airbnb for a few months last summer and it was hell for the other residents. Drunk stag party attendees crashing around the building late at night. A couple of the female occupants were propositioned or indecently assaulted in the stairwell. It just made people feel unsafe and vulnerable.

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    So thus ruling means all flats cannot be let on a short term basis. All flat blocks have communal doors. Rediculous. I gave up my planning application because of the cost, lack of anyone in the Perth Council that actually understood it, and contradictory advice. It's a F-ing shambles. I now let this particular flat long term, meaning a loss of tourist trade in a tourist village in Perthshire.
    They have no clue.
    Short term lets and long term lets are screwed in Scotland so as previously mentioned I am selling my portfolio and unfortunately making young professionals look for more expensive less suitable homes.


    Selling becomes the only option when the ability to let in any way has been destroyed.

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    Landlords selling up have the ability to stagnate or crash the Market and devalue everyone’s home you won’t like that.


    Yes that's true Michael, but that is probably what the government want.


    It's certainly what prospective buyers want and I can't really blame them. House prices are ridiculous right now


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