'Noisy, drug-taking' students the alternative to holiday lets say couple told to stop running Airbnb

4 Drumdryan Street, Edinburgh4 Drumdryan Street, Edinburgh
4 Drumdryan Street, Edinburgh
The owners of a holiday let in Edinburgh have had their appeal of an enforcement notice dismissed by the Scottish Government.

Warnings of drug-taking, drunkenness and parties by students have failed to convince a government reporter to allow an Edinburgh couple to continue operating their flat as a holiday let.

Owners of the flat in 4 Drumdryan Street, Nihat Kaya and Radka Bodnarova, had appealed to the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division after being served an enforcement notice by Edinburgh City Council officials in December last year.

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However, their appeal, submitted in January prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic was dismissed by a government reporter meaning they will have to cease operating the flat as a holiday let despite the couple having “many bookings/reservations that cannot be cancelled”.

In their appeal statement, the couple said the likely alternative for the flat instead of a holiday let would be a student flat, and painted a grim picture of what they believed would happen to the area.

They wrote: “They would stay in the flat most of the time, they would be very noisy, would have parties and use drugs and get drunk, bring their friends around, loud music, every weekend go out to night clubs and come back from night clubs in very early morning, anti-social behaviours etc.

“They would use the building at least 10 times more than guests. They would perhaps disturb permanent residents.

“Whereas we have very strict rules for guests who would stay in the flat such as loud music, noise, parties, using drugs, smoking, disturbing others are not allowed and they must be quiet between 11pm and 8.30am. Otherwise they will be asked to leave the flat immediately by us.

“We also have ring doorbell video camera installed on an external door which alerts us if there is any loud noise and a motion. We monitor our guest’s behaviours.”

In his decision notice where he upheld the council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice, the reporter Gordon Reid said he acknowledged the existence of house rules but said the flat’s use as a holiday let would not be “broadly similar” to a traditional long-term let.

He wrote: “There are no restrictions in place to limit how often the flat could be used for short stay as opposed to long stay visits or the times and frequency that guests (up to six) come and go from the property during their stay or even the type of luggage they may bring with them.

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“Therefore, the frequency and intensity of the use of the accommodation by guests and the potential level of disturbance could vary and potentially be higher than stated.

“In addition, the guests are not managed on a full-time basis by the appellant to ensure compliance with house rules as they do not reside in the flat or in the tenement property.

“I find that the frequent movement by guests with their luggage, at various times, along the communal landing and stairwell, as well as the necessity for the servicing of this first floor flat, is a pattern of behaviour and activity beyond that which may otherwise be typical from the use of a residential flat of this size.”



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