Edinburgh flat bought through affordable housing scheme told to stop operating as short-term let

Enforcement officers at Edinburgh City Council served the notice in January.

The owner of an Edinburgh flat, bought through an affordable housing scheme, has been told to stop letting it out as a short-term let by Edinburgh City Council.

Two people had complained about the flat, in 8 Elsie Inglis Way, being used as a short-term holiday let, with one complaining about noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour.

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Another complainant highlighted the property had been purchased through an affordable housing initiative known as Golden Share.

A short-term let operating in a flat bought through an affordable housing scheme has been told to stop operating by the counci

Under the initiative, backed by the council, home-buyers are able to purchase the entirety of their property at just 80 per cent of the open market value.

This could have meant a significant reduction in cost for the flat with the average price of a flat in the block just below £218,000.

Inspectors found the property was being openly advertised for short term holiday lets on booking platforms including ebookers, Expedia, HomeAway, hotels.com, and uk.hotels.com.

The listings also stated that visitors could check in any time between 1pm and 11.30pm, with the two-bedroom flat able to host up to six people with the use of a sofa-bed.

In their report, council enforcement officers stated: “Bookings can be made for two nights and checking in and out times includes during the night and this impacts on residential amenity in terms of disturbance.

“The frequency of visitors is higher than would be expected if it were a permanent residential flatted unit. Associated services with the use of the enquiry property, such as cleaning contractors, also increases the frequency of visitors to the flat.

“The location of the flat on the ground floor in a communal stair, the number of people combined with the ability of guests to access areas of communal provision, including a stairwell and landings, is having a detrimental impact on the amenity of the other residents within the property including disturbance from anti social behaviour, such as noise.

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“As a result of this, it is concluded that a material change of use has occurred.”

The move from the council is another example of the continued fight against unlawful short-term lets in Edinburgh which also led to pressure from the council on the Scottish Government to introduce statutory regulation.

A licencing regime is set to be introduced by the Scottish Government in the next couple of years.

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