West End Airbnb ordered by council to stop booking guests in residential property

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The owner of the West End Airbnb was ordered to stop allowing guests after ‘unauthorised use of mainstream residential property as short stay accommodation.’

The owner of a “luxury” West End Airbnb has been ordered to stop having paying guests for short stays after breaking council planning rules.

The Woodlands Terrace apartment owner transformed the property into a “5-star” getaway after spending “a large sum of money” upgrading it.

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But Glasgow City Council issued an enforcement order following a complaint from a resident. Planners judged the letting of the flat near Kelvingrove Park is an “unauthorised use of mainstream residential property as short stay accommodation.”

The Scottish Government upheld the council’s decision last week after property owner Sheraz Ramzan appealed to its planning and environmental appeals division.

In a letter to the department in response to requests for information, Mr Ramzan said:I purchased the property last year in poor condition and spent a large sum of money upgrading what was a run-down apartment, into a luxury apartment using high end materials and furnishings.

“The refurbishment has greatly enhanced the value of the property and also created a 5-star environment for any guests visiting. I believe this also reflects very positively on the overall building and development.”

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The Airbnb owner was booking out a residential property on Woodlands Terrace next to Kelvingrove Park.The Airbnb owner was booking out a residential property on Woodlands Terrace next to Kelvingrove Park.
The Airbnb owner was booking out a residential property on Woodlands Terrace next to Kelvingrove Park.

Flat 6, which has one bedroom with a double bed, is located in the basement of a tenement at 22 Woodlands Terrace. Mr Ramzan told the Government Reporter who visited the site there have been on average two bookings a week with one guest or a couple staying up to three nights.

Explaining why it took action, the council said: “The use of mainstream residential accommodation within a property that shares access with other properties contributes to the disamenity of these properties and fails to adhere to planning policy. It is therefore considered to be in the public interest to take enforcement action.”

It ordered the “cessation of the use of the property as short stay accommodation.”

Mr Ramzan appealed on the grounds that matters stated in the notice “do not constitute a breach of planning control” and the order to cease offering short stay accommodation exceeded what is necessary.

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The Government Reporter found the appeal failed under those grounds. The Reporter said: “I consider that the frequency of use, and the associated service activity, distinguishes the use of the premises from use of a flat for residential purposes. I also consider that the proximity of the flat to others in the same building, with shared means of access, means that this additional coming and going has the potential to detract from the residential amenity which neighbours are entitled to expect.”

To address council concerns, Mr Ramzan offered to avoid using the main, communal entrance to get to the flat with access granted from the rear door instead, which would see visitors only passing one flat.

But the reporter said that “would not address potential adverse impact on the residential amenity of the residents of the one flat referred to by the appellant.”

The reporter added: “Having also found that the appellant’s proposed alternative access arrangements would not remedy the breach of control, I also find that only the cessation of the unauthorised use would address the purpose of the enforcement notice.”

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