Edinburgh shuts down holiday let flat purchased through ‘Golden Share’ scheme

An Edinburgh flat which was purchased through an affordable housing scheme has been ordered by the local authority to stop operating as a short-term let property.

Two people had issued complaints about the flat located at 8 Elsie Inglis Way being used a short-term holiday let, with one person complaining about noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour.

Another complaint highlighted that the property had been bought through an affordable housing initiative known as Golden Share.

Under Golden Share, which is backed by the City of Edinburgh Council, buyers are able to purchase all of the property at just 80% of the open market value.

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

Council officials 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, The Edinburgh Evening News.

In a report, council enforcement officers said: “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.

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

The action taken by the council is another example of its continued battle against unlawful short-term lets in the city which also led to pressure from the council on the Scottish Government to introduce statutory regulation.

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