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Agency banned from running Airbnb short-let in residential block

A lettings agency has been banned from running an Airbnb let in a residential block.

It relates to a block in Glasgow and is thought to be the first ban of its kind in the UK.

Scottish media report that Stephen McGlone, who owns the Westgate agency, lost an appeal heard by the Scottish Government, against an enforcement notice to be issued by Glasgow City Council.

The Herald Scotland website says Glasgow council regulations, introduced in March 2017, forbid the letting out of an entire flat for short-term lets, including Airbnb, in a close with a communal entrance. An individual room can be rented out if the owner remains living in the property.

The website says Christopher Warren, the reporter appointed by the Scottish Government to hear his appeal, has commented: “The inability of other residents to establish who may be occupying the flat at any given time, and more significantly, the inevitability of permanent residents regularly encountering strangers in communal (but still private) areas of the building, is an indication that the nature of the use of the flat for letting markedly differs from that of other residential flats in the same building.”

McGlobe has been given a month to cease trading the property or face a £2000 fine.

He is quoted as saying: “When I set it up in 2016, I told the council it was going to used as an Airbnb and the council said ‘no problem.’ I did ask if planning permission was required and they said it was not required.

“They are now saying I am trading illegally. My argument was, my flat is in a tourist hotspot. I’ve been providing a service. With regard to the noise there was one party in February 2017 and I cooperated with the council.”

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