Furious East Lothian neighbors over chic beachfront apartment rage after it appeared on AirBnB
Neighbors furious at an upscale beachfront apartment have called on Scottish ministers to intervene after it was listed on Airbnb.
Residents of Tusculum, a house converted into six apartments in North Berwick, claimed they had been denied the right to object to the commercial use of the apartment by East Lothian council.
And they accused vacationers who use the property of being “reckless to the needs of the owners.”
In an appeal to Scottish ministers, a resident said the apartments, which were established in 1949, had a condition that prevented them from being used for commercial purposes.
However, the appeal was dismissed after the Scottish Government Reporter ruled that there was no right of third party appeal.
The row erupted after the owner of Apartment 4 of the property, accessible from York Road and Links Road in the city, obtained a certificate of legality.
Jane Kitching’s agents said she had used the apartment for short-term vacation rental for almost 30 years – except for a four-year period when her parents lived there – and that she lived in North Yorkshire.
They asked East Lothian Council planners to confirm its use with the certificate, which was granted in May.
The two bedroom property is marketed on airbnb and offers a five night minimum stay for £ 1,041 including service and cleaning fees.
In a declaration of appeal to Scottish ministers, it was claimed neighbors only learned of a ‘long-term deception’ two years ago after learning the apartment was being used by family and friends of the owner.
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They said: “It was only recently (in the past two years) that the use of the apartment was confirmed as it is now advertised through Airbnb.”
The statement went on to warn that access to the apartment was unsafe due to a “dilapidated elevator with open manually operated lattice doors”.
He said: “There is nothing to prevent a child from accidentally putting an arm through the door when the elevator is in motion and sustaining serious injury.”
And he claimed the apartment owner avoided scrutiny by asking for the certificate rather than being told by council to apply for a building permit.
He said: “The result of this request was a request for a legality certificate that bypassed the usual review, inspection and consultation that would have been the case if a normal planning request had been made.
“This prevented other residents from expressing their opposition to the seasonal rental of Apartment 4. It is this lack of control and corroboration that is the basis of this appeal.
Dismissing the appeal, however, the Scottish Government’s Appeals Division told residents “that there is no right of third party appeal”.
A spokesperson for the East Lothian council said: “We can confirm that this issue has been resolved through the correct process.”