A LANDLORD has been banned from renting out his luxury flat on Airbnb after furious neighbours complained about noise and drunken behaviour.
Sanjay Khosla leased out his property in Edinburgh to groups including hen and stag parties.
He let the three-bedroomed flat for groups of eight but reviews left on Airbnb’s website showed as many as 11 people had stayed in the property at one time.
Edinburgh City Council officials hit Mr Khosla with a ban on short-term letting after receiving complaints about guests.
He appealed to the Scottish Government in a bid to overturn the enforcement notice and insisted he had done nothing wrong.
But a government reporter sided with the council and agreed the ban should stay in place.
Mr Khosla had taken dozens of bookings for the property in Edinburgh’s Newington area but his neighbour Colm Cunningham had written to the government complaining about visitors.
He said: “Groups of visitors would regularly congregate at the front door and beside our living room window while smoking.
“There would be smoke in the hallway and our flat due to smokers leaving the front door open while smoking (presumably for convenience to avoid buzzing other guests for entry) and there were ongoing issues with smokers leaving cigarette ends scattered across the entrance and under our living room window.”
Mr Khosla insisted claims of large groups of people staying were exaggerated.
He said: “There has never been a community safety or antisocial behaviour notice in respect of the apartment in question. An advert has already gone out for long-term tenancy.”
He added: “It’s important to note that there are three or four proprieties in the block that let out to students. I just hope the resident is not getting overly confused with my apartment and using my apartment as the ‘scapegoat’ for everything that is an issue within the Ratcliffe Terrace apartment block.
“Everything the resident is saying in terms of people smoking at the front door, 50 cigarette ends being left behind – unless he has actual evidence this all came from my apartment it is again all circumstantial and potentially exaggerated.
“He has absolutely no evidence these disturbances have come from my apartment. No complaint has been formally received by myself from any authority or resident.
“I have spoken to my neighbours and nobody has an issue with my apartment.”
However, government reporter Steve Field said Mr Khosla had breached planning rules.
In a written ruling, he said: “I conclude overall that the flat is used as short stay commercial visitor accommodation, that this constitutes a breach of planning control and the period specified in the notice for compliance does not fall short of what reasonably should be allowed.
“Consequently, I dismiss the appeal on each of the three grounds.”