GLASGOW city council is calling for tighter regulation of short-term ‘Airbnb’ lets after issuing the second ban to a businessman over ­neighbour complaints.

Ross Gourlay, owner of wholesale firm Glencrest Ltd, lost an appeal lodged with the Scottish Government after the council hit him with enforcement action for a short-term let in Springburn.

It followed complaints about the frequency of lets at the property, large numbers occupying the flat and anti-social behaviour in the common close, which one neighbour said had made life a “misery.”

Mr Gourlay claims he was not aware of any complaints until the council contacted him and says he, himself is in favour of tighter legislation around the use of Airbnb saying the majority of owners are responsible and wish to operate within a clear legal framework. He said he is no longer letting the flat out and intends to move back into that flat later this year.

Glasgow City Council will shortly submit a response to a government consultation on the operation of short-term lets and is likely to call for tighter regulation of the industry, which could include a requirement for owners to license short-term Airbnb lets. Owners are not currently required to register properties let for a period of under 90 days.

Read more: Glasgow City Council bans estate agent from running holiday let 

Council regulations, introduced in March 2017, forbids short-term lets in a close with a communal entrance if the entire flat is rented out. An individual room can be let if the owner remains living in the property.

However, enforcement action is ‘complaints led’ which means most owners are free to run Airbnb flats if they are operated responsibly and do not attract complaints.

Airbnb say hosts are reminded to work within the parameters of local authority guidelines and it is contributing to the government consultation.

Paris, Barcelona and Santa Monica, Ca. have some of the strictest policies regarding who can and can't rent through Airbnb, while Amsterdam, Berlin, London, San Francisco, and New York have looser requirements.

Mr Gourlay owns four other properties in Springburn, including three on the same street and is registered as a landlord for four of the flats.

He said his short-term let attracts five-star reviews and says it is not in owner’s interests to house disruptive tenants.

He said: “It’s a contentious issue. If you look at countries all over the world, some have enforced an outright ban while others are far more relaxed.

“My experience of it (Airbnb) is, it attracts a lot of people to Glasgow who might not otherwise come.

“I get an eclectic mix. I’ve had a few long-term stays such as students from Denmark who stayed for five months and were studying law at Glasgow University. I’ve had people from Australia and New Zealand.

“I had people booked in for the Pink concert and had to turn them down.”

Read more: Growth of Airbnb lets is hitting Glasgow housing market 

While he acknowledges that owning and living in a flat next to a short-term let can be challenging for neighbours if tenants are disruptive, he said, long-term lets can throw up the same problems and unlike Airbnb lets, landlords are unable to ask tenants to leave, without sufficient notice.

He said the Scottish Government appeals process is unfair because there is no requirement for complaints from neighbours to be corroborated.

In December, the Evening Times told how an estate agent was hit with the city’s first enforcement after complaints were received about a property in Glasgow’s West End.

Stephen McGlone was given a month to cease trading at his two-bedroom, second floor flat at 1081 Sauchiehall Street, which overlooks Kelvingrove Art Gallery, or face a £2000 fine.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We are aware of issues around the use of flats for short-term lets in the city.

“The council will shortly be responding to consultation on short-term term lets, and we are supportive of further regulation in this area.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said:“Legislation already exists to deal with antisocial noise and behaviour in short-term lets.

“The Scottish Government has also published a consultation on the regulation of short-term lets to ensure that local authorities have powers to balance the needs of their communities with wider economic interests. 


“The new Planning Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday will also enable local authorities to designate areas where planning permission will always be required to use a property for short-term lets.”