It has long been linked to scandal among the middle classes, having been the handsome block where George Bernard Shaw set his sexual comedy The Philanderer.Now, wealthy residents at Ashley Gardens in Belgravia have found themselves at the centre of a new outrage. But this time, it is with their “exotic European” neighbour.Homeowners at the luxurious complex have complained that Linda Marinelli Landor, an 81-year-old Italian poet, has been using her £3million apartment as a bohemian bed and breakfast. I would hear wheelie cases going across the marble hall in the hallway as they come and goNeighbour Mary Drummond Italian economist, Irene Dell’Orto, said she had answered an advert on Spare Room for a room in the flat, where she stayed for several months in 2014.It listed a “room with a view” and suggested it would be suitable for “a very intelligent and careful person”, possibly a self-employed writer or musician.Miss Dell’Orto said she paid £950-a-month for her room and was told by Mrs Landor to tell any neighbours that she was a “cousin”, she said.However, she moved out almost immediately after one of the neighbours told her staying there was “illegal”, she said. One guest she met had found the room through Airbnb.Mark Warwick QC, defending for Mrs Landor, said: “Whether or not she was in breach in carrying on a business as at June 2015, she then ceased to do that on a date thereafter.”The mother-of-six had been advised to stop advertising for guests and to put up a notice, informing her neighbours of who was staying and when.”In order to do this, from about September 2015, she pinned to the outside of her front door a document headed: ‘With reference to custom in great country houses, notice of visitors is given,’ he said. “Below this heading, she would write in the name of visitors who stayed at the flat and the dates when they stayed.” Mary Drummond outside Central London County CourtCredit:Paul Keogh Ashley Gardens, in BelgraviaCredit:Paul Keogh Guests have been heard coming and going in the early hours and dragging their suitcases across the marble floors, it has been alleged, while a party involving a flamenco dancer is said to have set chandeliers swinging in the flat below.Mrs Landor has denied running a bed and breakfast in the apartment, claiming guests are Italian family or friends from the creative industry.But the row has reached such a pitch that she is now facing an application to forfeit her home by the freehold owners at the Central London County Court.On Wednesday, Michael Pincher, one of her friends, said it had become a battle between “the boring middle classes and exotic Europeans”. His comment came after the court was told Mrs Landor, who goes by the pen name Jessica D’Este, owns the lease on the 2,000 square foot flat, which has four bedrooms.But Kevin Pettican, the barrister for the freehold owners, Ashley Gardens Freeholds Limited, said she is in breach of a condition that it be used by a single family only. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Neighbours in Ashley Gardens are in a legal fight with Credit:Paul Keogh Mr Pettican told Judge Damien Lochrane that she previously advertised for guests on websites including Spareroom.co.uk and Airbnb, although the flat is no longer on those websites.Comings and goings have irritated some of her neighbours, principally Mary Drummond, 62, who lives in the flat beneath, the court heard.Giving evidence, Mrs Drummond said there had been a “constant stream” of guests to the block, which has previously been visited by Thomas Hardy and is said to have inspired W Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and the Sixpence.”The quantity is what we are complaining about,” she told the judge. “We are talking about changing guests in the same day.”In her defence, Mrs Landor claims that, whether she had run a commercial guest house at the flat in the past or not, she has not done so for 18 months or more.But Mrs Drummond, an interior designer, claimed the problem is an ongoing one. “We are still getting people walking above our heads at 4am,” she said. “If this was a flat with a single family occupancy, we wouldn’t have nearly so many problems.”I don’t spend my entire life listening for noise. I would hear wheelie cases going across the marble hall in the hallway as they come and go.”Frequent music recitals and arty late-night soirees have also caused disruption in the genteel block, which is located on a quiet street close to Victoria Station. One party, which Mrs Drummond said featured a flamenco dancer, had set the chandeliers swinging in her flat. Two guests who had been mentioned were in fact a Korean film maker and French actress and writer, who were working on a script with Mrs Landor’s daughter, he said.He added that Mrs Landor had remedied any breach of her lease by stopping taking strangers as guests and that the freeholders had waived any right to forfeit the lease by accepting her ground rent.To turf her out on her ear would be devastating for a pensioner with a rare neurological disorder which can incapacitate her for weeks on end.”Her occupation of the flat is integral to her lifestyle,” he said. “The flat is full of antiques and objet d’art. She regards the flat as itself ‘an art installation’. The flat has been her home for 43 years. She has nowhere else that she could live.”It would not be an exaggeration to say that a decision that required her to leave her flat would be a life-changing matter for her.”The case was adjourned until a later date.