Nine Govanhill landlords struck from council register

Govanhill PRS stockGlasgow City Council has banned nine landlords in the Govanhill area from renting out homes following a string of failures and concerns over the condition of properties.

One of the landlords had been letting a property with faulty electrics, no hot water, a broken toilet and holes in ceilings and floor.

All nine now face criminal prosecution and fines of up to £50,000 if they try to let out properties.

The council was able to make eight of the bans as a result of an Enhanced Enforcement Area (EEA) in Govanhill.

Glasgow City Council became the first council in Scotland to be granted powers to designate an EEA in an effort to clamp down on rogue landlords in September 2015.

The ruling allowed the council to compel landlords of four Govanhill tenements to submit to a criminal record check, produce a buildings insurance policy, and provide safety certificates.

Lawrence Reilly, Usman Ul Haq, Abid Mahmood, ISRA Investments, Abdul Ali, Shazia Akhtar, Abdul Shakoor and Furrukh Saleem failed to provide a range of certification, including an enhanced criminal record check, buildings insurances, energy performance, gas safety and confirmation that tenants received tenant information packs.

There were also concerns about the condition of two of their properties.

All had rentals within four blocks of tenement flats bordered by Calder Street, Westmoreland St, Dixon Avenue and Annette Street.

The ninth landlord, Mohammed Usman, owns a property of “below tolerable standard” on Langside Road, which is outwith the EEA.

His property had previously been the subject of a closure order due to failings that included faulty electrics, no hot water as well a broken toilet and holes in ceilings and the floor.

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, co-chair of Glasgow City Council’s Govanhill Taskforce, welcomed the decisions by the licensing and regulatory committee as a significant contribution to the wider effort to bring lasting change to Govanhill.

She said: “These decisions show the impact the Enhanced Enforcement Area is having in Govanhill. The EEA means the council has the right to demand high standards from landlords working in Govanhill, otherwise they will ultimately be taken to task.

“But the EEA has also provided a platform for better overall engagement with landlords and that has led directly to a substantial improvement in housing conditions, a big increase in the number of closes being factored and a drop in anti-social behaviour.

“The EEA is now going to be rolled out across a further fourteen blocks in south-west Govanhill and I fully anticipate its initial success will be repeated across the wider area. Along with the multi-million pound acquisition programme and the appointment of a neighbourhood manager for cleansing, the EEA is a major part of our work to deliver lasting change for Govanhill.”

Councillor Alex Wilson, chair of the council’s licensing and regulatory committee, added: “Tenants are entitled to expect their home is safe and secure and their landlord is a fit and proper person to do the job. When we are presented with evidence of landlords failing to live up to the standards expected of them we will take the appropriate action.”

An application to designate a further 14 tenement blocks in Govanhill as an EEA was approved by the Scottish Government last month.

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