Concerns over 9 tenants ‘crammed’ in one West End flat
A Glasgow landlord has been handed a new licence despite neighbours raising concerns over nine tenants “crammed” into a top floor flat.
The city’s licensing committee has awarded a three-year licence renewal to Resinvest Ltd for a West End property where the firm is running a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Councillors made the decision despite objections from Dowanhill, Hyndland and Kelvinside Community Council and Gurjit Sidhu, a resident in the block at 12 Ruthven Street.
Mr Sidhu told councillors how the nine-person HMO “almost doubles the occupancy of the whole close” and isn’t “providing a positive experience for tenants”.
He claimed the number of tenants has caused overflowing bins and rats.
However, Ross Armstrong, representing the applicant, said the flat had been used as a HMO since 1987 and no concerns over the occupancy had been raised during a council inspection.
The top floor flat in the Ruthven Street property has eight bedrooms which can be used by nine tenants.
A council officer said an inspection had been carried out in March and the flat was found to be “satisfactory” with certification for electric, gas, buildings insurance all in place and no history of complaints.
There had previously been a warning over the management of the property and repairs, to deal with “water penetration” and slamming fire doors, were requested at a mid-term inspection in February 2020. They were “resolved promptly”, the officer said.
Mr Sidhu told the committee that the “close knit community” in the block is “suffering as a result” of the top floor flat.
He said: “I myself am a landlord in Glasgow so hopefully I am not providing a one sided argument here,. “The HMO on the top floor almost doubles the occupancy of the whole close and takes the total number of people in the close from 10 to 19.
“This is a substantial increase and the close knit community is suffering as a result. Nine people crammed into a top floor flat isn’t providing a positive experience for the tenants or the rest of the residents.
“We know that because the tenants have complained to us about how there are too many people in the flat and this was leading to a high turnover of residents.”
He added: “We are working really hard to keep the community thriving, we just need more people to treat their houses like a home and build stronger communities.”
However, Mr Armstrong, for Resinvest Ltd, said: “I don’t think there is any suggestion that having the number of listed occupants in the listed number of rooms would be problematic.
“The property has been subject to inspection, inspecting officers from the HMO unit seem to be comfortable with the standard of accommodation for the number of people listed in the application.”
He added the letter of representation to the committee stated the tenants have been “lovely.”
The licence was subject to conditions on refuse disposal, he said, and there is “no suggestion that those have not been adhered to.”
He said: “We are obviously sympathetic, and I think everybody knows there is a tension between the need to provide accommodation for people in the West End of Glasgow particularly and the rights of owner-occupiers.”
Speaking at last week’s meeting, licensing committee chairman, Councillor Alex Wilson, said: “In terms of space, it is compliant with the regulations in terms of having nine people in it.”