Glasgow common good property tenants owe £150,000

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Glasgow City Council’s common good properties made just over £275,00 last year from rent, but tenants owe debts of about £150,000.

Six shops on Byres Road, nine on Great Western Road and three on Dumbarton Road are among the assets owned, which also include a farm.

A property manager says it is working with tenants on repayment plans and offering rent reductions to help them with arrears.

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What are the properties?

The Byres Road units bring in £57,000 annually, while the nine premises on Great Western Road and Park Road generate £164,550 per year.

Glasgow City Council made £275,000 from the properties.Glasgow City Council made £275,000 from the properties.
Glasgow City Council made £275,000 from the properties. | JC

Victorian Breckenridge House on Sauchiehall Street is being rented out for a ‘peppercorn’ amount for decades but a lump sum was paid when the lease began.

There is an empty common good cottage in Pollok Country Park, which it is proposed to lease to Hutchesons Grammar who want to demolish it. Another cottage in the park is under a 60-year lease.

Meanwhile, a 27-acre farm outside the council boundary is also part of the portfolio. Humbie Farm in East Renfrewshire is generating a yearly rent of £1150. Efforts are being made to lease another part of the farm.

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Cathkin Braes Country Park is let to SSE Generation Limited as a windfarm with a base rent of £3000 annually. The council receives an ‘equity’ share of income.

Difficult economic times

The finance and audit scrutiny committee was presented with an update on City Property Glasgow’s management of the common good property portfolio yesterday.

Commenting on efforts to support tenants through difficult economic times and recover arrears, senior group manager, of City Property Glasgow, Marc Canning said: “We continue to offer support to tenants – we have agreement for rent reduction and also repayment plans.”

Those measures are expected to reduce arrears by about £44,000.

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He added: “Additionally we are in the progress of an assignation of a lease which should clear £42,000 of arrears – a little under £90,000 in total.

HIllhead Councillor Ken Andrew, SNP, queried why the properties in Great Western Road and Park Road were making a larger amount.

He said: “I’d expect a Byres Road property or Dumbarton Road property to be something like the same level as Great Western Road or Park Road property. I’m curious about the difference.

“The fact you can get that level of rental is fantastic – why is there such a difference?”

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Mr Canning said it can depend on the amount of floorspace and that the rates are market rent levels.

Property list

Some of the common good properties being rented:

Property address and annual rent

53 to 67 Byres Road – £57,000 annually

4 to 6 Dowanhill Street – £6,000 annually

174 to 182 Dumbarton Road – £18,900 annually

407 to 439 Great Western Road and 6 Park Road – £164,550 annually

33 to 37 Riverford Road are currently vacant – Rentals being arranged to generate £14,750 annually

Cathkin Braes Country Park – £3,000 (base rent) annually

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