Firm 'put lives at risk' running unlicensed ten-bed house

HMO licences are needed when a landlord allows their property to be occupied by three or more people who are not related.

Firm ‘put lives at risk’ running unlicensed ten-bed house in Glasgow Google Maps

A company has been issued a severe warning after it “put lives at risk” by letting tenants live in an unlicensed ten-bed house on London Road.

An inspection by Glasgow City Council officials found five people were still living in the building despite Camden Properties failing to lodge a renewal application for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence in time.

Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, the chair of the city’s licensing committee, said the firm had put “lives at risk by not following procedures”.

HMO licences are needed when a landlord allows their property to be occupied by three or more people who are not related.

Cllr Wilson said operating an unlicensed HMO meant the firm was “not covered by insurance”.

The licence process includes inspections by council officials and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Owners can be asked to carry out work to meet the required standard and to provide safety certificates.

A representative for the company, who said they have had “sleepless nights” over the error, apologised for their “mistake”.

Council officials inspected the home, which had been a HMO since 1993, in December last year and reported the property was “satisfactory” but should not be in use as a HMO until a licence was granted.

Cllr Wilson asked the company’s representative what steps had been taken to remove tenants.

She said there has been a “natural reduction” from five people to four, but added: “There’s still four people there. They have been there for 10 plus years, previously homeless. I felt that due to my error it would be wrong to evict them.”

The representative added “all the fire safety regulations” are in place and a no smoking policy has been implemented.

Cllr Wilson said: “You can have all the regulations you like, but you can still have a fire. You have left people at risk, that is the biggest problem.

“I understand that mistakes happen, but first and foremost we have to look at people’s safety, we have to look at making sure that anyone you put in a HMO is going to be 100% confident that their own lives are not put at risk.

“You did put their lives at risk by not following procedures.”

The applicant said it was “a genuine admin error”.

The firm has taken on extra staff since the error to “focus on licensing and renewal dates”.

The committee agreed to grant a licence for a restricted period of one year, and issued a “severe warning regarding the applicant’s future management of the premises”.

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