Landlord 'put flat tenants at risk' over fire alarm safety checks

The landlord, who rented the property to four people, blamed 'ill health' for the delays.

Glasgow landlord refused HMO licence after ‘putting tenants at risk’ over fire alarm safety checks iStock

A landlord has been accused of putting tenants in his West End flat “at risk” after required fire alarm checks weren’t carried out appropriately.

Glasgow’s licensing committee refused Meenakshi Sood’s bid to renew his HMO licence for a Woodlands Road property after concerns were raised by the fire service.

They were told it had been “extremely difficult” to engage with the landlord following an inspection in October last year, and an annual alarm maintenance certificate is still outstanding.

Mr Sood, who has been renting the flat to four people, blamed “ill health” for the delays.

Councillor Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, suggested the landlord should employ a company to manage the flat.

“Lives are getting put at risk, you need to be a lot more serious about this,” he added.

The landlord said: “I shall get someone if I can’t do it properly.” 

A spokesman for Scottish Fire and Rescue told the committee that a fire risk assessment had only been submitted “very, very recently” and “no annual certification for maintenance of the alarm” had been provided.

“The last time it was due for renewal, we had the same issues trying to get that documentation,” he said, which raises concerns over “the general management and attitude” of the landlord.

Mr Sood claimed the fire alarm was tested once a week. However, the fire service spokesman said the maintenance certificate needed to be signed off by a “competent person, by a contractor”.

Councillor Wilson said: “We are not talking about someone pressing a button every week, we are talking about someone coming out every year to service your alarm, to make sure it’s still working and it’s up to date.

“That is still outstanding. That is a real concern considering you have got four people living in this property. Those four people are at risk because there’s deficiencies. 

“I have great concerns over how you are running this property and I would urge you to look into having someone take it off your hands and run it for you.”

Mr Sood claimed he had sent all the documents that “needed to be addressed” and said he had not been “feeling great with the Covid”.

“I’ve sent everything,” he added. “It took time.”

He later added he would “endeavour” to deal with outstanding issues.

The fire service spokesman added: “We would like to see a demonstration that you are going to improve your management and engage with us going forward.

“Ultimately we still need to see the fire alarm certification and it needs to be done annually.”

HMO (house in multiple occupation) licences are required when a landlord rents their property to three or more people who are not related to one another.

There were also delays submitting documents to the council’s HMO unit, with some not received until late July.

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