A landlord has been struck off after inspectors found he had 12 people living in a “recipe for disaster” flat with a series of “electrical defects”.
Ashiq Rasul’s flat on Paisley Road West was examined by the fire service and council officials, who discovered exposed wiring and had concerns over the condition of the boiler and gas hob.
Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the city’s licensing committee, said the landlord had made “glaring errors”, adding: “It looks as if you have just shoehorned people into this property and it’s not fit for purpose.
“You could have had fires. Someone could have touched the exposed wires. You are liable for that. You are putting people’s lives at risk.”
The committee decided on Wednesday that Mr Rasul, who was represented by his son, was not a “fit and proper” person and removed him from the register of private landlords.
He did not have a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence, which is required by anyone letting a property to three or more people who are not related. It is a criminal offence to operate without a HMO licence, which can lead to a fine of up to £50,000.
A council official said an unannounced inspection of the property was carried out in January due to concerns it was being used as an unlicensed HMO.
It was established that the number of occupants residing in the flat totalled 12, the official said, and concerns were raised with Scottish Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland. More than two people are still staying in the property, councillors heard this week.
Mr Rasul, who would “occasionally” stay at the flat”, “failed to identify himself as the landlord” and “maintained he was a friend of the landlord”, the official told the committee.
His son later said his dad “doesn’t understand much English, so when he was on the phone to me, I told him what they were saying”.
A suspension of rent order was issued to the landlord in February.
Later that month, a gas safety certificate and electrical installation condition report were sent to the council. Another inspection found 10 people in the flat, a “number of electrical defects” and raised concerns over the condition of the boiler and gas hob.
Defects included: exposed wires in the basement bedroom, a light fitting not installed properly, part of the ceiling missing in the basement shower room and a light fitting in the basement hanging from the ceiling with exposed wires.
The conditions “raised concerns about the authenticity of the previously supplied certification”, the council official said. He added Scottish Fire and Rescue issued an enforcement notice but repairs were not carried out within the required timeframe.
The official later said the gas engineer regulator, Gas Safe Register, “found against that engineer” as there were “matters he should have picked up on at the time”.
He added the electrician said some of his recommendations were “absent” from the documents received by the council.
There was also an “absence of smoke alarms” and “a number of doors had padlocks on”, the committee heard. The official added no legionella risk assessment, proof of building insurance or information on tenancy deposits had been provided.
He said the council was “satisfied” that more than two people had been paying rent at the property, and every room in the house had “bed space”.
Mr Rasul’s son claimed most of the work had been carried out, and a gas safety and electrical report had been provided to the council. He said tenants had been issued with a notice to quit.
He added the flat was a seven-to-eight-bedroom property. “It wasn’t rented out to all of them, it was rented out to two tenants.
“It’s mostly students in there, they’ve been getting their pals over. Whenever we go over, the pals are just stopping for a wee bit, that’s what we’ve been told. They’re going to leave, but they end up staying.”
He said it was the first time his dad had been a landlord, and repairs had taken so long as they “needed to get tradesmen”.
Cllr Wilson said: “It is his responsibility to know everybody who is in that property.”
He added the fire service had concerns over the gas. “You’ve got 12 people in a property that could go on fire. 12 people who shouldn’t have been there.
“If you have an overcrowded property and there are concerns about fire, electrical installations, you are putting a lot of people at risk.”
Mr Rasul’s son said “all the reports have been done though”.
Cllr Wilson said: “Eventually, it wasn’t done in a timely fashion.
“You’ve got an electrician who hasn’t done a proper report to start with. You are having to go back to get other certification.
“There are items identified on inspection which are massive causes for concerns, where you’ve got exposed wiring. That was a recipe for disaster. You could have easily had a fire in that property.”