Landlord who installed 20p ‘pay as you go’ shower refused licence

The landlord said tenants would pay 20p for a 20-minute shower in the four bed tenement in Glasgow.

Landlord who installed 20p ‘pay as you go’ shower refused licence :Tero Vesalainen via IStock
Landlord: Tenants forced to pay 20p to use tenement shower.

A landlord of a Glasgow flat where tenants had to put 20p into a coin meter to use the shower has been refused a licence.

Councillors raised concerns about the ‘pay per go’ shower at the four bedsit tenement in 94 Cartvale Road, Langside at a meeting.

SNP politician Rhiannon Spear said she couldn’t “believe her ears” when she heard people paid to wash every time. 

A council inspection also found seven issues to be addressed at the property, which have mostly been addressed. 

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Politicians quizzed Elinor Johnstone, who was applying for a three year house in multiple occupation licence, over the regime for checking the property. 

Her husband Jim told the licensing and regulatory committee the routine would involve travelling from Inverness to empty the coin meter every couple of months.

Expressing disappointment, committee chair Councillor Alex Wilson said: “Did you just empty the coins and walk away?”

Labour councillor Frank Docherty was told by the landlord 20p would give tenants 20 minutes in the shower.

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Councillor Spear said: “Renting to anybody in Glasgow is an absolute privilege. I’m not sure you understand the responsibility and are keeping up with the responsibility.”

Pointing to Covid as an issue and responding to councillor queries, Mr Johnstone said: “We have not been able to get down and do the inspections we would have in the past.”

Admitting there have been problems, Mr Johnstone said: “We hold our hands up. We got it wrong this time. Things will improve. We are happy to admit that.”

He assured councillors a letting company would be hired to manage the property going forward.

Councillor Spear said she “couldn’t believe her ears” over the pay per use shower and said it gave her “concern.”

Shaking her head in disapproval during the meeting, she pointed out how people’s finances can fluctuate throughout the month.

SNP Councillor Wilson said the inspection regime and the showering situation “did not sit well” with him. 

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Mrs Johnstone was refused a three year house in multiple occupation licence. 

In April council officials inspected the premises in April for living standards and found seven issues needing fixed. 

Five of the issues have been addressed. 

They included the communal shower room needing a ceiling light fitting, new floor coverings and decoration of the walls and roof.

Other issues involved a bedsit requiring a carbon monoxide detector to be installed and a kitchen in another bedsit needing to be thoroughly cleaned, redecorated and the floor covering replaced.

Three bedrooms needed to be modernised in the future if the licence was granted.

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Sarah Hilley