Warning for landlord after complaint about noisy bagpiper and parties

Sabhab Holdings applied for a house in multiple occupation licence for a flat in Glasgow.

Warning for landlord after complaint about noisy bagpiper and parties iStock

A property firm has been given a severe warning over a Glasgow flat which was previously home to a noisy bagpiper and had water leaking into a house below. 

A neighbour complained about parties and other issues at the first-floor tenement property in Derby Street rented out by Sabhab Holdings.

The Mauritius-registered company applied for a three-year house in multiple occupation licence (HMO) at the licensing and regulatory committee last week. 

Referring to a resident’s complaint about a bagpiper tenant playing in the flat, representative Archie MacIver said there were a variety of complaints about noise dating back to 2019. 

He added: “What is fairly clear from the complaint letter is there is no suggestion that the playing was taking place during the night. It seems to be during the day.

“He was walking up and down the room beating his feet to keep time.”

Explaining how the applicant didn’t know about the pipes being played, Mr MacIver said the letter of objection from the downstairs resident was the first time they had heard about the music.  

He added: “If the matter is not brought to their attention and it is occurring during the daytime there is not a lot the applicants could have done if they had known, which they didn’t.

“There can be a tendency when people are living in a HMO flat that somehow they are expected almost not to behave as they would do if the flat was owned by them. There is a higher standard expected.”

He added: “Had we known, the applicant would have had a word with the tenant and reminded them to go out to Kelvingrove Park and practice the bagpipes.”

Receiving confirmation that the applicant had a 24/7 phone line for reporting problems, councillor David Turner said: “It doesn’t matter if it is night or day, if someone is playing bagpipes the whole tenement would hear it. A young baby would have issues with that.”

Responding to concerns raised about parties, Mr MacIver said the applicants didn’t know about them. 

He said: “There are a lot of allegations here and not a lot of evidence to back up what is being said.”

Mr MacIver said: “I accept 100% that anybody and everybody deserves the right to enjoy their own property without disturbance. I understand and agree with that.”

He pointed out the residents have only had three parties in three years “taking everything as gospel” that had been mentioned in the complaint. 

The committee heard there had also been a delay of more than two years until ventilation was installed in a new toilet in February.  

Earlier in the meeting Mr MacIver said a £20,000 refurbishment in 2018 which saw a new bathroom installed caused a leak into the home below. 

He said the issue was immediately dealt with by plumbers and the firm offered to repair any damage to the downstairs flat. 

The Glasgow City Council meeting heard the previous tenants including the bagpiper had moved out and different people currently live there.

Councillors granted Sabhab Holdings a licence for a restricted one-year subject to conditions and issued a severe warning over its management of the premises.

Committee chair, councillor Alex Wilson, asked the applicant, who agreed, to engage with the neighbour to establish communication for a more harmonious relationship.

By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley

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