Students holding “wild” parties, including live bands at 4am and a skateboarding competition, are creating “hell” for their neighbours in Glasgow.
Fed-up West End residents told the city’s licensing committee how they had resorted to calling the police following parties on Kersland Street.
The landlord Sanjeev Kohli was warned over his future management of the property but his House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence was extended for another three years, and neighbours admitted the problems are difficult for Kohli Properties to deal with.
Four representations were sent to the council raising issues with the six-person Kersland Street property.
Gary Forsyth, a member of Kersland Street Neighbours’ Association, told the committee how there are “streetwide” problems with anti-social behaviour but issues at the property have been “going back many years”.
“We have had instances such as a live band at 4am on Tuesday mornings, we had a skateboard ollie competition which cracked our fireplace off the wall, but most recently we’ve had those parties that I’ve mentioned in 2020 and 2021.
“It seems to be just the sheer amount of people and there just doesn’t seem to be any respect for any neighbours and that’s really our main issue.”
Mr Forsyth continued: “This isn’t just an issue with Kohli Properties in the slightest, we are surrounded. We’ve had something like 20 to 30 major anti-social instances in the last year in Kersland Street. It seems to be they had a two-year break and they’ve come back and it’s been like opening a zoo. It’s been absolutely wild.”
The Kersland Street home, which isn’t being let out currently while water ingress issues are fixed, is managed by Kohli Properties. Ed O’Brien, representing the firm, said: “It was clearly the party from hell for the neighbours.
“It really was a terrible party, with bongo drums playing outside at that time of the morning. There is no excuse for it, the tenants were warned about it. We have a strict anti-social behaviour policy, all tenants before they get the keys are made aware of it.”
A representative from Kohli Properties has attended a meeting of the neighbours’ association to discuss the concerns. Mr Forsyth welcomed this and said: “We’re not trying to stop a HMO or put people out of business.
“We’re just trying to have some kind of cooperation with landlords, agents and tenants to basically try and avoid these issues.”
However, he added: “It’s very hard for any of us to give assurances that things won’t happen again. We’ve had assurances for different properties in this area for five or ten years, what we find is they move in, they have a moving-in party, a month before they move out, they have a moving-out party. There’s nothing any of us can do to stop those.”
He believes the induction process is key and wants tenants to be made aware they are living among families. “Would you do this behaviour in your own home?,” he added. “Would you do this in the same street your mum and dad live in?”
Mr Forsyth said there was recently a “riotous” party on the street where 40 to 50 people turned up.
“The issue a lot of the time you have is somebody has a small party then the phones are ringing, the texts are going, they lost control of the party.
“Sometimes it’s not the tenants’ direct fault, it’s certainly not the fault of Kohli Properties. It’s just a symptom of what happens when that ball starts rolling.”
Councillor Wilson said: “I’m really glad you’ve got your residents’ association, I think that’s fantastic. I always think they work really well when people can iron out problems there.”
Mr O’Brien said Kohli Properties was reinforcing its anti-social behaviour policy and considering reducing the number of tenants in the flat. “We are being proactive and it has been very good to make contact with the local neighbourhood association.”
He added: “This particular flat has been a great concern to the Kohli property company, we know it’s going to be let out, it’s got to be a sensitive let.
Mr O’Brien said the previous tenants had been “beyond the pale”. “The parents were very contrite, not necessarily so all the tenants were that contrite. They felt victimised.”
In future, the company would start eviction proceedings, Mr O’Brien said, but added: “You cannot just throw them out overnight. There is a due legal process that has to be followed.”