Landlord of illegal HMO denied licence

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The landlord of a Southside flat which was being used as an illegal HMO property when a pipe burst – flooding the homes of residents’ below – has been denied a licence.

Siyi Lin, who lives in China, had three people staying at his flat when Glasgow City Council inspectors visited in November last year.

Any landlord allowing their premises to be lived in by three or more people, who are not related, must have a HMO – houses in multiple occupation – licence.

Mr Lin’s agent Ruiding Zhou appeared before the city’s licensing committee in an attempt to secure permission for the Wellcroft Place property.

He told councillors there had been a “misunderstanding” of the rules as a Christian couple, who were unable to share a room before marriage, were living in the flat. Mr Zhou said they didn’t think a HMO licence would be required for the couple.

However, residents in the block said they were fed up with Mr Lin’s management. The daughter of resident Peter Duffy said there had also been issues with noise and cigarettes being discarded from windows.

Flooding from the burst pipe meant her dad had to move out of his home for five weeks while another man slipped, sustaining a head injury. “Through all of this the landlord has never once said sorry to the residents,” Mr Duffy’s daughter said.

“There’s such a disregard for the people in that block. I can’t see it changing because of the landlord’s attitude.”

Mr Zhou said the burst pipe had been a “pure accident” and the landlord had asked him to apologise. “I’m sorry for the late apology. I will take this on board, creating a peaceful environment with neighbours.”

The committee heard there had also been a delay replacing a prepaid electrical meter, which are not permitted in HMO properties. Mr Zhou said that was due to waiting for electricity suppliers.

Alex Wilson, chairman of the licensing committee, said landlords have a responsibility to make sure their properties meet the required standard. He said Mr Lin’s flat had a “number of deficiencies”.

“If I was going to live in this property I would not be happy with my landlord.”