Landlords in Glasgow are facing stricter rules on how they operate their properties.
The new regulations are aimed at curbing the impact that houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) can have on communities.
The conditions, which cover cleansing issues, repairs to common property and dealing with neighbour complaints, have come into effect following a review by Glasgow City Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee.
The review identified concerns linked to the presence of HMOs in neighbourhoods across the city, particularly where there are high concentrations of this type of rental property.
High levels of refuse from HMOs being left in back courts and lanes has been a common complaint to the Council, with a surge in bulk waste being dumped at the end of the academic year also being raised as a recurring problem.
William Beckett, Garnethill Neighbourhood Watch, has welcomed the changes after a landlord in area was penalised repeatedly for the rubbish left in his back court.
William Beckett, said: “I hope this is enough to stop it and I just hope that all landlords take heed of the new conditions.
“It gives them more power as well with their tenants to say look this has got to stop, these are the new rules, you’ve got to comply with these conditions, failing that then you’ll have to leave.”
Public consultation feedback also focused on difficulties with securing support from HMO landlords for repairs and maintenance to common parts of flats.
How to deal with noise and other anti-social behaviour was also flagged as a source of on-going disputes.
Councillor Alex Wilson, Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said that striking a balance between the needs of neighbourhoods, residents, HMO tenants and landlords was essential.
He said: “I’m hoping to see a massive difference in the number of complaints that we get especially from community councils which is where the majority of complaints do come from.
“I would like to think that if there is an example to be set then hopefully the private rented sector will see the same changes, everyone will benefit.”
The new conditions for HMOs will cover:- general refuse ; maintenance, insurance and repairs of common areas; bulk refuse; neighbouring residents and statutory notices.
All of these conditions will be incorporated into a new code of conduct, which will apply to all HMO licence holders.
As part of the new conditions, a pilot project will be operated through the cleansing service provided by the council’s Neighbourhoods and Sustainability department.
The pilot will involve landlords notifying the council in advance of flats being cleared of items at the beginning or end or the academic year to ensure bulk waste is reported for collection.
By Susan Ripoll