These are the rich land­lords who make a for­tune hous­ing mi­grants in filthy squalor. Now they face los­ing mil­lions

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Front Page - Nor­man Sil­vester


Judg­ing from the squalid con­di­tions, it is hard to be­lieve any­one would be ex­pected to live here.

Cow­boy electrics, damp and mould-rid­den rooms along with scenes of gutwrench­ing filth right on the doorstep.

These stom­ach-churn­ing images were pro­vided by in­ves­ti­ga­tors clamp­ing down on the would-be ty­coons tak­ing ad­van­tage of their des­per­ate ten­ants.

This is 21st-cen­tury hous­ing in Glas­gow’s Go­van­hill – a work­ing class hous­ing es­tate that has dis­solved into a night­mar­ish ghetto.

And greedy land­lords – now be­ing tar­geted in a crack­down on slum con­di­tions – are to blame.

They’ve snapped up prop­er­ties on the cheap and spent lit­tle or no money main­tain­ing them.

In­stead, they’ve crammed vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple – many of them im­mi­grants – into over­crowded flats and charged eye-wa­ter­ing rents. It is be­lieved there are as many as 2600 pri­vate land­lords in the area.

Res­i­dents have spo­ken of their homes be­ing in­fested with rats, cock­roaches and bed bugs.

Ear­lier this year, film­maker Paul Sng likened the area to a Vic­to­rian slum.

Some cam­paign­ers have called for bull­doz­ers to flat­ten prop­er­ties seized from of­fend­ers and so­cial hous­ing built in­stead.

Liz Ar­mour Cros­bie, an ac­tivist with the Go­van­hill Com­mu­nity Cam­paign, claims her com­mu­nity has been de­stroyed by rogue land­lords and over­crowd­ing.

She said: “My sis­ter stays in Allison Street, there’s lots of over­crowd­ing in her close.

“There’s a fam­ily out the back of her flat. God knows how many peo­ple stay in that flat.

“They use bin shel­ters to go to the toi­let. You want to see the state of some of the houses. The place is dis­gust­ing.”

Liz says over­crowd­ing, poor san­i­ta­tion and waste dis­posal have seen bed bugs and ver­min thrive in the run­down ten­e­ments. And rats the size of cats run wild in back courts.

Liz added ten­e­ments were past the point of re­pair and that whole streets should be de­mol­ished.

She said: “It would be a clean slate, Go­van­hill de­serves it.

“They should take it all down, they’re over­run with bed bugs, mice and rats.”

Adam Lang, head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pol­icy at hous­ing char­ity Shel­ter Scot­land, added: “Last year, 46 per cent of those who came to Shel­ter Scot­land for help were pri­vate renters.

“Of that num­ber, 40 per cent were peo­ple with is­sues about the con­di­tion of their hous­ing or prob­lems with their land­lord.”

BANNED Rogue land­lords Jo­har Mirza and, right, Akhtar Ali on track Se­crets to stay­ing

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