A landlord couple have been refused an HMO licence renewal after admitting they charged tenants 20p to use the shower.

Glasgow councillors heard that Elinor and Jim Johnstone installed a coin meter in the four-bed HMO in Cartvale Road, Langside (pictured), and would travel from Inverness to empty it every couple of months.

They told the licensing and regulatory committee that 20p would give tenants 20 minutes in the ‘pay as you go’ shower.

A Glasgow Council inspection found seven issues at the property, including the lack of a carbon monoxide detector and a kitchen in one bedsit needing to be thoroughly cleaned, redecorated and the floor covering replaced. The property has been operating as a licenced HMO since at least 2008.

Three bedrooms also required modernising if the licence was granted in the future.


Councillors quizzed the pair over the regime for checking the property and they admitted the routine would involve travelling. Expressing disappointment, committee chair councillor Alex Wilson asked: “Did you just empty the coins and walk away?”

hmo glasgow councillor

Councillor Rhiannon Spear (pictured) said she couldn’t believe her ears when she heard people paid to wash every time.

She added: “Renting to anybody in Glasgow is an absolute privilege. I’m not sure you understand the responsibility and are keeping up with the responsibility.”

Pointing to Covid as an issue, Mr Johnstone told them: “We have not been able to get down and do the inspections we would have in the past. We hold our hands up. We got it wrong this time. Things will improve – we are happy to admit that.” He added that a letting company would now be hired to manage the property.


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