A rogue landlord who rented flats in a block where a fatal fire broke out has been banned from letting property.
Harpal Singh was found to be illegally leasing 14 properties in Glasgow without a licence. The landlord who rented flats in a block where a fatal fire broke out in 1999 has been banned from letting property.
In 1999, two students – James Fraser and Daniel Heron – died after they became trapped inside a basement flat owned by Harpal Singh when a fire broke out in the property. A third boy, Christopher Lewis, was saved by firefighters.
Singh was jailed for 30 months for perjury after lying under oath at the fatal accident inquiry into the deaths, which ruled all three boys would have survived had the flat had working smoke alarms and didn't have metal bars over the windows.
Despite his role in the tragedy, councillors have been told he has continued to illegally rent out 14 unsafe properties while unlicensed.
The council have been building a case against Singh ever since he reapplied to be a landlord in 2013.
An inspection report of the properties in November 2017 revealed a list of dangerous problems, including lack of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, damaged floors, damp, windows which do not open, a leaking boiler, no window vents and cracked windows. Six of the properties have now been placed under closure orders
Mr Singh now possibly faces a £50,000 fine for acting as an unlicensed landlord, and has also been ordered to pay a £150,000 council tax bill.
Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said: "I was absolutely appalled that this man could go ahead and illegally rent out flats.
"I was appalled that he had the nerve and the cheek to put forward for another landlord licence.
"I think the council has acted swiftly but it's appalling that he was able to get away with it for all these years."
A spokesman said: "Officers from the Landlord Registration Unit have worked extremely hard to gather the evidence that has led to this decision.
"Recently acquired powers of inspection allowed us to gain entry to the applicant's properties for the first time and that revealed multiple issues with the condition of those properties.
"The applicant was also found to be operating unlicensed HMOs as well as running up substantial council tax arrears.
"We are pleased that the members of the committee found that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to be a landlord."