FROM slum housing to a luxury family home - these images show how a flat repossessed from a crooked landlord has been transformed.

And council bosses hope this success story will feed in to the wider regeneration of Govanhill.

After a closure order from Glasgow City Council and the landlord and letting agent being struck off, the flat was put up for sale.

It is now in the possession of reputable owner-occupiers who are determined to help raise standards in the immediate community.

This includes pushing for a factor for the block, with Southside Housing Association in talks to take it over.

Gary Ross and his partner Gary Thomson, 51, have spent the past five months renovating their new home.

Mr Ross said: “It was Gary who was really keen to view the flat and we only had a brief window to do it as we were flying off on holiday in the afternoon.

“I was a bit reluctant but as soon as I saw it, I could see the potential and I knew it was the one for us.

“I lived in Strathbungo so I am well aware of the problems in the area and the reputation of the area but I was in no way put off by that.

“This area is up and coming and I think it’s changing a lot faster than people realise.”

The property, on Langside Road, is unrecognisable from when council officers were first called to the scene.

Neighbours had reported concerns about the cockroach and bedbug infested flat where a family of five, from Romania, were living in squalor.

Two teenage children and a toddler were housed in the property with their parents, who were renting from private landlord Mohammed Usman through letting agent Akhtar Ali.

The Evening Times told last September how Mr Usman was one of nine rogue landlords banned from renting out properties under terms of Govanhill’s first Enhanced Enforcement Area (EEA).

Council officials found faulty electrics, no hot water, a broken toilet and holes in ceilings and floor.

The kitchen was unusable with the ceiling collapsed in and the only water coming in through a hose pipe to a sink that was sitting on a table.

All electricity came from one plug socket and the bathroom was almost unusable.

During renovation works, Mr Ross said he cleared 72 bags of rubble from the hallway alone in order to make the area habitable.

The family was offered council support to move out but chose to find their own alternative accommodation.

Glasgow City Council issued a closure order on the property but Mr Usman failed to carry out necessary repairs or appeal the order within the required 21 days.

He was then given a further 28 days to make the repairs but, when he refused to act, the property was repossessed by his mortgage company and Mr Usman was reported to council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee.

The former landlord was then removed from the Private Landlord Registration Unit register.

One of the council officers who first attended the property, but who asked not to be named, said: “The flat was below tolerable standards when we first entered it - it really was in a terrible state.

“It now looks fantastic and this is what we want to see for the area.

“With the introduction of factors and reputable owners who care about the property and about the area, we can see real change.”

She added: “The types of issues we see in properties in Govanhill are not really different from those you see around the city. The difference is the overcrowding. You don’t see that as much elsewhere.

“Glasgow is facing a real demand for housing so people are keen to buy in this area and this shows what can be done with property.”

Owners in 290 to 294 have agreed to instruct a factor and essential repairs will now be carried out to railings along the front of the block.

Mr Ross is now setting up his own design business, GR8 Decorators, after working on his new home and he’s keen to encourage others to think of Govanhill as an option.

The 52-year-old said: “I'm looking at other flats in the area to renovate now I've seen what's possible.

"It was a very steep learning curve but we had a lot of support from the council, such as with pest control, but it was a bigger job than I could have imagined.

"I feel now I could take on anything after tackling this and I'm happy to speak to anyone who needs advice.

"I know there are people looking for affordable family homes and they shouldn't be put off."

Owners of The Sparkle Horse pub, in the West End, is opening up a new branch in Govanhill and the area is seeing a slew of independent businesses opening up.

But, despite improvements, locals still criticise the area - and Glasgow City Council - for issues with fly tipping, dirty back courts and overcrowding.

Gary added: "You can be negative about Govanhill or you can embrace the area's challenges and be positive.

"I've chosen to be positive. When we moved in, I wrote a letter to all the neighbours introducing us and we've gone out of our way to speak to people from all local cultures."

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, co-chairwoman of the Govanhill Taskforce said: “This is a fantastic example of how a flat in Govanhill that had previously been unfit for people to live in can be transformed into a beautiful home.

“This refurbishment project shows the quality and potential of properties in Govanhill, and I wish the new owners all the best in the lovely new home that they have invested in.

“We will continue to support the area to ensure that it becomes - for everyone living there - the great location so many already recognise it to be.”