STUDENTS renting a three-bedroom Glasgow flat were subjected to dangerous living conditions as their landlord failed to take sufficient steps to prevent a fire.

An inspection carried out by Scottish Fire and Rescue in October 2018 revealed that fire escape routes in the property at 3 Brechin Street in Finnieston were blocked and furniture left in the hallway posed as a hazard.

There was no fire alarm or an extractor fan to reduce the spread of smoke nor were there smoke prevention seals on the doors.

Landlord Shazia Shah was refused a renewal of an HMO licence for the flat.

She was also informed the Houses in Multiple Occupation licence (HMO) had expired eight months previously.

An interim visit in January confirmed some of the issues identified in October were still outstanding.

Mrs Shah applied to Glasgow City Council to renew the HMO but this was contested by Lord Provost Eva Bolander.

Mrs Shah's husband addressed the Licensing Committee on behalf of his wife.

He said: “I had an audit carried out on Sunday and they were pleased with the progress. There are a few minor issues that still need to be addressed.

“These include fire safety instructions for tenants, seals along the doors and effective measures to prevent the spread of smoke including the installation of an extractor fan.”

Committee chairman Alex Wilson said: “You found out about these problems on October 25 and have still got items outstanding.”

Mr Shah said: “I have tried to address them. The people living in the flat are students and left in December to spend time with their families at Christmas. They did not return until January.

“One of them studies architecture and is on a dig somewhere across the globe. Now there are only two people living there.”

Mr Wilson responded: “It might be just as well she is not in the country as the property seems to be a fire risk.

"We take this very seriously. You do not appear to.”

Mr Shah said: “We had an audit report in 2014 and everything passed. I wasn’t aware of any changes.”

But Scottish Fire and Rescue did not corroborate this statement.

The force's representative said: “In 2014 there were a number of issues identified with the property. We told the HMO holder they had to make sure the appropriate fire safety measures were put in place.

“At this time there was no fire safety measures in place, furniture was in the hallway, there were insufficient escape routes and only a fire blanket in the kitchen.”

Councillor John Kane said: “You already had to address these issues four years ago but here you are again.

"Some of the complaints made in 2018 are very similar to the ones made in 2014.

“We have got to assess if you are a fit person to rent a property. Many of the items regarding the safety of your tenants are extremely worrying.

“What worries me more is your HMO expired last February and it took you eight months to renew it.”

Mr Shah replied: “We did not realise it had expired. We will make sure it will never happen again.”

Mr Kane said: “You are assuming we will grant your licence. We are talking about people’s safety. You have not convinced me you are taking this seriously.”

Mr Shah said: “We have done a risk assessment and passed that onto the Scottish Fire and Rescue service. We will have regular meetings with tenants and visit the property on a monthly basis.

“I have been testing the fire alarm on a weekly basis and will be telling those living there to do that from now on and getting them to email me the results.

“A fire alarm and fire extinguishers are all in place.”

Councillors agreed to refuse the application to renew the HMO.