Govanhill contains around 7,500 homes, with ownership divided fairly evenly between Govanhill Housing Association, private landlords and owner occupiers.
Govanhill Housing Association is Govanhill’s social landlord. The Association is managed by a committee of local people and has a number of departments which oversee the management of its stock of around 2,300 local properties – maintenance, development, rents, housing management, factoring, welfare rights, tenant participation and its back office IT, HR and Finance functions. The Association supports the wider regeneration of Govanhill through its subsidiary, Govanhill Community Development Trust. The Association is increasing its housing stock through new build developments and the South West Acquisition and Improvement Project but they do not always have the exact size or type of home that people are looking for and applicants for new homes may have to wait for a suitable unit to become available. The first task when seeking a home is to make an application.
The imminent construction of mid-market rent homes on the site of the former bus garage as well as further newbuild developments within the area by Link and Glasgow Housing Association means that Govanhill Housing Association will soon be joined by other social landlords locally.
Govanhill has over 2,000 registered private landlords, a huge proportion in a community of approximately 18,000 people and 7,500 homes. In most cases, private landlords have only one property. In others, individuals or companies have significant local property portfolios. In some private sector tenement blocks, as many as 80% of homes are privately rented, leading to difficulties with common repairs, anti-social behaviour and a perceived lack of ownership/commitment to the community.
The significant majority of landlords in Govanhill are responsible, offering warm and safe homes and usually registered as landlords with the Council. However, a substantial rogue element exists among local private landlords, which has led to the exploitation of tenants. Some landlords also contribute to the area’s substantial fly-tipping and infestation problems through flat clearances, often dumping items in the street. Irresponsible landlords and housing density in Govanhill contribute to serious overcrowding problems, particularly in private sector flats.
Along with our partners, GCDT and Govanhill Housing Association are committed to doing all we can to tackle these problems, for instance, through the South-West Govanhill Property Acquisition and Improvement Programme, the Backcourts Wardens programme and through responsible factoring (common property management) services.
If you are a private tenant and are experiencing significant problems such as poor quality or unsafe housing, breaches of your tenancy agreement or you feel that your legal rights have been abused, there is support available. You can contact your property factor in relation to maintenance or repair issues. For issues in relation to the law, Govanhill Law Centre can be contacted on 0141 433 2665. Their offices can be found at the lower ground floor of Samaritan House, 79 Coplaw St, G42 7JG.
If you are an owner occupier you may wish to consider a factoring arrangement for your home to ensure that a maintenance plan can be put in place and common repairs can be carried out. This is particularly important in Govanhill where all but a handful of homes are flats with common roofs, closes and backcourts.
The Scottish Government’s Common Repair, Common Sense guide provides more information about the rights and responsibilities of owners. Details about the law relating to the management of tenement properties are contained in the Management and Maintenance of Common Property guidance document. You can also read the Code of Conduct for Property Factors.
All owners of property within a tenement – including flats and commercial premises – must, by law, be covered by buildings insurance. Claims can only be made following damage caused by insurable perils, such as fire damage, storm damage or an escape of water.
Ongoing maintenance and general wear and tear issues are not covered by buildings insurance. In order to fully protect yourself, you should also have contents insurance, as damage caused to household or other goods is not covered by a buildings insurance policy.