HeadLine: So what have you got to say for yourself now Mr Singh?
Daily Record, 18/03/1999
by SHAUN MILNE & SIMON HOUSTON
THIS is rogue landlord Harry Singh after he was asked to explain why
two young friends couldn’t escape a blaze in his death-trap flat.
Singh had been joking at a bar close to where Daniel Heron and James
Fraser died in the Glasgow basement a fortnight ago.
When asked why his flat had metal bars on the windows, a blocked fire
escape and no smoke alarms, he began lashing out violently.
Singh’s outburts came as housing charity chiefs called on the
Scottish Parliament to crack down on rogue landlords.
Shelter Scotland want MSPs to set up a list of all privately- rented
They say it is the only way to free tenants from squalor and stop
safety regulations being flouted.
Shelter spoke out following the funerals of friends Daniel and James,
both 20. They died in a basement flat in Melrose Street after their
escape attempts were thwarted by steel bars across the windows and a fire escape blocked by rubbish.
A Shelter spokesman said: “A handful of Scottish councils have a
licensing scheme, but it is grossly inadequate and what we see far too
often is the tragic consequences of landlords flouting regulations.
“Something must be done quickly to make sure deaths like the two
young men in Glasgow’s West End can never happen again.”
Melrose Street landlord Harry Singh has shown no remorse since the
Yesterday, the Record found him laughing, joking and downing pints of
Guinness two blocks away from the burned-out flat – in a student bar
where friends of Daniel and James sometimes meet.
Singh lashed out at Record photographer John Gunion, kicking and
punching him on the arm and leg.
Asked about the deaths of the two young clerical assistants, he
repeatedly said: “I have nothing to say.”
As we followed him out of the pub, he screamed: “You bastards!”
Sooner or later, Singh will have to explain to Daniel and James’
families why he rented them such an unsafe flat.
The day after the blaze, his remaining tenants began moving out while
Glasgow Council environmental health officials called at his plush home
in Newlands, on the city’s south side.
Singh has been investigated in the past over claims he was overcharging for electricity in students’ flats in the Queen’s Cross area.
ScottishPower officials have visited the scene of the fire over fresh
claims of fraud and passed a report to Strathclyde Police.
Singh is also being investigated by the procurator fiscal’s
department in Glasgow following the Melrose Street fire.
A spokesman said: “Our inquiries are continuing.”
Bob Hay, aid officer for Shelter Scotland, said: “Singh is well-known
around the West End as a bad landlord – he has loads and loads of
“In Glasgow he’s as close to a Rachmann landlord as you’re going to
Slum king Rachmann operated in the Notting Hill area of London during
the Fifties charging tenants sky- high rents to live in squalor.
A former tenant of Singh’s said: “Word is finally starting to get
round about what kind of reputation he has. I think he’ll find it a lot
more difficult to get tenants now.”