Vulnerable families in Nicola Sturgeon’s own constituency are being exploited by “rogue” landlords and agents, a BBC Scotland investigation has found.
They are living in substandard homes in the Govanhill area of Glasgow and include tenants who say their deposits have been stolen.
In Scotland, private landlords are legally required to register and can be struck off.
But the BBC investigation found that a number of de-registered landlords are continuing to work in the area despite being officially struck off.
It found that some landlords were targeting homes due for demolition and which they did not own, changing locks, making up fake tenancy agreements and putting the home up for rent.
People were then paying the deposit and rent in advance.
Chief Insp Graham McInarlin, of Police Scotland, said they were investigating.
He said: “They take over a derelict property, take several months of rent upfront and in actual fact they don’t own the flat in the first place.”
He added that one landlord has 17 trading standards cases against him.
The BBC has named several “rogue” landlords, including Shaban Rehman, who was de-registered in May after allegedly taking £7,000 of deposits. His Better Homes letting agency was dissolved earlier this year, but BBC Scotland claims it has remained open.
Another who has been named is Mohammed Nawaz, who was banned in 2012 from acting as a private landlord and letting agent.
Local agencies say he has continued to practise through relatives and friends.