"We are all two pay cheques away from homelessness," explains Brian Roberts, a caseworker at Govan Law Centre.

Going round some of Glasgow's private hotels and B&B's this week it's easy to see what he means.

Every single one of the places had the same unforgettable smell – body odour, dampness, cigarettes, food and pungent chlorine all mixed in to one. They were all stiflingly hot, with the heating turned up full blast despite it being warm outside.

In the south side of Glasgow, we meet a man who has been living in a private hotel for seven weeks. He is afraid to identify himself in case speaking critically of the system leaves him on the streets, or delays his housing application – a common theme among all those I meet.

"This is just a business, homelessness," he explains.

He had been a successful entrepreneur, owning various shops across Glasgow at one point, but ended up homeless after his relationship broke down and he lost his job.

"How can it be that it costs more than £300 a week to stay here? And who is getting this money, it's the owners of these hotels. It's not helping anyone," he says.

Like many of the others I meet later that day, the man is looking for work but has been forced to turn down two positions in the last week.

"They were jobs in takeaways, and would finish at 12.30am," he explains.

"In this place I have to be back by midnight or they lock the doors. I asked if they could make an exception, and explained it's so I can work, but they said if I wasn't here they would lock me out.

"I'm going to keep looking, but for the sake of half an hour I've lost two jobs."

Walking into one former public library near the city centre, which now houses around 60 people in temporary emergency accommodation, I meet a man in his 30s.

He became homeless around two weeks ago after a relationship breakdown and is now desperately looking for somewhere to stay.

"Last week they found someone dead, they'd overdosed," he explains.

"I'm being offered drugs every single day in here, even for free. Xanax, ketamine, they keep offering me this stuff. I don't take drugs, I don't have any sort of addiction problems. I just want to get out of here. If I did have any addiction issues, it would be easy to go back in to that in somewhere like this."

The man says while staff in his accommodation are friendly and helpful, the other residents make it difficult to have any sort of normal routine.

"I've started having panic attacks, and I can't sleep. I've got people coming to my door all the time, all hours of the day and night. I used to be a taxi driver, and I worked for a parcel delivery company as well. I've always worked, but now I can't work because I can't afford rent here if I'm working. I just need some help to get out of this place, it's hell."

In a guest house in the west end, another man sits in his cramped bedroom with the television on. His waste bin is full of half-eaten jam sandwiches, and his clothes are stuffed into a small wardrobe in the corner.

"I just sit here all day," he says.

"I'm not allowed to talk to anyone else, we're not allowed to go to speak to other residents because they are worried about people dealing drugs.

"If I'm not sitting here, I'll just go out for a walk but I can't afford to go anywhere. It's pointless."

This man, a 38-year-old from the south side, has suffered addiction problems in the past which started after his partner died in 2011.

He has gone from sleeping rough, to hotels and hostels, to sofa-surfing and back again. His situation, according to case worker Brian, is common among the homeless community.

In Ibrox, we pull up to a ramshackle hotel with dirty windows and empty bottles of booze littering the front. Out of the six places we've seen, this is by far the worst ... but it still costs £316 a week to stay here.

Inside the familiar rancid smell hits my nose – more pungent this time with rotting food from a giant rubbish bin in the hallway. An elderly woman sits behind the reception desk, her face lighting up when she sees Brian.

"It's worse than ever here," she says, and leads us through a side door where we meet another man in his 40s, who lost his job as a chef after a motorbike accident.

In a stiflingly hot, windowless room, he explains his desperation to get out of the hotel and into a proper home.

"I never thought this would happen to me," he says.

"I made the stupid mistake of lending someone £5 once and now every day other people are asking me for money, cigarettes, food. It's relentless.

"I can't sleep at night. I've maybe had seven hours sleep this week, because I'm so worried about people coming in to my room and stealing things. They are constantly fighting and arguing as well."

During the day, to escape the hotel, the man goes to college and has started studying computing. He hopes it will help him get into a new career and out of homelessness.

As we walk out of the visitor room and back through a large communal kitchen, a sea of faces turn to look at us.

"Are you with the Street Team?" a gaunt, wide-eyed man asks, shuffling up to us.

Before Brian has time to answer more residents start crowding round, telling us how they can't get hold of their council case workers, how their benefits have been cut off or their homelessness application has stalled.

In the corner, two men start arguing and as we leave the hotel I can hear their voices getting louder and louder through the front windows.

"The police will probably be here soon," Brian says. "They're here constantly. That place is terrible, and there's folk stuck there for ages."

Law to protect homeless 'broken every day'

THE LAW around homelessness in Scotland is clear, yet hundreds of people are still being illegally refused accommodation every week.

Lawyers working to help those without housing say they have to threaten court action on a daily basis to get their clients housed.

Lorna Walker, a partner at Govan Law Centre said: "On a daily basis I have to threaten to start judicial review proceedings against the council to get my clients accommodated. Every single day.

“Sometimes I have to get legal aid in place and draft the petition, and then magically accommodation becomes available when it wasn’t before.

"They say there is not enough temporary accommodation and yet they keep these people in these places for long periods of time.

"The key word here is ‘temporary’ but it’s not being used as temporary accommodation at all.”

In 2012, the Government changed the legislation meaning anyone who was unintentionally homeless would be entitled to settled accommodation, removing the need to test how much of a priority their needs were.

In 2017, legislation was introduced to reduce the time families and pregnant women were staying in unsuitable accommodation from 14 days to seven.

Scottish ministers are now looking at plans to extend this to all homeless people.