A landlord in Burnley fears that he will be left with no choice but to board up and abandon his rental property in Burnley if his existing tenants move out due to the ‘disgusting’ state of the surrounding properties in the local area.
The landlord, who wishes to remain anonymous, has owned the property on Florence Street, BB11, for 35 years and has rented to the same tenant since the turn of the Millennium. But he claims that he would lose out on £4,000 a year in rent should his tenant move because he would have no chance of re-letting the property due to the many dilapidated houses on the block left to rot by their owners.
Seven of the 11 houses on the block are reportedly abandoned - their windows boarded up, attracting homeless people, rats, and damp.
“Kids go in, rats go in, the windows are smashed, it’s wide open: a homeless guy was asleep under the window in the front room [of one house],” the landlord told the Burnley Express. “We’ve had problems with rats along the whole block. It's absolutely disgusting.”
“They should be compulsory purchased,” he added. “If not, then it should be the council’s responsibility to contact the owners.”
The landlord believes that the local council should be given more powers and greater funds to compulsory purchase abandoned properties, even if they are privately owned.
“We have the empty properties programme, but the responsibility for the upkeep of a property is ultimately down to the owner,” said a spokesperson from the council.
The landlord reportedly saw the insurance for the rental property go up by £500 a year after having to repair £7,000-worth of damage to his property caused by damp coming through from a toilet that leaked after the lead flashing was stolen in the abandoned house next to his, has said that soon the whole area could be abandoned.
He added: “My tenant is debating whether to move, which if that is the case, I'd lose about £4,000 a year in rent.
“I'll just have to board it up and leave it too. People can't sell, and people won't buy because of the state they're in.
“It’s wearing me down.”