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Landlord fined for using garden as a dumping ground

A landlord who infuriated neighbours by using a back garden at one of his rental properties to dump rubbish has been fined more than £2,000.

The house in Langdale Drive, Colchester, which was vacant following a fire two years ago, was being used by the landlord, David Thomas, to store rubbish, most notably in the garden, prompting neighbours to complain to environmental officers in November last year.

Despite an official warning from council officers, Thomas refused to clear the piles of rubbish, which was starting to attract vermin, leaving Colchester Borough Council with little alternative but to take legal action against the landlord in April.

Thomas, of Weston-super-Mare, was found guilty in his absence at Chelmsford Magistrates Court and ordered to pay a total of £2,116.

He was fined £660, told to pay £1,390 in costs and must also pay a victim surcharge of £66.

Cllr Tina Bourne, responsible for housing and communities, said: “It is understandable that people will occasionally need to store some rubbish in their gardens for a short period, but it is not acceptable for anyone to ignore the repeated advice of our environmental protection officers and allow their garden to become an unhygienic eyesore for months on end.

“I hope this case sends a firm message to those who fail to take responsibility for their own waste and who disregard the effect their actions have on the quality of life of other residents.

“If there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, they should know that we will not hesitate to do so.”

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