A Burnley landlord has expressed fears that he may need to board up and abandon his rental property if the existing tenants leave due to the ‘disgusting’ state of the surrounding area.
The landlord, who wishes to remain anonymous, is concerned about the potential to re-let his property on Florence Street, Burnley. He has owned the home for 35 years, and has let it to the same tenants since 2000. However, he fears that he would lose out on the £4,000 a year he earns in rent should his tenant opt to leave due to the nearby abandoned homes left to decay by the owners. Eleven of the houses on the block next to the rental property are reportedly abandoned, with boarded up windows and visible damp.
The landlord told the Burnley Express: ‘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]. We’ve had problems with rats along the whole block. It’s absolutely disgusting. They should be compulsory purchased. If not, then it should be the council’s responsibility to contact the owners.’
The landlord has called for the local council to be given more power and greater funding to compulsory purchase abandoned properties, even if they are in the private sector.
A spokesperson from the council explained: ‘We have the empty properties programme, but the responsibility for the upkeep of a property is ultimately down to the owner.’
The unhappy landlord saw the insurance for the rental property increase by £500 a year after having to repair £7,000-worth of damage caused by damp coming through from a toilet that leaked after the lead flashing was stolen. The toilet was located in the abandoned house next to his.
He continued: ‘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.’