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Doncaster Council has paid £100,000 to a private buy to let landlord claiming slander against them.
The council previously had a working relationship with landlord Rod Bloor who owned around 100 properties in the borough, which he let to vulnerable people in Doncaster at the request of the council.
However, his relationship with the local authority deteriorated after he had won an appeal over council tax payments, following changes to housing benefit regulations.
The landlord claimed that the council went out to slander him with unsubstantiated remarks about his sincerity to people who were looking to use his services to rent property in the borough.
After falling out with the council over the alleged slander, which the council denied, the landlord claimed that the case had cost him over £200,000 for legal costs, despite the council pay-out.
The slander case was dropped just before it was due to be heard after Doncaster Council agreed a statement confirming Bloor’s honesty and agreed to pay £100,000 towards the landlord’s costs.
The statement read: ‘DMBC (Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council) is able to confirm that any allegation Mr Bloor was untrustworthy, dishonest or had fabricated documents, would be false. DMBC and Mr Bloor are pleased to confirm that this action has now been concluded to the satisfaction of both parties.’
Doncaster Council’s director of corporate resources, Debbie Hogg, commented: ‘Mr Bloor issued High Court proceedings against the council which we have defended. As a result, unnecessary court costs have been incurred.
‘At the eleventh-hour Mr Bloor decided to withdraw his claim, as confirmed by the court, which underlines our view that this case was not substantiated and has now been concluded.’
Mr Bloor, who has since reduced his portfolio of properties to 60, commented: ‘I’m elated in the respect that my name has been cleared.’